Championship Depth

May 15th, 2020

Any gas left in this tank?

One thing Uncle Ira, Pro Football Hall of Fame voter Ira Kaufman, spoke about in his recent pod is he’s uncomfortable with the Bucs’ defensive depth.

Hey, if you have star players at many skill positions, depth may be an issue.

Uncle Ira isn’t the lone person thinking about depth at linebacker. So too is Matt Bowen and Field Yates of BSPN. In a recent article trying to find the best fits for the best free agents still on the street, both Bowen and Yates think LB Clay Matthews could work well with Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Matt Bowen: They don’t have a desperate need here with starters Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul rushing off the edge. But Matthews could find a role as a rotational player, where Todd Bowles schemes him up to get some one-on-one rushes.

Field Yates: Their top two edge rushers are locked in, with Pierre-Paul and 2019 sack-king Barrett, but Matthews would provide some much-needed depth.

The key here would be what the Bucs think of Anthony Nelson. Now entering his second year, Nelson battled injuries as a rookie and had just one splash play, a forced fumble. Can Nelson stay healthy enough to last a full season with more work? Remember, he was behind Carl Nassib on the depth chart in 2019.

Also, there is the special teams factor. Joe learned years ago that with few exceptions (outside of quarterback), if a player cannot start and cannot play special teams, he’s a bubble guy at best.

Starting 13 games for the Rams last year, Matthews had his best year since 2014 as he racked up eight sacks. So it seems Matthews’ tank isn’t completely empty.

Joe is unsure Matthews can play special teams. At least Matthews, 34, is a veteran of some 15 playoff games and has a ring. So if the Bucs really are shooting for the Super Bowl, Matthews’ postseason experience sure would come in handy.

40 Responses to “Championship Depth”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    Ronde Barber played special teams his entire career – there’s literally no reason that vets can’t and shouldn’t be counted on to do that.

    In any case, the Brady effect is supposed to be getting guys who want to play here, who will sign those absurd vet min contracts to play for a title. The only question should be – does he make the team better this season — if the answer is yes, then sign him.

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

    I watched Rondi knocked silly on a ST tackle late in his career….for regular sized human being he was ONE TOUGH MoFo !!!!!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Where is the money?

  4. AwshBucs Says:

    Restructure a contract or 2, add Matthews and Everson Griffin or Jadeveon Clowney.

    We’d be cooking with gas and our young secondary would FEAST upon errant throws made by QB’s under constant duress.

    EFFECT THE QB WITH PRESSURE AND YOU WIN GAMES! Point blank period. Cmon Jason Licht do your due diligence and fiduciary responsibility and build a SB roster!

  5. SOEbuc Says:


    Right? Our front seven is top five and we got Divinity to possibly be good back up at OLB. Spend less money on a really cheap vet OG for a year that was good in their time.

  6. Joe Says:


    Joe happened to glance quickly at your username and for a split second, thought it read “AmishBucs.”

    An Amish person commenting on would be, um, different.

  7. Rojas Says:

    I’ll take Everson Griffin

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Any cash we can free up needs to go to Godwin first…..then if any is left over we can talk about some FAs…..

    So far there have been suggestions (many from Joe)

    Vet RB, S, CB, Better Backup QB, now LB……

    Like I said, where’s the money?

  9. Joe Says:

    Any cash we can free up needs to go to Godwin first

    Why? Godwin is signed for this season already.

    Pass up on a guy for depth that had eight sacks last year to give cash to a guy already under contract? Odd priorities.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Because it will be far more expensive to wait with Godwin……give him more money this year and save some later……sign him now for future years…..
    As you know this is standard operating procedure and is done all the time especially with good players.

  11. Allbuccedup Says:

    If Matthews wants too much their is always Brooks Reed same age used to being a rotational player at half the price.

  12. Bird Says:

    I have been pulling for this guy for weeks
    Good leader
    Super bowl winner
    Hard worker

    And im sure he wants another chance at a title
    He played for 4 mil last year so that is top end and cheap for a guy with 8 sacks in 13 games

    We can maneuver 3 -4 mil

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    They’ve already said awhile ago that the Godwin money is in place and that doesn’t sound like a lie for keeping one of the top, 24 year old WR in the NFL. Especially if he and we do well this year, there’s gonna be a lot of guys willing to take some sort of cut to help

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You heard it here first…..NFL teams can open Tuesday…….if local Governments permit……

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    AmishBucs? Hahaha

    I loved Clay Matthews at USC (my college team), but this video from the Pat McAfee made me wonder what he has left:

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    But players can’t practice until all other teams can…..

  17. Jeffbuc Says:

    Tampabaybucfan listen up just cause over the cap says we have 3 million left. That doesn’t mean we’re done. If teams need money they rework deals and make it happen. Money is not an issue. Look at the saints they were up against the cap. They signed brees,Winston and hill this offseason. Made there guard the highest paid in the league. They signed Emmanuel Sanders Ty Montgomery and Malcolm Jenkins. How did they do that. By reworking bloated contrasts. There is money if we need it. We could free up 15 million by reworking 2 deals. So relax with the with what money.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The $10 mil for Gronk was not planned or expected…..and……I don’t think it’s a good idea….just because Godwin is under contract for 2020……to allow him to become a FA…..he needs to be signed this year…with an increase which will save money in future years…..

    i do suspect that there can be some restructuring to free up cap space…..

  19. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Dang, NFL going to vote Tues on a proposal if a team hires a minority they move up in the draft? Insane!

  20. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Godwin will get his a lot of money will free up after this off-season. I do feel they need to add more vets. Mathews wouldn’t be bad at all either as a rotation player for JPP who could use the rest and Barrett which would be a great idea to keep him preserved in a contract and minimize our opponents opportunities to game plan for him. Mathews and JPP coming off the edge on blitzing downs would be huge. D. White would also be continuing to be brought along all while still being a starter just as Vea has. I still feel they should sign Peters to play RT, move D. Smith to RG and let the obvious more athletic Wirfs be our LT of the future. We definitely need to sign Peters, Reid, and Mathews. Freeman would be great as well for the all in approach. They all should sign 1yr $4mil costing $16. I feel we will free that much up just in roster cuts.

  21. Bird Says:


    Again , we really dont have money to spend but we can on a limited minor contract. . We can move around money.

    If you could bring in 1 free agent ? Who is it?

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    Here we go again because the Bucs can never do enough and not only should they have top ten starters at every position they should pay starter money to backups too. Yea because if we have a 53 man roster full of starters we are done, no other teams wait until there’s a significant injury to go out and sign or vet or trade for one so let’s forget playoffs or a winning season because our reserves are unproven lol so uh why would he come here knowing he’d only play if someone gets injured?

  23. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    I think the Bucs will make one more impact signing but will wait for prices to fall to rock bottom.

  24. Buczilla Says:

    Sign him! Then sign Devonta Freeman Licht! If we are truly chasing a Super Bowl this year, then $ should not be an issue. Salary cap be damned Licht, just make it work.

  25. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Of all of the remaining FA’s, I’d like for the Bucs to sign Jason Peters most of all. Let the O-Linemen battle it out for starting positions, making the depth stronger, as well.
    Personally, I’d rather see a young guy win a spot behind our edge rushers. The Pat McAfee Show had an episode where they were talking about the Rams not paying Clay Matthews a bonus on time, one of the possible reasons given was the Rams weren’t happy with his effort towards the end.
    Eric Reid (mentioned above) would be a no IMHO, he’s a box safety, the Bucs run defense is already good, he’s only had 1 INT in the last 2 years. Again, I’d roll with the young guys we already have at Safety.

  26. Coburn Says:

    Dewey… Nothing surprised me these days. Can’t hirr based on a person’s merit right?

  27. David Says:

    There are two positions that need depth – edge rusher and running back. You could say o line but every o line always needs depth.
    He would be good as a rotational player but I’m just not sure they can afford him.

  28. WhoCares Says:

    Ok I have been waiting long enough to hear or read it but no one has.

    Whats the odds Brady would throw a pick 6 to end his NE career and than chose to come to pick 6 City?

    Just saying. The fix is in one way or another.

    You hears it here first folks.

    Where you at Realist?

  29. Joe Says:

    If you could bring in 1 free agent ? Who is it?

    Devonta Freeman.

  30. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Devonta Freeman averaged 3.6 yards per carry last year. What was Peyton Barber’s yards per carry for his career? The same, 3.6. Freeman averaged 6.9 yards per catch, which seems to be below average IMHO. To me, Ke’Shawn Vaughn is the pass catching/3rd Down back.

  31. adam from ny Says:

    matthews really is the perfect fit…


    you don’t win championships without depth and relying on an unproven anthony nelson…

    you go get matthews for depth, and if nelson pans out, you’re deep af and that’s like icing on the cake…

    then by midseason coaches and brass aren’t sweating running players into the ground, and can rotate and rest guys a bit here and there to nurse injuries and have them in top flight condition going into the playoffs…



  32. Troll Says:

    terrible ideal ..he will want more than he will be used in a reserve role. If he’ll settle for the veteran minimum then maybe we can talk turkey but to spend that much money on what a player had done in the prime “and” in a minimized role is just a waste of money.

  33. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Keep in mind that the NFL’s leading sacker last year was an undrafted free agent at one time. That same guy will be teaching his moves to a young guy. I’m not against adding Clay Matthews, though.

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe in Michigan – Freeman averaged 3.6ypc in Dirk’s offense, that’s like 4.5ypc in the rest of the league. Also, who cares about the average, the guy is a vet, can catch the ball and can pass block. The Bucs have a good rushing RB in Jones, they still need a proven 3rd down back who can catch and block – and Freeman is a 3 down guy.

    It would be a great pickup.

    In any case all these guys should be veteran minimum guys – or close to it.

  35. George Rauh Says:

    Joe i agree Freeman should be brought in.

  36. Hodad Says:

    California is talking about staying closed for another three months! New York isn’t in any hurry to open up. If we’re waiting for every state that has a pro team to open up we either won’t have a season, or at least five teams won’t be ready to play this year. So the NFL will have to go to court to fight the stay at home bands, or just ignore the order like other states have. If we had a national date where all states were to open it would be simple they all open at once. What we have now is a confused country. Some states treating this like a severe cold, others acting like it’s the zombie end of days, and hiding in the closet till there’s a cure. Either way, the NFL is in a tough fight with some states if they want to have a season this year.

  37. stpetebucsfan Says:


    The NFL is already working on contingency plans. The players cannot practice until ALL teams can practice. That’s obviously the only fair thing the league can do. But notice it didn’t say the teams had to practice in their home facilities. No reason the New York/NJ teams won’t come to Florida for an NFL version of “Spring training”.

    As far as the games…they too may be moved. I saw a story yesterday where UF has signed off on leasing Florida Field to the NFL for games. We haven’t even talked about college ball…they are the ones with seasons in serious jeopardy.

    The only jeopardy IMHO for the NFL at this point is if a Covid breakout occurred on a team much as MRSA wrecked the Bucs.

    How will the NFL police their players off hours? Will they “recommend” a form of shelter in place. EVERY player and ALL of their contacts represent exposure to multi billion dollar businesses. Money views things differently than politics and in the end money always wins out!

    What if the experts are correct…nah not the experts but the guys who have spent their entire lives studying the subject…and the virus comes back strong again in the fall? Not getting political and predicting…just askin’.

  38. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Speaking of college ball on an NFL blog. If they lose their seasons what happens to their astronomical athletic department budgets?

    Do the coaches still get their MILLIONS? The players should certainly maintain their scholarships and the chance to progress toward a degree.

    There will be HUGE…I MEAN HUGE budgetary gaps in University Athletic Departments if they have to cancel the cash cow this year.

    TBBF was the first to point out that the $$$ probably mean we’ll have an NFL season..too much on the line.

    There is a difference however…the NFL is a business…show me the money and that’s the American way.

    Universities are “supposed” be institutions of higher learning not football factories.

    OK stop laughing it’s why I put “supposed” in quotes. Their games are “extracurricular” activities designed not to make money but to “enhance” the student experience for athletes, fans and grads.

    What justification will all of our “Institutions of Higher Learning” use to conduct a football season?

  39. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Think about it. The Falcons cut Freeman to sign a guy with a bum knee (Todd Gurley).

  40. TOM Says:

    Like the idea of getting an experienced LB like Matthews. Do it BA. Also would consider Carlos Hyde.