Contract Game

December 28th, 2019

Tomorrow’s season finale at the Den of Depression should be a very entertaining affair for one major reason, Joe believes, and it has nothing to do with Jameis Winston’s march toward 30 interceptions in 16 games.

Four key, hard-working Bucs along the defensive line are in contract years, which means they will all be playing with their hair on fire to try and score extra cash in free agency.

Jason Pierre-Paul, Carl Nassib, Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett might have a combined $45 million waiting for them in 2020, and Week 17 film is always looked at by general managers. They want to know what kind of fight is in guys after Christmas in a lost season.

Joe expects heroic efforts by each of those players, and throw in Will Gholston having no more guaranteed cash left in his contract. He’s due $4.75 million if he makes the 2020 roster, and the Bucs might be the only team willing to pay Gholston that kind of loot.

It’s highly doubtful the Bucs would invest in all those guys and they know it, which should add to the drama and intensity against the Falcons.

The Bucs sacked Matt Ryan six times a month ago in the Tampa Bay win at Atlanta.

Too bad Vegas doesn’t offer over/under bets on how many screen passes Ryan and Dirk Koetter will call tomorrow.

54 Responses to “Contract Game”

  1. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Would be nice to see this D-line kept intact for next season, another off season for the secondary to improve and look out 2020.

  2. Stevebobucsfan Says:

    I am thinking they won’t sign Gholston. Should they bring back Suh is my question for Joe and Bucs fans I think Pierre-Paul still has some ump so I would like to see him around next season

  3. SammyRebel Says:

    Would love the whole defensive line to come back need will to take a pay cut he’s good run defender good reason why we’re good in that area as well

  4. Buc believer Says:

    Is it just me or is anyone else under the opinion that every game and every snap should be played like it’s a “contract” game?

  5. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Great points, and I really hope we can somehow get all of those guys back.

    I really do have to give William Gholston some love, too. Thanks for mentioning him. I know he doesn’t get after the QB too much, but he has just been as solid on that line as a guy can be. He is a MAJOR part of our run defense being so successful.

    Let’s get these guys all back, and let the young kids on D continue to grow.

    I think………. we have GOT SOMETHING. FINALLY.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So much for “meaningless” games and “playing for the draft”……try to tell those guys that…..and, on the other side of the ball… have the entire coaching staff in jeopardy…..
    Let’s send Quinn & Koetter packing…

    As far as Shaq, JPP, Nassib, Suh & Gholston…..that’s my priority order…..

    Hopefully along with a RT & RB we will find a starter at DT or DE….

    My thoughts are that we will not bring Suh back unless he agrees to $7 mil……& Gholston can be replaced if he doesn’t renegotiate his contract.

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    Can we sign the Will Gholston who played in Detroit? That guy was impressive.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Amazing that some folks have no problem ponying up $30+ mil for a QB with Jameis’ PERFORMANCE record, but freak out when it comes to ponying up for a defense that has the best rushing defense in the NFL & that has been PERFORMING SUPERBLY this 2nd half of the season.

    You’re right Joe. Re-signing those 4 (Barrett, JPP, Suh & Nassib) will probably cost around $45 mil. And it’d be money well-spent IMO. We should ALSO re-sign Minter, Adams, Nunez-Roches, Ryan Smith AND keep Will Gholston. We’ve FINALLY got a defense that’s PERFORMING WELL. Add a couple pieces (veteran Safety & draft a DT/DE) and this defense would have SOLID POTENTIAL to be a Top-10 defense next year.

    Without at least a Top-15 defense, this team won’t go anywhere. We’ve already seen that act, over & over & over again. Spend the $85-$90 mil that it’ll take to create a top-performing defense, and pay the S/Ts their $4-$5 mil. THEN let the offense ‘make do’ with the remaining $110 mil or so that’ll remain to fix their problems.

  9. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Defense Rules says:
    “….it’d be money well-spent IMO. We’ve FINALLY got a defense that’s PERFORMING WELL. Add a couple pieces and this defense would have SOLID POTENTIAL to be a Top-10 defense next year.”


    Agreed 100% Defense Rules, with this and the rest of your points, as well.

  10. martinii Says:

    If nothing else 2019 has shown that our defense is a force to reckon with.I would hope we would try to keep it intact and coach it to the next level in 2020. More often than not over the past decade or so we are sitting here bitching about all the failures management made in FA and the draft. Not this year however, with DB’s improving and a formidable pass rush in place there is a good chance our optimism is real going into 2020. It is possible so let’s do it.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “Is it just me or is anyone else under the opinion that every game and every snap should be played like it’s a “contract” game?”

    Nah it’s not just you. It’s life’s greatest challenge and not just in football. How hard are you able to make yourself go in every minute of everyday.

    Some folks seem to realize we only have this minute and try to make the most of it…others get lost in the future or past and miss what’s in front of them.

    I do not believe our star players do that however. This is why JPP is great…LVD…and I’m happiest of all to say that I get the feeling from our new kids that they feel ya too Believer.

    It’s most obvious in the new defensive rookies…that these kids get life is short and you gotta show up not just on game day but in the film room, weight room, practice field etc.

    Great piece on Carlton Davis in this mornings fishwrap…he has become a film junkie and his two weeks off due to injury seemed to provide an epiphany for his preparation.

    We have the chance to have not just one…but two and maybe even three superior DB’s. What a freaking difference a year can make.

  12. Wesley Says:

    Nassib hasn’t done anything this season.

  13. down in the dirt doug Says:

    Our coach has high praise for Suh—good enough for me!!

  14. Ndog Says:

    While I agree the defense has been better, let’s not get carried away cause the Saints still did whatever they wanted too, in the second game, along with the Colts and Arizona for the most part. So they dominated the Falcons, Jaguars, Lions and Texans (this one was very impressive) during this run. So if folks are going to say Jameis was great against bad teams shouldn’t we be equally sceptical about the defense for the same reason? I’m seriously not being negative here I’m just saying before we act like the defense is good too go and we can just keep the status quo let’s calm down a bit, cause we still have to play the Saints twice a year and they owned us in both games controlling the clock and score the entire game. Plus this year we faced a broken Cam, Kyle Allen, a coming off injury Jimmy G, Bridgewater, Brissett, a rookie in Murray, a beaten down Ryan. When we faced Goff, Brees, Wilson and the GREAT Daniel Jones they ripped us apart.

    Don’t look now but next year we get Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Brees twice, Ryan twice, Kirk Cousins and Matt Stafford. So yeah we better improve our passing defense quite a bit before next year if we want to beat any of those teams.

  15. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    stpetebucsfan Says:
    “Great piece on Carlton Davis in this mornings fishwrap…he has become a film junkie and his two weeks off due to injury seemed to provide an epiphany for his preparation.”


    Heyyy SPBF, that was a great article, and really encouraging. This type of thing is also CONTAGIOUS. — Those young DB’s are catching that same bug, and it bodes HUGE for the future of this team.

    Hope you are having a great Holiday Season, sir.

  16. geno711 Says:

    Agree with Defense Rules.
    Let’s give the guys who have performed well this year contracts.
    Clearly Barrett and JPP are the most deserving.

    I personally think Suh is so underrated as well. He played well and is a huge reason why we have been a good run defense. Not sure if it is a coincidence but Aaron Donald was not as good this year without him.

    Also, he plays a huge percentage of snaps at a high level. He has never been injury prone. He is 14th in the NFL this year in D Line snap count at over 77% of snaps.

    In 2018, JPP was 3rd on D line in snap count and Suh was 5th – so these guys are not flukes and are a big reason why our defense got better after JPP got back.

    Think about that – you get high level play from those guys and they do not have to go off the field for lesser players and you may indeed spend less on quality backups if those guys continue to play at that level.

  17. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Good call geno711

  18. T REX Says:

    ndog, it’s their first year in this defense or is that only an excuse for Winston…punk.

  19. DoooshLaRue Says:

    SPBF and BB

    Count me in on the hard work ethic.
    Not sure why people chose to slack off.
    I know I give 100% at my job.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @Wesley … “Nassib hasn’t done anything this season.” Seriously Wesley? Do you even know WHAT Carl Nassib has accomplished this season?

    Played in 13 of our 15 games with 8 starts. Third most defensive snaps on the DLine (580) behind Suh (806) & Vea (680). And oh ya, 6 sacks … over 1/7th of our TEAM sacks. Plus 10 QBHits, 7 TFL & 30 tackles, all for a paltry $2.025 mil. That’s LESS than Peyton Barber, Bradley Pinion or OJ Howard make, and less than half of what Demar Dotson makes.

    Are you sure that Carl hasn’t done ANYTHING this season?

  21. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    DR, I agree with you. Carl Nassib has consistently put good pressure on the QB this year, and is a valuable piece of the puzzle. When he was out, Shaq & JPP were not as effective because they had to play full time.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    @Ndog … “While I agree the defense has been better, let’s not get carried away cause the Saints still did whatever they wanted too, in the second game”.

    There’s no question in my mind Ndog that the Saints are a better TEAM than the Bucs this season. But you got a little ‘carried away’ in stating that the Saints ‘still did whatever they wanted to in the second game’ IMO.

    Yes, we lost 34-17 but the defense only gave up 27 points … Winston’s Pick-6 in the 4th quarter (with the Bucs trailing 27-17 with over 5 minutes still to go) sealed the Saints win. And you conveniently forgot that the Bucs had FOUR giveaways in that game (aka, INTERCEPTIONS). Jameis’ 1st INT gave the Saints the ball at the TPA-16 yard line & they scored a TD 1 play later (surely that was the defense’s fault). His 2nd INT caused no damage (late in 2nd qtr), his 3rd INT was the Pick-6 in the 4th quarter, and his 4th INT also caused no damage because the defense held.

    But ya, blame the defense for the loss and giving up 34 points. Jameis’ FOUR INTs had nothing to do with it. Neither did our high-scoring offense only scoring 17 points against a quality Saints defense. Ya, let’s go with that.

  23. Pit of Misery Says:

    Defense Rules: all solid observations.

  24. Ndog Says:

    Yeah when a team has the ball 14 minutes more than the other team and does whatever it wants that is called domination but I know I know it’s all Jameis’s fault. At this point why don’t you just stop commenting and save any of us that actually watch the games the time of reading your nonsense cause if you think the Saints did anything in that game except whatever they wanted to you have no idea what you are watching or you didn’t watch at all.

  25. geno711 Says:

    You have to have players on that defensive line/linebacker position that can play not just guys.

    Some offense based fans tend to think you can get JAG on the defense and it will work.

    Beau Allen, Mitch Unrein, Vin Curry, Robert Ayers, Chris Baker, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu are those JAG types.

    Barrett, JPP, Suh, and Nassib are values for this team at $45 million next year for this team. With continued growth from Vea, White, and hopefully Anthony Nelson, as well as the emergency of a solid secondary – I think the defense will be there next year if we can get a little additional depth,.

    JPP and Suh are not too old – they are too valuable to let walk. Maybe Barrett and Nassib would not succeed outside Tampa but they succeeded here – reward them.

  26. D1 Says:


    So the defense actually gave up 20 pts against the drew Brees lead saints?

    Winston couldn’t beat them with 21pts? Something isn’t adding!

    We’ve been told repeatedly that winston has to put 35+ points each week just to compete. Seems like 21pts would be a day at the beach and guaranteed w.

    Something happened , any idea as to what ?

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    Ndog … Now you’re just whining. The Saints are a better BALANCED TEAm for starters, plus their QB has a LITTLE better track record than ours. In that particular game Ndog (that I DID watch BTW), Brees was 28-for-35 (80.0%) for 218 yards (6.2 YPA), 3 TDs & ZERO INTs. Saints rushed 28 times for 109 yards (3.9 YPC). TOP: 37 mins.

    Jameis on the other hand was 30-for-51 (58.8%) for 313 yards (6.1 YPA), 2 TDs & FOUR INTs. Bucs rushed 8 times for 36 yards (4.5 YPC). TOP: 23 mins.

    Did I forget to mention that we were behind 20-0 with just a little over 5 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter and 20-7 at the end of the 1st half? Of course, it’s all the defense’s fault. Had nothing to do with the Bucs’ offense’s 2 INTs, 2 Punts & 1 TD in its’ 5 drives in the 1st half. Offense did a good job in scoring a FG then a TD in the 3rd quarter to close it to 27-17, but then fizzled with a punt and 2 INTs in the 4th quarter.

    And Ndog, I suspect that Jameis’ FOUR INTs to ZERO INTs for Brees had a little to do with the difference in TOP. Just a hunch though.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    D1 … Like I commented earlier, the defense gave up 27 points (although that 1st TD started when Jameis was intercepted at the TPA-16 yard line). With a MINUS-4 turnover differential, your odds of winning the game are REALLY small. And especially against a quality offense AND defense.

  29. Craig Says:

    If we can grab Brad Delpit in the first round and sign all four of D-line, we will have a defined defense next season.

    After that we need some depth at O-line and a running back, maybe Travis Etienne.

  30. MirrorMirrowOnTheWall Says:

    By Joes logic the players have to give there all in one game. I am not a general manager, but I want the guys that give their all for sixteen games. I would not care what was done in game sixteen if other games were less than 💯.

  31. MirrorMirrowOnTheWall Says:

    Bucs need to sign draft the LSU offensive linemen. All of them!

  32. Ndog Says:

    First drive of the game the Saints went on a 10 play 6:15 drive and got a FG. Then after a punt by us they go on a 12 7:01 drive for another FG. So in just 2 drives they had the ball 13:16 which is almost an entire quarter of play IN 2 POSSESSIONS. That is domination. Then after a pick by us which was 100% on OJ. They scored in one play, ONE PLAY. Then after a punt by us the go on another 13 play 6:42 second drive for a TD. So that is 19:58 in TOP in the first half and we did stop them one time in the first half till the last possession. Then after we come out in the second half and go down the field to get a FG they come right back and go on a 10 play 5:41 drive for ANOTHER TD. At that point they clearly went into kill the clock mode cause it was clear they were getting pressure at will vs our oline. So they scored on 5 of their first 6 possessions while having the ball for 25 plus minutes. That is complete domination and yes they were dominating our offense as well but when you never have the ball cause the other team is in the field the entire first half it’s kinda hard to get going. But again I’m sure the fact that our defense couldn’t get off the field is Jameis’s fault.

  33. Ndog Says:

    And oh BTW in their first 5 years their QB did not have a better track record than ours if you want to be honest and real about it but I’m sure you don’t.

  34. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Just curious…that last post left some room for interpretation.

    Are you saying that Drew Brees first five years in the league weren’t as good as JW’s?

    Perhaps that Brees first five years with N.O. were not as good as JW’s with Tampa

    Or perhaps that N.O.’s first five years as a franchise were worse than our past five?

    I’m not sure I capture your point.

  35. geno711 Says:

    Well Brees played one game in his 1st year. He was not the starter>
    Brees 1st five years as a starter his passer rating:
    Jameis 1st five years as a starter his passer rating:

    Brees started slower got better. Jameis was great in his 1st year of college and deserved the Heisman. Not sure that I have seen the progression so I tend to like the Bree’s track better IMO.

    Plus quarterback ratings have been going up every year as this is a passing league. The average passer rating in 2001 was 78.5, in 2005 it was 80.1, in 2010 it was 84.1, in 2015 it was 90.2 and last year 2018 it was 92.9.

    Completion percentage has gone from average of 59% to 64%.
    TD’s have gone from 1.3 per game to 1.6.
    Interceptions have gone down from 1.1 a game to .8 per game.
    Passing yards from 205 to 235.

    I would appreciate guys comparing to this generation instead of guys fr paom past seasons.

    Johnny Unitas and Joe Flacco have essentially the same stats for the Baltimore teams that they played for.

    With logic like Jameis has stats similar to someone in the past, the Bucs should be clamoring for Joe Flacco – Since Johnny Unitas was just named a top 10 QB of all time. Flacco’s stats the same – we can get a top 10 QB of all time in Joe Flacco.


  36. Ndog Says:

    How can I guy playing at the same time literally have played head to head not be compared? You guys will literally say anything to avoid the truth. Face it Jameis has been better in his first five years than Brees was. Now I still think Brees should have been kept over Rivers but that is what dumb organizations do, that’s why I hope we are smarter than that and we keep Jameis. BTW Brees happen to have that guy named LaDainian Tomlinson (HOFer) playing with him while Jameis had the great Doug Martin and…… helping take the load off him. Oh yeah and before you say that Jameis had Evans well Brees also had Antonio Gates who is a soon to be HOFer.

  37. Ndog Says:

    Stpete I meant the first five years of both of their careers.

  38. geno711 Says:

    Ndog Says:
    December 28th, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    How can I guy playing at the same time literally have played head to head not be compared.

    How do you not understand that 2001 or 2003 or 2005 is different that 2019?
    Continually you fail to admit passing stats are different. How ridiculous that continues to be.

  39. geno711 Says:

    You want to compare the last 5 years of Brees to Winston it is worse.

  40. geno711 Says:

    You want to compare Winston passer rating to the league this last five years it is not good at all.

  41. geno711 Says:

    You want to compare Winston’s interceptions these last 5 years to anyone else in the league, he is the worst.

    You brought up the comparison to Brees 1st five years in the league to be honest and real.

  42. Ndog Says:

    Geno711 answer me this, if we weren’t in the top of the league in passing would we be in the top 3 in scoring in the NFL? How many people on the planet Earth have thrown for 5,000 yards in a season?

  43. geno711 Says:

    NDOG I agree with your point that Jameis is one of the few that have thrown for 5000 yards. Jameis deserves Kudo’s for that elite part of his skill set.

    Which of any of my points will you agree with?

  44. Ndog Says:

    Ratings and number of interceptions are misleading numbers that mean nothing without watching the games. I can give multiple examples of where Jameis did nothing wrong and it was a TO which of course effects QB ratings and the TO #. But I can coversely give examples of where he made a horrible decision yet threw a TD (like vs Seattle with the tipped ball to Perriman). Many, many of his TOs have come from style of offense, number of passing situations due to zero running game, and from being behind all day. Trust me if most of his TOs were the kind he had last week I would have wanted him gone two years ago. But that’s just it they haven’t been for the most part. Like that Carolina game this year, the first pick Evans didn’t come back to the ball, the second he was hit as he was throwing, the one at the end Evans just stopped. So if you look at it he threw two picks and fumbled which is clearly not good but also clearly would not be as bad as it appears on paper. He has two picks this year off of OJ’s hands, he has at least 2 “fumbles” this year due to Jensen, and at least 4 this year due to WRs not working back to the ball. Them there is the wrong routes, but no one talks about that they just look the TO totals and say he sucks which is ridiculously stupid.

  45. geno711 Says:


  46. Ndog Says:

    Uh you made no point, so there is nothing to agree with. You just made a bunch of incoherent comments, which BTW shocks no one.

  47. Defense Rules Says:

    Ndog … I love the logic trail on this one. Our defense gives up a long 11-play drive FG to open the game (taking up over 6 mins) then the Bucs’ offense responds with a 3-play drive then punt (good for 45 seconds). Wow! Saints then respond with a 12-play drive ending in a FG. Bucs keep the ball for TWO plays this time, when the Bucs’ offense gives the ball back to the Saints at the TPA-16 yard line & the Saints score 1 play later. Score Saints 13 Bucs 0 to end the 1st quarter. Saints had 26 plays that included 2 FG, 1 TD. Bucs offense had 6 plays that included a Punt & an INT. Saints had the ball for roughly 14 mins to the Bucs 1 min. Wonder if the Bucs defense was pooped after that.

    Yup Ndog, no doubt i my mind our defense really screwed up allowing 13 points in just one quarter to start the game. And our offense was doing so well in trying to help them deal with the NFL’s NUMBER FIVE offense.

  48. geno711 Says:

    Point 1: Brees is better than Winston now
    Point 2: Brees 1st 5 years as a starter are better than Winston’s 1st 5 years as a starter.
    Point 3: Winston compares unfavorably with current quarterbacks on interceptions.
    Point 4: Winston compares unfavorably with current quarterbacks on passer rating.
    Point 5: Passing statistics have gone up year by year in the NFL from 2001 to 2019.

    New point: Winston is more a middle of the pack NFL starting QB than a good
    or excellent starting QB.

    Does that help you? Or do you wish to try another insult to make your point?

  49. Licht Headed Says:

    Where are all the pseudo fans and know nothings that want the Bucs to draft Jalen “Lord Howitt” Hurts?

  50. Ndog Says:

    So geno711 what do you base all of those above points (opinions) on?

  51. D1 Says:


    Excellent point to include, the league avg /year stat was recorded.
    (Copy it to some clip board for use later. )

    It never seizes to amaze me that a specific group of fans and a jbf’r repeatedly throw out comparison stats as proof (fill in the blank ) winston is hall of fame elite , best ever, blah blah blah .without a hint that the numbers are relative to the year or period.

    I remember the daily posts extolling the miraculous 4000yd season by a player under 21, then it was back to back 4000 yd passing to start a career and under 22. Forget about the age component, to start a career as a rookie and post 2 4000 yd season is unique and most fans automatically realize it.

    But the self proclaimed smartest of smart , mensa gold club members, compare the 4000 yds to the all time greats of the past. Why mention that marino hit 4000 yds and was the only player to do so in that year whereas winston was 13th and 14the on the passing yds lists when he posted his numbers.

    Just put the numbers out there . Frankly I don’t believe theres any attempt to deliberately deceive. The fans that habitual offenders seem like honest , genuine and good guys. I think it’s ignorance. Which is why the countless put downs of all the other fans and self aggandizment is both slightly offensive and wholeheartedly humorous at the same time. Too many years in the florida heat is plausible.

    Rambling on , but keep bringing context to some of these nonsensical stats.

  52. Ndog Says:

    So how exactly is Brees better than Jameis in his first five years starting? And keep in mind Brees got the luxury of sitting and watching for a year which Jameis did not. Completion% almost the same, TDs and picks both more but over 2,000 yards more and Jameis isn’t even done yet so it will be over 3,000 yards more. Which is due to this team being way more reliant on the QB than the Chargers were. But yeah lets be as dumb as the Chargers and get a bum like Rivers while our QB goes onto to hold almost every record on the planet, which BTW Jameis is on pace to smash.

    Comp% 62.56
    TDs 105
    INTs 64
    Yards 16,545

    Comp% 61.40
    TDs 119 (+14)
    INTS 86 (+22)
    Yards 19,536 (+2,991)

  53. Ndog Says:

    If stats are so irrelevant then why do we celebrate Drew Brees setting records or heck why do we even keep track at all? You guys do realize THIS YEAR Jameis is NUMBER 1 in passing yards and NUMBER 2 in TD passes to only the league MVP but I guess those are meaningless as well right? And if you think I’m ignorant just say it but I will tell you this I forgot more football than you will EVER know. See ya suckas.

  54. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I like Nassib, but isn’t Anthony Nelson a comparable player? Unless we plan on Nelson gaining 20 to 30 pounds and taking over at one of the DE spots. I’d like to have everyone back if possible, of course.