The Bucs And Bryan Bulaga

January 16th, 2020

Would the Bucs dare swap their 34-year-old right tackle for a much younger model who has played more games?

Packers starting RT Bryan Bulaga is one of the more interesting pending free agents as we are now just 2 months and 2 days from the dinner bell ringing on the 2020 free agent frenzy.

Bulaga is 30 but he’s wrapping up his 10th NFL season, and the Packers’ 2010 first-round pick will make his 119th career start (including playoffs) on Sunday. The Bucs’ Demar Dotson, 34, has 106 starts under his belt.

Bulaga is at the end of a five-year contract that $6.75 million annually. Dotson pocketed $4.8 million last year. Like Dotson, Bulaga is well known for his pass blocking.

One could argue the Bucs need to spend less money on their offensive line and get more out of the big-money guys named Ryan Jensen, Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith. But one could also argue that the Bucs could use a new face on the line, Dotson is too old and Bulaga would bring some fresh juice in free agency to a line that’s been the same for the past two seasons.

Back in 2015, there were published reports that claimed the Bucs were in the hunt for Bulaga in free agency. Yeah, that’s an NFL lifetime ago, but Jason Licht remains the general manager.

Joe will give Bulaga a little extra attention during Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

49 Responses to “The Bucs And Bryan Bulaga”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Dots isn’t a Buc anymore, and I doubt the Bucs will re-sign him even as a backup. $6 or $7 mil isn’t bad for a RT Joe, except that the Bucs REALLY need to infuse some younger blood into our OLine. It’s not that Smith, Marpet & Jensen are THAT old, it’s just that good TEAM-BUILDING should call for adding ‘new pieces’ to our OLine AND Dline ANNUALLY … via the draft.

    Some we’ll hit on; some we won’t. Some will take a year or two to ‘develop’ & break into the starting rotation. Some may never be anything more than ‘depth’ players. And yes, some won’t make it at all. But in any event, Bucs’ management needs to stop this herky-jerky approach to TEAM-BUILDING and take a longer-term view.

    We typically carry about 9-10 OLinemen & 9-10 DLinemen (and OLBs) on our roster. That’s say 20 bodies out of our 50-man roster (if you exclude specialists, ie, S/Ts). That’s 40% of our roster, and I don’t see why GMs don’t dedicate 40% of their draft annually (on average of course) to BUILDING THE TRENCHES (say between 2-3 draft picks on average per year). You keep the new blood flowing that way.

  2. PSL Bob Says:

    Yes, this is not necessarily THE guy, but the type of veteran we need to shore up the OL. Then draft some young dudes to groom for Dotson’s permanent replacement. The rest of the OL is solid. You can argue that Smith takes plays off, but he can hold his own when it counts. Most importantly, we need a RB and a safety in the first and second rounds, in either order depending on best talent available. The team will be playoff bound, with or without Jameis!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need to stay away from older FAs…’s time to draft an OT……surely we can find a good one in rounds 1 or 2……
    It’s time to invest in the lines…..

  4. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I was looking at Jedrick Wills OT Alabama in the mid 1st round but he moving up quickly and is now being touted as high as the #3 overall pick surpassing Andrew Thomas OT Georgia.

    Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa is being projected as a top ten pick now.

    That puts the top 3 OT’s out of the Buc;s reach.

  5. NPRSageBoy Says:

    Too much $$$$ already invested in an under performing O line already. Need to draft a young OT to replace Dotson and maybe a young center to replace Jensen in another year.

    Peace, out

  6. MadMax Says:

    Yep, good call Joes…..then draft Robert Hunt, RT in the 5th or 6th if we dont take one earlier.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    He’ll be 31 in March.

    Here’s the thing…Dotson should have been sent packing a couple years ago. We would be getting Bryan Bulaga at about that same age.

    No, I think I would pass.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “We need to stay away from older FAs…’s time to draft an OT…”

    I agree completely with this.

    I’m not so sure Bruce Arians is willing to draft one though, which would suck.

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I agree with DR and TBBF we need some new talent. But if the price was right Bulaga could fill two needs.

    I believe this team can legitimately now say we are ready to win now. Bulaga fits that narrative. But I get the need to build for the future. I do not believe win now or build for the future are mutually exclusive. Given that a rookie we draft..round 1 or 2 will be on a rookie contract. $$$ available for Bulaga. BA hates developing OL..especially they cost coaches their jobs.

    If we sign Bulaga AND the best OL we can find in the draft…if the new OL is truly generational he beats out Bulaga and we have GREAT depth…if he’s more like Cappa and needs a little seasoning who better to mentor him than Bulaga?

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says
    “I was looking at Jedrick Wills OT Alabama in the mid 1st round but he moving up quickly and is now being touted as high as the #3 overall pick surpassing Andrew Thomas OT Georgia.”

    I would not trust any movement from this point on. I think most of the current placement is based on game performances. Any new movement will be based on media opinion, Pro Days and the Combine…which are all traps leading people into bad picks.

    Stick with performance. After all, that’s what will matter after the draft.

  11. Marine Buc Says:

    I like the idea. If we are able to sign a solid free agent offensive tackle it would allow us the use our first round pick on a pass rusher like AJ Epenesa. This would put the Bucs in better shape in case we lose Barrett, JPP or Nassib.

  12. Robert Says:

    please not another 10 yr vet overpriced. follow the pats way. get a younger, cheaper, motivated guy with potential

  13. AwShbucs Says:


  14. LordCornelius Says:

    We already have a highly priced O-line. Good year for OTs in the draft. Could likely get a starter/upgrade in R2.

    Right now my big board of semi-realistic possibilities before the combine would probably be something like

    -Tristan Wirfs / Jedrick Willis / Andrew Thomas OT
    -Derrick Brown / Javon Kinlaw DT
    -AJ Espenensa Edge

    If none of those guys are there I probably go for a trade down if at all possible.

  15. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Imo there is real value having a veteran like Bulaga on the team. No one is saying we can’t draft one or two o’lineman as well. Obviously price is the question. He does have playoff experience too, which is a big plus.

  16. BucHead588 Says:

    I would say this is a great pickup for BuCs if they can make it happen but i dont know if they will get him for prices drive up in FA

  17. Mr. Reality Says:

    It’s pretty common knowledge the Bucs need attention at OT, right and left. It’s also commonly held the Bucs will/should draft an OT, maybe even for left and slide Smith over to RT. All well and good, and the extra money for a guy like Bulaga would be easily made up by losing Dotson and paying a draftee less money by default for the first four years. Go for it. That would be a big boost between getting him and drafting an OT.

  18. Man of Constant Sorrow Says:

    Why is it always someone else’s 1st round OL picks that Joe wants. Why don’t we invest a 1st round pick ourselves on a lineman? Why do we always have to bring in others, when clearly they are on the backsides of their careers? The teams that make it to post season play the most are teams who use their capital and actively draft top lineman.

  19. JP_09 Says:

    It all hinges on the decision made at QB. If you pay Winston 30 mil your not going to be able to retain the Key D pieces and add OL talent via free agency.

    If they keep Winston RD1 should be a OT/DL then RD 2 the opposite

    I’d rather go with a combo of Bulaga, Henry/Gordon, and a 1st RD QB (Eason, yes at 14 because he won’t be there when we pick in the 2nd) over Winston. Then they still have the money to retain the D. After the 1st round fill out the draft with OL/DL best available for RDs 2-5

    Rd 1 Jacob Eason QB UW
    Rd 2 Raekwon Davis DL-Bama (Probably not there when we draft)
    Rd 3 Leki Fotu DL-Utah
    Rd 4 Terrance Steele OT-Texas Tech
    Rd 5 Ben Cleveland G-UGA
    Rd 6 AJ Dillon RB- BC
    Rd 7 Derek Adams P-Kent State

    Derrick Henry/Melvin Gordon
    Bryan Bulaga

  20. SammyRebel Says:

    I like where your head is Joe don’t listen to all the naysayers who complain complain complain, Dotson is done over finished, guy can barely walk, bring in Bulaga on a 3 year deal we need someone of his caliber on the right side, or I’ve honestly thought we go after Scherff from Washington and slide Cappa to tackle which is his natural position

  21. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Gee…the good teams draft good linemen…the Bucs pick over the end of the road scratch and dent players….watch the lineups this weekend

  22. Allbuccedup Says:

    Sign Dotson one year 3.5 mil then draft a couple of O-lineman. Keep adding youth.

  23. ClodHopper Says:

    Them Hawkeyes make for some mighty fine oline men.

  24. dceswild78 Says:

    just a thought perhaps develop a lineman and stop overpaying for used tires

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    signing him would be good IF it was a 1 or 2 year deal while also drafting a OT early….

    let the rookie battle, develop and learn from the vets….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  26. Billy_45 Says:

    There might be 3 OL ranked in the top 10, but no way they all get drafted there.
    This is good for the Bucs either way, because should they happen to get taken before us, that leaves some mighty fine players available.

    I for one believe we should take Thomas, Wirfs, or Wills whoever is available with the #1 pick.

    Wouldn’t be disappointed with Delpit though.

  27. 813bucboi Says:


    I AGREE….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  28. Noles Says:

    Cut Jensen

    draft C & RT I in 1st 2 rds

    Use Jensen $ to sign a Vet CB or Safety or both in FA

    & yes bring the D back. I believe NASSIB is the most replaceable amongst them

  29. Noles Says:

    I don’t hate the Delpit pick but a lot has made this year about his unwillingness to tackle & if that is a concern NOW that makes me very worried.

    You cannot play S if you don’t like to tackle….. Am I missing something here…

  30. Joe joe jr. Says:

    He lives in Sarasota , Fl, in the off-season.

  31. mark2001 Says:

    I’ve watched this guy alot. When baby Beluga is healthy, he is a force to be dealt with. But sadly, for the last few years, he is hurt every year he plays with the Packers. Just saying.

  32. kyle Hoge Says:

    The packers wont let him leave anyway… just off season click bait. With all of our current players and upcoming draft picks that need to be resigned/signed, I find it amusing that the joes are writing articles about a 8 to 9 million dollar 30 year old tackle. Dont we already have the most expensive and over rated line in the nfl?

    We need to draft the best available guy at 14 and focus on the line in round 2 and 3. From what i understand, the rb class is deep and a quality back will be available in the 4th. Just sayn

  33. geno711 Says:

    I hear as Kyle Hoge just said that the Packers wont let him leave.
    There is a greater chance that the Titans let Jack Conklin leave.

    Interesting stat I saw today.
    Besides Jameis 7 pick sixes, the Bucs turnovers allowed 15 other drives to start on their 30 yard line or closer.

    NO OTHER TEAM ALLOWED MORE THAN 11. Get that again. We were not only worse in our scoring defense because of the 7 pick-sixes but also because of the 15 not 5 not even 10 but 15 times we allowed a team to start on our side of our 30 yard line.

    Who’s ever fault that was it needs to be cleaned up if we want to go to the playoffs.

    If the Titans get to the Super Bowl do they thank Jameis Winston?
    The early snap off Winston’s helmet that gave the ball to them at the Buc’s 10 yard line. Then the pick by Malcolm Butler that gave the ball to Tennessee at the Buc’s 6 yard line.

    All of a sudden, Tennessee has 14 points and the Buc’s defense has given up 14 points. It must be because the Buc’s have a horrible defense and Tennessee has a great running game.

    Or maybe there are a lot of ways to win in this league and even more ways to lose in this league.

    I think we need to worry about how we can win with a better running game. Yes try to get a better tackle, yes try to get a better running back.

    But we need to worry a hell of a lot more about the ways we continue to lose games.

  34. LordCornelius Says:


    Good points.

    In general the defense did suck atrociously the first 1/2 of the season though. I ran the math midway and even you assumed every turnover resulted in scores for the other team, and adjusted those points out, we were still only like the 23rd or 24th best scoring defense, and that would be with ZERO points off offensive turnovers factored in which isn’t the case for any team.

    The defense / secondary all came together down the stretch and to me those last 2 games are where I was super disappointed with Winston in addition to week 1 and the Carolina game in London. He single handily lost all those games and just average to below average game manager QB play = 5-0 those games.

    His stats don’t make up for giving up 5+ games with turnovers to me. I’d say the only games he kind of single handidly had to overcome the defense being horrible for wins were the Rams win / Cardinals win. Could have possibly been the Seahawks and that’s about it.

    The Panther win was on the D
    Falcons/Jags/Colts/Lions were all complimentary team wins. You can say the Colts win was a huge Jameis win but he spotted the other team 10 points immediately lol.

  35. LordCornelius Says:

    meant 4 and 4+ not 5* games he single handily lost that should have been wins

  36. LordCornelius Says:

    So to tally

    7 wins:

    1 win by the defense overcoming the offense
    2 wins where the offense overcame the defense
    4 complimentary football wins

    9 losses:

    4 games lost single handily because of Winston turnovers or bad play
    1 game lost single handily because the defense couldn’t stop anyone (Seattle)
    1 game lost on a missed kick
    3 team losses (Saints x2 / Titans)

  37. BucEmUp Says:

    Someone mentioned they may consider moving Cappa to right tackle and pickup or draft a guard. Everyone wrote off Cappa and the guy was playing with a broken arm. I believe Bruce will get it right.

    I just wish Leftwich would learn how to run the ball without screaming to the defense from the sideline “HEY WE BOUT TO RUN THE BALL D!!!!!!”

  38. Aaron Says:

    Id like to draft an OT that can play right tackle for a year and then flip him over to the right the year after. Then we can get out of that contract

    We can let Jensen go without cap issue…and draft a center.

  39. Aaron Says:

    Flip over to the left side

  40. TDTB Says:

    Kinlaw, Kinlaw, Kinlaw. If he’s there that needs to be rd 1 pick. Rd 2 is OT from Auburn, Louisville, USC or Oregon. One of them should be there. Cam Akers in Rd 3. Runyon Rd 4 or the center from Texas. If they aren’t there trade down. Keep trading down until there is a butt load of picks in Rd’s 6 and 7. Lots of talent will be down there in WR, Safety, and DL groups.

  41. Buczilla Says:

    The draft is your friend. We are already overpaying for above average at best Marpet, Dotson, and Jensen. Teams go ape sh!t in free agency for even average tackles, so Bulaga won’t come cheap. Pass.

  42. catcard202 Says:

    Everything depends on what happens between now & Free Agency…As the FO has numerous high stakes franchise defining decisions to consider before getting too far along in the off-season.

    Need the Bucs brain-trust to solve top 8 priorities before the dinner bell rings & then see where you are w/ the CAP after….Figure out direction associated with JW3 / Shaq / JPP / Nassib / Suh / Perriman / Dotson / Barbour…How many come back & at what cost?? Then dial in on FA’s that fill specific roles, as soon as they hit the FA market.

    If the FO can do that, the Bucs should be setting pretty & well aligned on what needs to occur in the draft.

    What looks like a problem area today, could be a roster strength before heading to Indy for the Combine & a week of underwear FB.

  43. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I saw where Bulaga’s market value is guessed to be at over $10 million, Jack Conklin at $15 million. My guess would be a lower level FA such as Halapoulivaati Vaitai of Philly or Dennis Kelly of the Titans, and maybe a 4th or 5th Round pick used on an O-Lineman. Not too exciting, but this would let us resign most of our defensive players.

  44. jjbucsfan Says:

    LC- not gonna put the Falcons loss on Matt Gay? 0/3. Never should have gone to OT. I get it ultimately JW lost it in the end but at least put that in a neutral column.

    So here is my recap-

    Even with ALL of JWs turnovers… Finish 7-9- 2 games better than the previous year with a new offensive system and a new defensive system.

    8-8 if Gay hits the 30 harder against the Giants
    9-7 if Gay hits just 1 of 3 FGs against the Falcons in the finale
    10-6 (and the playoffs) if the Referees don’t steal the game from us with 2 minutes left on a play that was a point of emphasis for them to let the plays run out.
    11-5 if the defense doesn’t fold in the second half and the coin toss goes our way against Seattle.

    The point to this is not the ifs ands and buts because every team can say this. The point is that we were 1 play away in those 4 games from the playoffs. All of this with JWs turnovers.

    The real truth is that the defense sucked out loud for 10-11 games (and really stepped it up the last 5-6 which is encouraging for next year).

    Our offensive line really sucks and is extremely overpaid. Don’t try to throw stupid stats at me, i watch every minute of every game and then re-watch them when I calm down. We cannot run the ball which makes us a 1 dimensional offense. When we try to run, there is no innovation, the formations make it known we are running and our RBs are being hit behind the line or having to change the direction of the play and are getting blown up. RoJo busted about 4 or 5 20+ yard runs and every one of them was called back for a penalty on our O-line early in the year. They do a fair job of pass blocking but of the time JW is running for his life by the time he hits the top of his 5-7 step drop required in this offense. They are so bad, we have to keep our RB and TEs (2 huge weapons in our offense) in the backfield to help our o-line.

    We lost our 2 top receivers for 2-3 weeks and still couldn’t feature our TEs

    Our slot receivers sucked for essentially 15 or 16 games. Permian really broke out when Evans went down with his hammy. Bobo couldn’t do the job, Permian couldn’t do it ( in the slot), Miller couldn’t do it, Watson was in WR exile most of the year.

    Our ST were atrocious, Bobo kept fumbling, though if you watch, he never had a clean area to catch the ball, our blocking of the gunners and the rest of the punting team was disgusting. Our KR liked to take the ball out 3 yards deep and get tackled at the 10 because we can’t block.

    All of this and we improved 2 games and were a playoff contender. If we were in the AFC, we may have made the playoffs, LOL (just kidding).

    Why the F do you people want to get rid of JW the we are so close to turning the corner. He never threw more than 18 INTs in a season prior to this, his contract year. Think he was pressing a little? If you think JW lost us the playoffs this season- you just don’t really watch the entirety of the games. He is just the easy mark.

  45. AwShbucs Says:

    I’d drop Dotson, Brate, and Beau Allen if it meant we would sign Jack Conklin.

    A good oline can control the entire game. Its a position group worth investing significant resources in. Adding a piece like Conklin would not only serve to be a marked upgrade at RT, but would also free up a premium draft pick.

    By my evaluation, the 5 most pressing needs that must be addressed in this offseason are at Right Tackle (Dotson is trending downward and ain’t getting any younger), Edge Rusher (you can never have too many), Running Back (Peyton Barber and Dare should not be on the team in 2020), Safety (Justin who?), and DT (Suh’s eventual replacement/ Beau Allen’s immediate replacement).

  46. Joe in Michigan Says:

    It’d be great to get Jack Conklin, if we can fit him in the budget. I remember there was talk of us taking him in the 1st Round in 2016, Titans traded up in front of us to get him. The further that Tennessee goes in the playoffs probably increases the chances of Conklin resigning there, IMO.

  47. Mord Says:

    There’s no way they’re going to sign a high dollar veteran to address this problem. There are too many other needs, and too many veteran, high dollar lineman up there already. It’s going to be a drafted player, both to start at a lower cost, and to diversify the age portfolio on that line

  48. TOM Says:

    Dotson at 3.5 mil. No friggin way. How about 1.7mi. or forget it.

  49. RustyRhinos Says:

    Over and over we hear the Joe’s say we can’t run block, we need a better running game so our Franchise QB can finally get it. And you post this as a potential FA signing! “Like Dotson, Bulaga is well known for his pass blocking.” So how exactly is a signing of yet another old Olinemen going to help this team in the future? Bring in a Young Olinemen preferably a RT who can play LT if need be. Who can Run block real well and pass block real well? Or does the Massive coaching staff not want to train their replacements players. What a crock of crap. Coach or get off the sidelines.