January 11th, 2020

Uneven pay.

Joe doesn’t like to get into salaries so much because there is no foolproof formula that spending X-amount of dollars = Y-wins.

As long as a player earns his keep and produces, then he has earned his cash, no matter the amount.

But Bucs left tackle/national punching bag Donovan Smith has entered into the crosshairs of Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report for making too much cash.

Smith took so many penalties and was responsible for so many sacks in his first four seasons that nobody would have been surprised if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers let him walk when his rookie contract expired last offseason. But they saw a 25-year-old with potential who hadn’t missed a start in four years, and they doubled down.

It hasn’t panned out.

Smith showed mild signs of improvement in the first season of his new contract, but he was still inconsistent and frequently penalized. Now he’s slated to have a $14.5 million cap hit in 2020, which is the eighth-highest mark in the league at the left tackle position.

You know what? Joe actually thought Smith did improve last year. Really. Notice you didn’t see too many of the plays that made people freak out, screaming Smith was mailing it in too soon? You didn’t see/hear much of that this year.

As much as it pains Joe to type the following, if someone absolutely positively has to tag a Bucs player with making too much cash you could suggest Cam Brate.

When Brate signed his current contract, he had a coach that was a big believer in tight ends and Brate was putting up Pro Bowl-level numbers.

With Bucco Bruce Arians in control, Brate has been reduced to part-time duty but is earning full-time pay. At least with Smith he starts and plays damn near every snap.

43 Responses to “Overpaid?”

  1. Adrnagy Says:

    Brate and Donovan for Trent Williams.

  2. Zzbuc Says:

    If we had another coach Brate situation would be totaly different.
    Arians uses TE for blocking purposes mainly.
    He catched most of his passes, he had few misses, he deserves every penny!!!
    But of course everybody knows he is trade bate. Hope not!!
    Regarding Smith is an average OL who was very lucky to be in the right place at the right moment.He is not bad he is average.

  3. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules…..Where are you at? Joe’s first paragraph seems like it’s written just for you.

    Us 🐑 demand your rebuttal. Haha.

  4. JimmyJack Says:

    I know D.Smith improved this year. The proof is these comment sections.

    Donovan was whined and cryed about probably a good 75% less(at least) this year. Believe you me if Donovan had been screwing up in games JBF commentor would have been on him like white on rice.

  5. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Your comments are on point ,Joe. I believe Dot led the team in penalties. There are gobs of tackles on the penalty list above Donovan Smith. Gagnon could use some fact checking.

  6. Rojas Says:

    Dot is by far the big problem on the line. Smith is not too far behind him. A lot of good tackles this year draft one in RD 1 or 2. To replace Dot. Heck you can even slide Smith to RT.

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    Hey man I’m sorry but if you are the LT that is blocking for a QB that throws for over 5000 yards and over 30 TDs you are freaking doing something right.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    JimmyJack … I agree with Joe. If there were a ‘foolproof formula’ that related money to wins, some ‘fool’ would’ve found it by now (‘proof’ that it doesn’t exist). I also agree with Joe about Donovan Smith. He might not have the most perfect skillset for LT, but when combined with his incredible durability it’s ‘good enough’ to make Donovan be worth $14.5 mil.

    Might be wrong, but I (like Joe) think that Cam Brate will be ‘odd man out’ IF Jameis is re-signed AND gets anything over what he’s making right now. Perriman may ALSO be a casualty in that same scenario.

    The Bucs’ offense is pretty well set … personnel-wise. IF we re-sign Jameis (say franchise tag of $26.8 mil) & Perriman (say $6.0 mil), draft 2 OL & 1 RB (all in the Top-4 rounds), and pretty much keep the rest of the offense in-tact, our salary Cap hit (just by my estimate) would be a tad over $118 mil for 2020. Our S/Ts is $4.0 mil for 2020 which would leave $78 mil for our defense IF we keep $10 mil in reserve (prudent for injuries, etc). That’s at least $12-$15 mil short IMO for what we NEED to spend on this defense to bring back ‘our guys’.

    I’m guessing JimmyJack BA & JL will ‘allocate’ about $105 mil to this offense and about $90 mil (maybe even a tad more) to our defense (plus the $4 mil to S/Ts). IF (a big IF) that ends up being true, we’d need to cut about $12 mil or so IF we keep Jameis at the franchise tag cost. The sad reality is that ‘you can’t have it all’.

  9. Joe Says:

    Really good point Jimmy Jack.

  10. TOM Says:

    Loser Licht will probably make Winston top priority & let Shaq walk.

  11. Mort Says:

    Donovan Smith is not the problem. Yeah he can get better, but a good LT is impossible to find in FA, and he is not going to lose us games. As long as he keeps improving, we good. That’s just what a starting LT who plays competent football is going to make. Notice he is eighth highest paid. He should be. That number will only fall as more get paid on current market level deals as well. We need a RT upgrade, not LT.

  12. bucsince79 aka bumaneer Says:

    Brate will be the 1st to go. We don’t use tight ends like Dirk did. We need beast blockers like Luke Stocker… Dov Smith didn’t loaf last season because BA new culture won’t allow. He will be fine & yes overpaid… So What!!!

  13. Orlando Kevin Says:

    I like Brate as he is reliable and produces when needed including in the end zone. I’d trade OJ to play Brate more and in the trade get a top 10 running back. A top run game would give the biggest boost to the offense.

  14. Orlando Kevin Says:

    OJ’s blocking did nearly nothing for the run game…. we need a top run game so we keep the defenses guessing and so Jameis can calm down not feeling like he has to always play hero to win.

  15. Hoops Says:

    If OJ is traded Brate should stay. Brate’s money really isn’t that much for a TE that can catch 70% of passes thrown to him plus be a big factor in the red zone. Maybe the bucs will figure out how to use TEs more this coming year. If Winston stays Brate should stay regardless of whether OJ gets traded or not.

  16. Kobe Faker Says:


    Kobe Faker

  17. Orlando Kevin Says:

    If we can find a stud left tackle in the draft that can beat out Donovan, then I think you do that and put Donovan at right tackle. As much as I’ve liked Demar Dotson, his age is catching up with him and his injuries and lack of consistency are the proof.

  18. Joe Says:

    If we can find a stud left tackle in the draft that can beat out Donovan, then I think you do that and put Donovan at right tackle.

    Once again, Donovan Smith told Joe he physically cannot play right tackle.

    If Smith was this turnstile so many people are convinced he is, how did an interception-prone quarterback stay upright long enough to throw for 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns?

    Not saying Donovan Smith is Anthony Munoz but he sure as hell isn’t Anthony Collins (remember him?).

  19. Adrnagy Says:

    still inconsistent and frequently penalized. 14.5m a year and can’t run block. It’s like Dotson and the RB’s we have. Bucs pay for these players to do
    one thing only ….
    d. Smith. Dotson pass block .
    Rb’s run.
    That’s it. They’re good in one area and still messed up.

    I would like to know how many times d. Smith or Dotson screw up a drive with a penalty. And the running backs missing a blitz pick up

  20. Rojas Says:


    Couldn’t agree more.

  21. Adrnagy Says:

    Bucs suck. And big fish Bruce didn’t hold nobody accountable.

    Dotson just admit on pewter report he doesn’t like to run block. He does a bad job. He only likes to pass block.

    So why have this players.? We have marshmallows.

  22. Adrnagy Says:

    “ I think I’m a little different,” Dotson said. “I think most offensive linemen like to run the football. Me personally, I’d rather pass protect. I think that’s why people say I’m so bad at run blocking. Me saying this is probably going to get me kicked out of Tampa.”

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If D Smith, Marpet, Jensen, and Brate were to restructure their contracts to help out the salary cap situation in 2020, would that put us in a bind in the years to come?

  24. stpetebucsfan Says:

    A question for Joe and all here…who do we believe will REALLY be making these decisions on who goes and who stays.

    IMO BA is the “decider” as GW Bush used to say. He’ll pay lip service to his buddy Licht and certainly listen to his input but at the end of the day this is the FINAL chapter in BA’s coaching career. He is now HIGHLY motivated and so I trust HIS decision.

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I don’t know how to title this next post…NSFW? LOL NSFJBF?

    We are talking millions and millions of dollars…it’s grown absurd…it’s like monopoly money. God bless all of the NFL players and they do LITERALLY put their health and brains on the line for our “entertainment”.

    Having said that the money is just for bragging rights…it has nothing to do with need. Nobody can spend all that money. They could enjoy the power of determining which charity, friend or relative to share it with.

    I was born really, really poor in a working class neighborhood. I got VERY, VERY lucky and now I’m fortunate enough to play tennis and workout at the Glazer’s latest investment…The Vinoy.

    I chatted with a worker about money. A young lady who shall remain nameless has worked at quite a few jobs including housekeeping at St Anthony’s hospital.
    Her fiancee is an Iraq war vet who also earns what working people are paid these days.

    When I asked if a mandatory $15 minimum wage would make a difference in her life she said…are you kidding? Between she and her fiancee they might even have enough to START saving for a house. Right now of course they live paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps because I have been there and done that and watched my mother struggle with bills after my father was gone…I FEEL these people.

    I’m not getting political. $15/hr minimums already exist in some locales…and can be delivered either as a Federal, State or local law. Depending on your political persuasion you’ll have a preference. Great. I’m simply suggesting you support the minimum wage for all WORKING people.

    Sorry if this is too far off target I just wanted to put all this angst over whether JW gets his 30 million or Donovan is “worth” his big bucks into perspective.

  26. WestChap Says:

    I stopped griping about Donovan this year because we were (and are) stuck with him. I would trade him in a minute for Trent Williams but otherwise Dot was so atrocious who could spend time on Smith when his deal is guaranteed through next year… and the guy he’s “protecting” loves to give it to the other team on quick passes anyway. Argh! This is why I can’t fathom not using first pick on OL… even if means trading back a little to get the value right as the top OTs will be gone by 14 and next tier ones appear to be available in late 20s in most mocks. If some of the DL available at 14 are that desirable, maybe we can find a trade partner and get some more ammo to double-dip on the OL in rounds 1&2?

  27. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If you’re going to bash a player please provide stats. year by year provide how many sacks, false starts and holding penalties he has.

  28. Kobe Faker Says:


    *Dont kill the messenger

    2 veteran team leaders do not believe Winston is the answer for the Bucs football team going forward

    The 2 defensive players believe the overall team is heading upward but will never be at championship level with Winston as QB

    The 2 players name will be released tomorrow at 3pm”

    Kobe Faker

  29. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Smith gave up 5 sacks, 2 false starts, and 2 holding penalties on a team that lead the league in dropbacks 600+. If he was a mauler in the run game he would be a pro bowler. The only time we hear about him is when he f’s up, with that said i would try to redo his contract so the front office has money for his boy Jaboo.

  30. Pewter power Says:

    Smith is here for another year minimum just like Winston so theres no need to waste time dreaming of anyone at left tackle next season outside of a season ending injury.

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … Definitely get your point (probably because we share very similar ‘challenges’ growing up) but football is the ‘entertainment business’. And that business is VERY lucrative it appears, in more ways than one. Look at what actors & actresses make nowadays, not just football players. Look at what players in other sports make. Baseball? Basketball? Outta sight. Even NASCAR has gone ballistic. Such is life I guess.

    It does get ridiculous at some point though; not based on FINANCIAL NEED but based on PERFORMANCE. If it were up to me (and thankfully it isn’t), I’d much prefer a system based on INCENTIVES. Perform better, get paid more. Duh. Performance-based contracts don’t seem to be ‘in vogue’ however. Just show up, somewhat do-your-job, and you’ll get paid. GOOD ENOUGH is here to stay I guess.

  32. I Bleed Pewter Says:

    He’s just ok at pass blocking, but he sucks at run blocking. And I don’t buy that he can’t play RT. He just doesn’t want to play RT because they make less than LT.

  33. stpetebucsfan Says:


    “prefer a system based on INCENTIVES.”

    Agree 100%. Now let me give TMAX some more info to blast his snowflake friend as a commie pinko.

    I want the incentives to go throughout the ENTIRE organization…not just the players…coaches and GM’s and staff would have wages effected significantly by where their team finishes.

    Now that attendance has taken a back seat in the owners revenue stream their motivation has decreased significantly. How about simply dividing the TV pie up according to finish the year before?

    The last place team would still get plenty of bucks but the higher you finish the greater your share and the motivation would come in the different payouts.

    Obviously the bigger the difference the higher the motivation. As a Bucs fan I resent that the Glazers can do pretty much what they want. If they care about the fans it has nothing to do with money but just being decent guys.

  34. Blame Jameis Says:

    My left leg is 2 inches longer than my right leg, it must be Jameis’ fault.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Blame Jameis … Wait a minute. Are you saying that Jameis has been pulling your leg?

    StPete … Now you’ve got TMax up in arms. They’ll be no living with him here on JBF.

  36. stpetebucsfan Says:


    If there was a way to give you a rimshot…badda boom for that line to blamejameies.

  37. Rodney Munch Says:

    If you want to criticize an offensive lineman for being overpaid, then look no further the booger eating angry ginger center. If I’m running the team, he’s getting cut (unless I can bait someone into trading for him).

    Also Brate is gone – he did nothing this year except drop a probably game winner in week 16. He should still have some trade value, maybe a 4th rounder. You’d think a team like the Patriots would love to have a pass receiving TE, and they’d likely give up a pick if they don’t blow up the team. Also for Brate his salary actually drops next year to $6m – which helps his trade value.

  38. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Donovan Smith isn’t going anywhere this year. His entire salary of $14m would be dead cap space if they released him, and it’s unlikely anyone will trade for him.

  39. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Rodney Munch Says:
    “If you want to criticize an offensive lineman for being overpaid, then look no further the booger eating angry ginger center.”

    Ryan Jensen is actually a very good center compared to who we’ve had in here…

    …and he only makes $10m.

    So unless we draft a center, we’d best keep him.

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Not to mention, Arians does not like drafting offensive linemen to start their first year.

  41. louden Says:

    “Joe doesn’t like to get into salaries so much because there is no foolproof formula that spending X-amount of dollars = Y-wins.

    As long as a player earns his keep and produces, then he has earned his cash, no matter the amount.” – joe


    you gotta be kidding me, right(?)

    if the (currently) Suckaneers would sign JameisWinston for 50 Mio a year, you wouldn’t freak out ?

    i mean: there is a sallary cap..

    just an x-amount to spend..

    so logically: you gotta spend wisely..

    and use certain “special payments” to convince some players..

    get creative..

    corruption has tradition in the US “democratic” liberalism 😉

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    I was hard on Donovan Smith, but he was big time better this season. He started slow but after a few games got in the groove. He did his job well and played like a top 10-15 LT. Hopefully next season he can get to elite status. I believe a big part of it was coaching. Draft another good tackle (1’st round) who can play either side to start at RT. When was the last time Tampa drafted an OT in the 1’st round? It’s time to invest in a good proven one that is ready now, not a 2-3 year project.

  43. BigMacAttack Says:

    Brate would be a good fit for the Patriots. Might get a 4’th round pick for him.