Pressure Mounts

August 13th, 2020

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

This Bucs season sort of has a Vegas feel to it.

Even when you save a bunch of cash, you just know that maybe six or eight weeks later when your credit card bill comes in after a trip to Vegas — WHAM! — reality hits. Time for lonely weekend nights on the couch eating mac and cheese out of a box while watching “American Pickers.”

Hope that blonde you met from Tuscon at the Lift Bar in Aria was worth it.

And Joe believes Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht may get hit with the same problem. No, not the chick from Tuscon or the painful night at the blackjack table. But the bills.

The Bucs are currently on a sugar high with a stacked roster of legends, future Hall of Famers, Pro Bowlers and talented young players. The team openly talks about making a run for the Super Bowl, which happens to be scheduled for February in Tampa at the Den of Depression.

But come a few short weeks after that, the cold slap of reality will blast Licht’s face, square in the grill.

Former NFL agent Joel Corry, typing for CBS Sports, believes no team will be under more pressure in the 2021 offseason than the Bucs — to keep a bunch of young studs looking to get paid.

The Buccaneers are in win-now mode with 43-year-old Tom Brady coming to Tampa on a fully-guaranteed two-year, $50 million deal (worth a maximum of $59 million through incentives) in this year’s free agency. Just like the Chargers with [Hunter] Henry, extending the contract of edge rusher Shaquil Barrett, who led the NFL with 19.5 sacks in 2019, isn’t an option right now since he was designated as franchise player.

Wide receiver Chris Godwin had a breakout 2019 season in which he caught 86 passes for 1,333 receiving yards with nine touchdowns despite missing the final two games with a hamstring injury. He was named to his first Pro Bowl and earned second team All-Pro honors. There isn’t a deal to be made with Godwin if he doesn’t easily surpass Mike Evans as Tampa Bay’s highest-paid wide receiver. Evans signed a five-year extension in 2018 averaging $16.5 million per year with $55.008 million in guarantees.

Lavonte David, 30, may be the NFL’s most underappreciated off-ball linebacker. He is in the final year of five-year, $50.25 million extension he signed in 2015. The going rate for a Pro Bowl-caliber three-down off-ball linebacker is $13 million to $15 million per year. Former Buccaneer Kwon Alexander signed a four-year deal with the 49ers in 2019 free agency averaging $13.5 million per year, although he had torn the ACL in his left knee during the middle of 2018 season.

Imagine that, good ol’ Kwon Alexander coming back (in a manner of speaking) to haunt the Bucs. That is peak #ItsABucsLife.

In the article, Corry projects the 2021 salary cap to be at $175 million. Per, this year’s salary cap is at $198 million.

So in an offseason where the Bucs have big salaries to meet (Corry didn’t mention tight end O.J. Howard), the team would likely have to scrape $23 million off the top. And that’s before re-signing Shaq, Godwin, Howard and/or David.

Joe is fairly certain this is a one-year, go-for-broke season for the Bucs.

Names potentially not in a Bucs uniform next year if the Bucs have to whittle $23 million worth of salaries and pay Godwin top-receiver money:

David, who will be 31 in January. How many over-30 linebackers do you see getting a massive payday?
Ndamukong Suh.
Rob Gronkowski.
Ryan Jensen.
Jason Pierre-Paul.
Donovan Smith.

Joe is not advocating any of those guys hitting the road. Joe is just pointing out that Licht may have very tough decisions to make after the season. It’s not an enviable task.

Just like the trip to Vegas, enjoy this season to its fullest, Bucs fans. It should be a blast.

And the offseason in 2021? It may cause acid reflux. Next offseason looks like the biggest football hangover Bucs fans will have to deal with in a long time.

You might have to fly someone in from Tuscon to help smooth your way over the hump.

37 Responses to “Pressure Mounts”

  1. Cannon Says:

    How about we just ignore the cap for a year. Give everyone a mulligan due to a pandemic influenced season.

    Hey, one can hope, right?

  2. Ndog Says:

    It’s almost as if signing a guy who was 17 years younger and had the exact same QBR last year might have been a good idea to spread out money over a longer contract to help keep other players, huh I wonder why I heard that idea before? Oh well future be damned who cares.

  3. Joe Says:

    Hey, one can hope, right?

    NFL/NFLPA spent weeks negotiating this. The salary cap was set to drop this year. So initially, before Brady ever put on a Bucs practice jersey the Bucs would have had to slash the roster.

    As part of the agreement, the salary cap was not lowered this year but instead, spread out for the next three years.

  4. Pok Says:

    If the cap drops for everyone and every team, the market rate drops for players. It doesn’t always have to go up. Just look at my 2020 401k. The projection is a 12% haircut- for how long? Dudes may want short term deals until the cap grows again, or the owners will have to spend a little bit more of their enormous fortunes and cover some of those costs to keep the cap rising like it should. Poor things, that’s like at least a couple fewer Picasso paintings, you know feed the family and what not.

  5. Nick2 Says:

    This is definitely an all in year. Hopefully Tyler Johnson pans out in case Godwin becomes too expensive to keep although his injury is a problem now. Keeping Shaq is a whole problem in itself but he might lower his sack totals enough to be affordable but still effective. I say draft a new center Jensen is a luxury and either draft a new left tackle or move Wirfs there. There will definitely be a roster upheaval in 2021 like i said this is an all in year. The beauty is if we catch fire with Brady and he stays one or two more years FA’s will be begging to come to Tampa.

  6. Youngbucs Says:

    No ndog it’s the opposite honestly we should be in win now mode. Not paying winston and waiting on dreaded potential. Others have to be payed nfl teams come across small windows to be stacked. Yea let’s keep waiting on winston to figure it out while we lose key players.

  7. Buczilla Says:

    As much as I like David, it’s easier to find good linebackers through the draft than pass rushers (doubly so when you consider what Licht is good at). Jensen can be replaced through the draft as well as Suh. Howard is not good, so he’s gotta go. I’m keeping everyone else if I’m Licht.

  8. Youngbucs Says:

    Y’all wanna put this 1 player above the whole team. Without holding him accountable it’s insane why the pass for him. Every can lose they job he’s no exception!!!!!!

  9. Youngbucs Says:


  10. Nick2 Says:

    Kwan has not been missed PFF (I know you loathe them Joe) had Kwan as one of the highest missed tackle linebackers in the league his last year here. Between Kwan and (i have no biceps to tackle) McCoy its no wonder we have turned our run defense around dramatically.

  11. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Almost every team will be in the same predicament and will have to be creative to sign their own players. Player’s salaries will be reduced next year, especially those over 30. I imagine the Bucs will not resign a few good players such as Suh, Gronkowski, Lavonte and McCoy, unless they play for a lot less. Howard will be traded unless he has an explosive year.

    No way BA departs with Ryan Jensen, Donovan Smith and Godwin. JPP will stay if he has an outstanding year.

  12. bucsfan951 Says:

    i thank god the bucs finally got rid of that bum JW. i believe he is a cancer in the locker room. you just cant build a winning team around that dude.

    when a player eats his fingers or says he uses google to learn the qb position, that is a recipe for disaster. imagine, 5 years in and he says he uses google to learn the game. what a moronic comment to say.

    i prefer my qbs use yahoo over google!- 951

  13. Bobby M. Says:

    Lots of restructuring and a few trades….possibly even trading back in the draft. All ways to slash payroll. If the kid from Minnesota shows promise, maybe they tag and trade Godwin. If we go deep in the playoffs, you’ll find better bargains on talent that either wants to stay or will sign for a lesser price.

  14. Pewter Power Says:

    Suh was taking forever to resign I doubt he’s on the books next year and we can find a center just like the Saints keep doing in the draft. If Wirfs can play left tackle we are good or we go there in the draft but either way every year teams find a way to fit guys under the cap so we will do the same, not sure where this perceived pressure is coming from. JPP just got a two year deal

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s obvious we need to trade Howard or Brate or forget about resigning Gronk….

    I think this may be the end of Suh……we will need to draft a couple of players to take starting positions……DT, T……..

    All of out skill positions are locked up….we need the trenches……

  16. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    The elephant in the room is
    when will the QB of the future arrive and will it be so he can mesh with the existing core or will the QB of the future come after this phase with TB at the helm…. ideally an overlap with TB and the QB of the future would be ideal, that won’t be until 2021…
    JA has pushed all his chips on the table!

  17. bucsfan951 Says:

    first 3 rounds in next years draft… trenches!!!!

  18. SB Says:

    Ndog Says:
    August 13th, 2020 at 10:41 am
    It’s almost as if signing a guy who was 17 years younger and had the exact same QBR last year might have been a good idea to spread out money over a longer contract to help keep other players, huh I wonder why I heard that idea before? Oh well future be damned who cares.


    Tyrod Flippin’ Taylor got a starting gig over your Boo.
    Lol. Idiot!

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    Intresting to think about but nothing to dwell on. We got our roster set for this year. Too much could happen to change any predictions we could make right now. Injury, retirement…..a guy dont play up to his contract? Who the hell knows.

    The best case scenario is we do want all those players Joe named. Too much talent is a good problem. But it is tough to think about a likely scerario……We might gotta let one of our big players go. David or Shaq or Chris……Hate to say it but I might have to part with Divid if that’s my only choice……Which will be much easier to say if White steps up into his leadership role this year.

    But I still think the Bucs will be able to keep David either way just fine.

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    A big name when it comes to 2021 contract talk is D.Smith. I may be mistaken but I believe he’s a free agent next year. 15M to keep him…..If we can draft a video a viable replacement on the cheap I think we try to plan on it. Saving that much money at Tackle should give us enough leverage to keep David…..and maybe even Suh around for a extra years or more.

  21. SB Says:

    @JOE! I was so addicted to American Pickers that I binged all of their stuff up until now.
    Now that I have seen every episode a few times and it is only once a week I have kind of lost my interest.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    I hope to God no Buc is reading their press clippings…

  23. Ndog Says:

    I love that, it’s nothing to dwell on, come talk to me next year when we have the worst roster in league! This should be fun, we got one year fellas I hope it was worth it, this team is so freaking ridiculous it’s unbelievable.
    And the sad part is you people are celebrating it unbelievable.

    Watching the rats scurry come this time next year like their on a ship going down in the ocean is going to be awfully interesting.

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    @AlterEgo: if a team is going to push their chips to the middle of the table, this is the year to do it.

    Every team will have cap issues in 2021 if this season plays out like it looks like it will.

    The impact next year will be fewer big $$$ long-term contracts for FA’s and soon-to-be FA’s on rookie deals. The entire NFL salary structure will take a dip, and many contracts will get re-negotiated.

    Don’t be surprised if you see more one- and two-year deals this off-season in a strategic gamble on the NFL getting financially healthy again and the resultant cap rise.

    The sky is not falling.

    I am happy MY team is finally in a position to do something special THIS YEAR. I am terminally tired of “building for the future, tank for a high draft choice.”

    I’m thankful the team is not in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    Ndog, you are so full of s#!t your eyes are brown…

  26. Ndog Says:

    Why Cobra, cause I’ve been saying this exact same thing since the day we decided to go with the old, overated QB?

    I know you can’t stand me but when your right you’re right, and I’m right!

  27. Clean House Says:

    OJ hasn’t even earned his rookie contract yet.

  28. bucsfan951 Says:

    This is NPUPPYS m.o.

    he says the fans will be sad come next yr when the bucs do horribly.

    he also doubles down and says if the bucs win it all, he wont be happy because they werent “home grown” players on this team.

    there is no winning with ppl like that. a true losers loser.

    im just glad the clown is gone!

    heres another great quote brought to you by the saints 3rd string qb…

    “the glass is always full. it might be half full with water, its still full with air.”

    -Jameis Winston

  29. Ndog Says:

    There’s good ole 951 bringing absolutely nothing to the table like always, thanks for your contribution sir.

  30. Cobraboy Says:

    Ndog, your head is so far up JC’s a$$, he has to f@rt for you to breathe.

    You are the master of selective stats.

    You are no Bucs fan. You are a Jameis Christ butt-snorkeling sycophant.

  31. bucsfan951 Says:


    just calling you out on your bs, buddy. it makes work go by faster!

    ask me a question, ndog. ill give you an complete and honest answer

    but while youre thinking of one, let me give you a quote from the saints 3rd string qb…

  32. bucsfan951 Says:

    “i want to let you know, i know i have made mistakes, i know i have a past, but right now its about me moving forward and earning the trust of all these 32 teams out there”

    Jameis Winton before him being drafted

  33. Mike28277 Says:

    Next years draft class will be the ultimate “crap shoot”. No scouts allowed on campus, many schools electing not to play, less tape on players who declare, etc. BIG ELEPHANT to overcome for every team.

  34. Ndog Says:

    I am master of selective stats?

    Really, I’m not the one ignoring a mountain of stats and only looking at one.

  35. Mike Says:

    How about the only stat that really matters, Super bowl wins. Shut up N dog.

  36. jmarkbuc Says:


    A-Aron is next.

  37. Curse of Gruden Says:

    If JW would have signed for a $1 million per year I would have said YES!