The Return Of Ryan Smith

March 27th, 2020


When Joe watched free agent cornerback Ryan Smith walk out of the Bucs locker room in January, his belongings shoved into a plastic trash bag draped over his shoulder, Joe thought surely that would be the last time Joe would see the veteran corner.

But word from Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports suggests otherwise. It seems the Bucs are nearing a deal to bring embattled Smith back.

Smith got off to a rotten deal with the Bucs and never quite recovered. Well, he’s never recovered, honestly. A good special teams player, Smith has struggled at cornerback, to be polite. And safety. And corner. And kick returner. And safety.

Smith was drafted as a corner and after a few weeks with Mike Smith as his defensive coordinator, the elder Smith concluded, no, Ryan Smith was a safety.

Then after Smith didn’t see the field at safety, the veteran NFL coach decided, no, Ryan Smith is a corner. (Meanwhile, Dirk Koetter thought Smith was a kick returner and he was the worst in the NFL.)

Joe is convinced the younger Smith never got on track as a result.

So for Bucs fans who wanted a veteran corner, here he is.

43 Responses to “The Return Of Ryan Smith”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You’ve got to have guys like this on the roster…..good depth…..good ST player……not expensive…….probably a good attitude….& like Joe’s favorite……Dare….he works hard….

  2. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Hes always getting burnt in coverage.

  3. Marine Buc Says:

    @ tbbf

    I agree. Solid depth, already knows the system, cheap and a hard worker. Also will play special teams.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    Will OT Dotson be re-signed? Or is he retiring?

  5. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Dudes… hes the best punt team gunner in the NFL

  6. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Are we even sure Carlton Davis and Jamal Dean are good? It’s insane that we’re gonna go into new season without any FA help and two question marks at CB. Oh and where are the safeties?

  7. Robert Says:

    he just needs a couple more years to mature. lol

    seriously, never thought he got a decent shot in a decent system. now that they have something down he might settle in.

  8. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    As a depth player, Ryan Smith is a pretty good player. We can’t afford to have Grade A players at every position much less as a backup player.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    “Look at the sheets! Smith be ballin’ on ST…” 😉

  10. WestChap Says:

    Ok to have one special teamer extraordinaire who isn’t going to ever really play D. Some of those punts downed inside the 5 are masterpieces.

  11. Easy Says:

    He is by far our best gunner and a special teams ace. We need guys like him.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Solid move. Ryan was excellent as a special teamer IMO, and has improved as a CB too. Glad to have him back.

    Now time to add a veteran Qb, a veteran Safety to pair with Whitehead, and maybe a veteran OLineman after that if money allows.

  13. Pryda...sec147 Says:

    How does this pos stay on the roster smh this team is going to be blown up if they don’t win

  14. mike10 Says:

    Every time I see the name Ryan Smith, I have to go back and pull our 2016 draft class.
    If you would have told me then, that he would be the only player still on this team 4 years later… 😂

    Joe – you really need to pay mention to that every time Smith’s name comes up because it’s really an anomaly at this point that he’s still around:
    – America’s Cornerback
    – The guy we did not have to trade up in the 2nd round for
    – Sole survivor of the XFL futures draft

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    great signing….

    great depth…great ST player….

    ive been saying since DEC…

    consistency is key….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  16. LordCornelius Says:

    At some point in 2018 he was like our best corner lol. I don’t mind this too much for a 4th or 5th stringer

  17. SirClicksAlot Says:

    This is a great move because he has pro bowl potential on ST. His flexibility on D means he’s good insurance for the starters, being able to hop in wherever needed. He won’t scare any offenses, especially in coverage, but his run d and tackling is sound. Hopefully the plan is have him on the bench until a kicker comes out on the field.

  18. Marine Buc Says:

    @ defense

    Hey bud you were right about the salary cap numbers. It’s only the top 51 contract amounts not 53. We do have a few more million left on the cap.

  19. Dontworry45 Says:

    Stop play on Ryan Smith Name. great re-sign

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    But we still do t have $22.9 million. That is not correct.

  21. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says:
    “Are we even sure Carlton Davis and Jamal Dean are good?”


    They sure look it, man. Carlton Davis completely SHUT DOWN DeAndre Hopkins in Tampa.. and he, Dean & Murphy-Bunting ALL showed great signs towards the end of the year.

  22. Jmarkbuc Says:

    If this secondary does become something, Jason Licht will look like a genius.


  23. 813bucboi Says:


    if we get to the playoffs, licht will look like a genius…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  24. JimmyJack Says:

    Oh yeah baby!!! Freak yeah!! This dude is a weapon on STs. Great signing. He might be the best Gunner the Bucs have ever had. Absolutely elite at that one small and overlooked job.
    It’s an important role. Little jobs like his are ones that great teams excel at.

    Not saying we are great or nothing but this very much is a piece to the puzzle.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Marine Buc….I just looked it up right quick. We got 22M

  26. Anthony Dickson Says:

    I like Ryan Smith, a good athlete that never got a true chance to develop at one position. I’m rooting for him.

  27. AtlBUCS Says:

    He is an absolute missle as a gunner om special teams. Very Valuable. If he can get some time in at corner, that will be great!

  28. geno711 Says:

    JimmyJack – I think we have much less than 22 million left in salary cap. I don’t think that 22 million includes Suh’s contract number.

  29. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^^ Uh oh, Day 2 of the “Math Wars” is about to begin!

  30. Anonymous Says:

    would like a vet but no cap space… Davis scares me

  31. Clearwater Wes Says:

    Ridiculous, they drafted him to convert into a safety and that didn’t work out so they put him back at corner were he gets toasted all the time. I was hoping we would get some new blood possibly a veteran CB who was good in the past and had a little left in the tank that could help the young guys. Pray the starters do not get hurt.

  32. Adrnagy Says:

    You’re a joke !

    What about Winston ?

    Robert Says:
    March 27th, 2020 at 12:35 pm
    he just needs a couple more years to mature. lol

    seriously, never thought he got a decent shot in a decent system. now that they have something down he might settle in.

  33. WhatTheBuc Says:

    You guys get too hung up on the fact that he is listed as a CB. He’s a specialist. He can play corner in a pinch but he’s a gunner. Matthew Slater is listed as a WR for new England. When was the last ti.e he lined up at receiver? Smith is one of the fastest guys on the team. You need speed on special teams and you don’t want your starters covering kicks.

  34. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    After Suh and the $8M devoted for the draft picks, I think we have less than 6M left.

  35. Brad Says:

    If we really expect to be a playoff team then you should know we can’t be last on Special teams coverage. Come in Joe. They’re not bringing him in to play corner.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Why? He’s awful.

    If it’s only for special teams, then OK – but he should never EVER see the field as a defensive player.

  37. Marine Buc Says:

    @ demon


    $22.9 million does not account for Suh, Nunez-Roaches or Smith signings.

    We should have around $13 million left under the cap before we sign our draft picks.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Estimating the cap, the Bucs should have around $5m-6m left, but they can create more money if they want. Lavonte David’s deal is up after this season, so if they wanted to extend him, they could do so now and do what they never do, which is give a big signing bonus and backload the yearly salary. That is the first obvious place to create cash in my mind. Also they could go back to Evans and do something, his salary is $18m this season, but I think drops to $13m next season. So there is money there, I think, if they wanted to juggle something things.

    In any case there is always ways to create money if teams to want to create money. Yes, you kick the can down the road, but who cares — the team is all-in right now. You don’t dump your young gunslinger QB and get Tom Brady if you’re not trying to win a SB right now. So if Licht wants to get someone, there’s plenty of ways to create cash today.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    Great ST player. Once again another great college press CB brought into the Smitty-cushion scheme. Hopefully Bowels tighter secondary can help make him better depth as well or hopefully All-Pro.

    My question is any kind of time period when Justin Evans will be able to put a toe on the field?

  40. Dapostman Says:

    Ryan Smith = Josh Robinson

    If you can stick around and get paid for 6 NFL seasons well good on ya.

  41. QBKilla Says:

    I seriously hope that we’re bringing him back for special teams ONLY.

  42. Grant Mimay Says:

    I think we have between $17-18M in cap space.

  43. Brandon Says:

    Fine with him as our 4th or 5th CB and special teams gunner.