Prepare For Reconstruction

October 13th, 2020

Bucs GM Jason Licht

A man who used to be a Bucs beat guy and who now covers both the NFL and the draft year-round wrote this week that Tampa Bay fans better be ready for a roster reboot.

When that happens, no one currently knows, but Charlie Campbell of predicts the organization will rip apart the roster within the next two years.

His only question is, will it be this winter or the winter of 2022?

… … Obviously, the Bucs are in win-now mode with Tom Brady, who is signed for one more season. At that point in his mid-40s, Brady may retire or be forced into retirement, or he could sign with another team. Aside from Brady, the Buccaneers have other key players who are aging or nearing the end of their contracts. Thus, for a win-now team like Tampa Bay, there are not short-term holes on the roster, but there are still some long-term needs.

If Brady were to decide to retire after this season, the Buccaneers won’t be picking high enough to land the top three quarterback prospects, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Trey Lance. That would leave Tampa Bay having to consider late first-round or second-day quarterback prospects like Florida’s Kyle Trask or Georgia’s Jamie Newman. If Brady does return for 2021, however, it would make sense for the organization to devote its early-round picks to building up the talent around him and on the defense to shoot for a Super Bowl.

Brady is signed through 2022. Per, the Bucs hold no out to wash their hands of Brady. So if the Bucs — for whatever reason — cut him after this season the team, the team would have to eat millions against the salary cap.

Over the summer, Joe thought the Bucs might part ways with O.J. Howard and Ndamukong Suh after this season. Look, Suh is still a good player, tough as nails never misses a start, but he is expensive and getting long in the tooth. But Howard’s fifth-year option appears to have locked in when the Bucs placed him on injured reserve, per Therefore, the salary cap victim at tight end would likely be Cam Brate (unless a quarterback named “Tommy” intervenes).

Joe thinks Donovan Smith is creeping into endangered species territory. He has the third-largest base salary on the roster and is the second-highest-paid left tackle (per base salary) in the NFL. His 2020 performance through five games has been a roller coaster to be polite.

Of course, Chris Godwin will expect a helluva jump in salary, so that has to be factored into the Bucs’ plans. Many reliable NFL sources believe the salary cap could drop as much as $10 million-plus per team for 2021, if not more.

Oh, and Campbell, since he dabbles heavily in the draft, believes the Bucs will target Clemson stud running back Travis Etienne in April

69 Responses to “Prepare For Reconstruction”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    Smith is obviously expendable. Much overrated.

  2. D-Rome Says:

    Dumb “We should re-sign Jameis” comment coming in 3…2…1…

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think we should target the best RT/LT or the best DT or OLB……those should be our first 2 rounds…

    We would replace D Smith & Possible Suh with those picks…..That’s about 22 million…..then let Gronk go….another $10 mil….

    That’s a start.

  4. Mitch Says:

    I read just this week on NFL the cap may fall from 198 million to somewhere in mid 170’s. That’s a large dip, but expected given the revenue losses created by the pandemic.

  5. Architek Says:


  6. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree wit Arch. Maybe one of the reserve OT’s would be an improvement.

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    Seems like the Bucs hedged themselves a tad with signing Rosen as a project. I think Wirfs transitions to LT next year, we’ll find a RT on the street or in the draft. That frees up $14 million. I think Gholston can fill in for Suh, I never notice any drop off when Gholston is in. If Rojo keeps running the way he has the last two games, Fournette becomes expendable. That’s roughly $24 million right there and we can still rework a few deals to probably get us to $30 million under the cap. That makes resigning Godwin much easier.

  8. WiscoJoe Says:

    While it seems like Licht (Arians?) has had some solid drafts the last few years do you guys trust him to rebuild this roster if or when that happens?

  9. El Buco Realisto Says:

    And here are the sheep, arguing over crumbs like what draft pick and ignoring the “real” problem!!!!!!!!!! Are they really going to allow licht bulb his 4th desperate rebuild of the roster?????????

    That would be the 4th time licht with no plan at all would be turning over the roster?????? What happened to all the “Accountability” that the sheep whined and cried for several years ago?????????? Where are the standards sheep????????? Keep discussing what pick in the first round and ignore the iceberg that will sink the Bucs Pirate ship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bobby M

    I agree that Gholston could replace Suh….but Gholston is one of the 3 starting DTs…..someone would have to replace him.

    We will need money for LVD & Godwin…….If Shaq doesn’t perform up to expectations, we would still need to keep him….but probably at more like $10 mil…..

  11. Ndog Says:

    First of all let me just say I don’t know why this information sounds familiar but it does doesn’t it?

    Secondly I find it funny that you people think D. Smith is playing worse this year than in previous years when the reality he’s playing exactly the same as he always has. The difference is the previous quarterback actually bailed him out with his elusiveness and ability to get away from pressure and the current quarterback is a statue. That is the only real difference, though you’ll never admit it.

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    Only the Bucs…..please fire leftwich or at least demote him from playcaller. Guaranteed that send us to the playoffs and guaranteed keeping him keeps them out of the playoffs.

    He is the Mike Smith of our offense. Dude is ruining one of the most talented offensive rosters in the league. Embarrassing.

  13. BucEmUp Says:

    This team gets out coached

  14. BuucccNASTY Says:

    We shoulda traded for WAS LT back when we had the chance and paid him, cut Donovan Smith, and left Gronk outa the equation.

  15. Ndog Says:

    But BuucccNASTY that’s not what Tommy wanted, so there was no chance of it happening.

  16. bucnjim Says:

    Can we save any salary cap by cutting number 76? I’d rather see a young guy getting experience busting his A$$ than an overpaid (#3 highest on the roster) half A$$ing it because he doesn’t want to be here. Seriously how much worse can anyone play on the left hand side of the line than he is? Right now Wirfs is out playing him!

  17. 813bucboi Says:


    no…the difference is with the previous QB we witnessed a 5INT game on national TV and embarked on a 4game losing streak…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    would love to see BA give d.smith the VHG treatment….

    no doubt you can question his effort…..brady was disgusted at d.smith after macks last sack…o-line might start playing better just like the secondary did last year when he sent VHG packing…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  19. Ndog Says:

    813 again put Brady on that team, that day he would not have made it through the game, but keep on keeping on bro. You got to believe in something, even if you’re wrong.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Where is all of that seeing where to go with the football once NE12 read the defense of which he can do better than any QB in league history and where is that sweet quick release,which would’ve helped out the entire O/Line…1, 2, 3…BRING BACK MR. 5,000!!!

  21. Shorttrooper Says:

    Brady is going to sign another 2-year deal after this one is over. He retires when he’s 46-47.

  22. Stanglassman Says:

    If you’re referring to the London game you are correct that Jameis tried to do too much and had a bad game. The Bucs lost two games after that before beating the Cardinals. In that stretch is when the defense finally started playing well enough to win in that OT loss at Seattle. After that game they did win 4 in a row.

  23. ocala Says:


  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Excuse me…..but isn’t JW no longer with the team?

  25. Bucsfan81 Says:

    If this team doesn’t make the playoffs expect Brady and Arians to retire and this whole thing gets blown up.

  26. 813bucboi Says:


    again, put brady on this team last year and he doesnt throw 16INTs from week 10-17 while losing the final 2games….

    we keep believing the previous QB “balled out” all last year, even if you’re wrong…

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  27. Pewter Power Says:

    That’s just a stupid prediction 5 weeks into an NFL season. Stick to the mock draft and they aren’t even good at that

  28. catcard202 Says:

    If the TB12 show does not end-up in a deep play-off run this year…It will be time to start the reboot in the off-season before the 2021 draft.

  29. DBS Says:

    No Winston is not on this team anymore. But Ndog hopes Brady goes down and by some miracle the team reaches out to the Saints and brings him back. Everyone should have figured that out by now.

  30. Gettinthebucs Says:

    Smith will probably be gone after this season unless he accepts a pay cut. Wirfs can slide to LT and we should use our 1st or second pick on another stud a RT.

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yeah, to reiterate what was said above, “duh!”

    Secession this go around needs to include LT, as mentioned.
    We’ve been complaining about Smith since he got here, for those with selective memories.

  32. Ndog Says:

    No I am well aware Jameis is probably never coming back BUT I am going to remind you all of the mistake this franchise made. Especially since I was ripped on these threads daily and every issue that everyone is crying about now I was the one talking about them from the jump while Jameis was blamed for everything. This team has probably lost me forever as I find myself laughing most of the games now cause things are playing out just as I predicted.

    They changed the offense because Brady won’t be asked to do what Jameis did. Called it!

    They have run the ball more to help him when they refused to for Jameis. Called it!

    The penalties always made it hard on Jameis making this offense more predictable and that wasn’t going to change despite what coach liar said. Called it!

    The defense would be better because it is the 2nd year in the system and multiple key players are in their second year in the league. Called it!!

    We will not settle for an average kicker will get one of that is much more reliable and can make the ones they need to make. Called it!!

    When the same things that happened in the previous five years went wrong instead of blaming the quarterback the clueless were going to blame everybody else. Called it!

    When they get pressure on the QB we have zero chance because he’s a statue. Called it!!!!

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    JW IS A BUST….called it!!!!

    JW wont return to the BUCS in 2020…called it!!!

    JW wont be a starter in 2020…called it!!!

    we’re 3-2 instead of 2-3….your pooch(JW) is screwed…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  34. Ndog Says:

    Of course he wouldn’t have 813 cause with no running game and Wells starting at RT he would have been on the sidelines watching with you and me

  35. BucBrady Says:

    Good news is that this is the year to find a later draft gem. With players opting out and the CFB schedule all jacked up it’s gonna mess with evaluations. Think about it—where would Burrow have gone if he didn’t have his season at LSU?

    I trust BA and Leftwitch skills in evaluating a QB.

  36. Ndog Says:

    813 keep dreaming the only bust is this franchise and no one has to call that it’s been that way for a long time.

    And this is just another one in a long one of moves that shows how truly incompetent they are.

  37. 813bucboi Says:

    he’s on the sideline watching now mutt….

    JW is who we thought he was….A BUST!!!!!….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  38. 813bucboi Says:

    31 other teams including the saints thinks he’s a BUST too…..

    tayson hill showed why he’s the back up last night….30INTs showed why JW is 3rd string….lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  39. Ndog Says:

    You’re are funny little dude 813. You have no idea what you’re talking about but the good news is it will all happen right in front of us, so you don’t go into hiding when he gets his chance because either way I will be here.

  40. Ndog Says:

    Yes Hill showed exactly zero completions for zero yards last night. What are they going to do run the wish bone next year in NO?

    Please stop posting you are making yourself look worse but the moment.

  41. SlyPirate541 Says:

    Smith isn’t awesome but the Bucs have bigger issues in 2021 …

    Draft Predictions
    R1: DE. JPP is old and Shaq isn’t productive. (Patrick Jones ii)
    R2: DT. Suh is old and who knows how Vea rehabs. (Jay Tufele)
    R3: WR. Evans and Godwin are injury prone and expensive. (BPA)
    R4: TE. OJ, Gronk, Brate … Too expensive for this staff. (BPA)

    I’d explore trading Evans or Godwin if I could get a 1st or 2nd Round draft pick.

  42. 813bucboi Says:

    you’re a dirty lil mutt who loves loser….

    when we continue to WIN it’ll further prove you know more about JW and losers and less about football and winners….

    Hill scored a TD….has JW scored this year?…has JW touched the ball this year besides warming up taysom hill and drew brees…..

    saints have a better chance at winning running the wish bone with hill vs playing JW….lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  43. Ndog Says:

    Already talking draft after week 5 ⬆️!!!! I was told that would not happen with the pampered, spolied, selfish one in town???!?!?!?

  44. 813bucboi Says:

    ndog you’ve been clueless for months now…lol…

    you lost all creditbility when you started making comments like this:

    Ndog Says:
    December 14th, 2019 at 6:46 pm
    The people saying sign him for $10M to $15M are yet again proving how CLUELESS they truly are. SMH!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  45. 813bucboi Says:


    FANS like myself saw JW was a BUST his first year!!!!……’ve been wrong for 5years….you’ve shown how little you know about football
    ndog Says:
    October 4th, 2015 at 11:40 pm
    The point is 4 games proves nothing for long time success. But I guess you just don’t get that but I should not be surprised with the statements your making. It really isn’t that hard to understand that after four games you can’t claim anything about any qb as far add long term success goes. I freely admit he could suck long term and yes I would be totally shocked but what pisses me off is you people saying he is a bad qb after 4 career games. You people are what makes being a Bucs fan so hard. People think Bucs fans are clueless and I see why.

    JW showed he was a BUST back in 2015…..

    now be a man and ADMIT he SUCKED long term and the only person that was shocked is you…..LOSER

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  46. Ndog Says:

    I stand by that 100% and will proven correct in the long run. The one thing I didn’t factor in is how truly incompetent this franchise is. In that instance yes I missed the boat but that was the fan in me hoping they actually we’re going to start doing things the right way but alas they are not thus we will continue to be a dumpster fire long-term.

    Hence this exact article.

  47. 813bucboi Says:

    ndog Says:
    October 4th, 2015 at 6:00 pm
    4 games into a career and you fools want to give up on the number one overall pick. This is why this fan base sucks. I love this town and all of the teams in it but you people make it hard to stay a fan. Yes he had four picks but he also kept playing and fighting till the end. HE IS A ROOKIE WHAT DON’T YOU PEOPLE GET!

    AGAIN, JW has been throwing 3,4,5 INTs in a game since he was a rookie…..

    30INTs after being a starter for 5years…….

    and you thought he was a franchise QB….LMAO!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  48. Ndog Says:

    813 you have got to be kidding me. You are seriously embarrassing yourself now and further proving your bias has been there since day one. So thanks for proving my point yet again.

  49. 813bucboi Says:

    Ndog Says:
    October 13th, 2020 at 12:13 pm
    I stand by that 100% and will proven correct in the long run. The one thing I didn’t factor in is how truly incompetent this franchise is.
    what was,”proven correct in the long run” was the fact JW is/was A BUST and folks told you 5years ago…..

    the only mistake was not sending JW packing right along with dirk and smitty….or drafting JW in the first place…..

    this franchise stuck by this clown while he was an embarrassment not only to himself but this franchise and team mates with all his off the field and on the field antics….he wouldve been long gone after the uber BS with any other franchise…..

    we gave him #weaponsforwinston and the he had a defense that played solid in the second half of last year….he choked….or rather he proved to be who most thought he was…a BUST….

    and you continue to prove you dont know football….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  50. TSmitty3000 Says:

    The Bucs will have to come to grips with possibly losing Godwin. Depending on how much the cap dips, the Bucs might not be able to afford to franchise him as well. With that many potential holes on the roster, the Bucs might not want to pay two receivers top dollar. The Bucs are going to need a new LT. You can’t pay two receivers top dollar if you need a new LT, resign Shaq, new DT, etc. I do not envy Jason Licht.

  51. 813bucboi Says:

    i just proved you’ve been wrong since day 1….

    the kid was a TO machine and that never changed…..

    i just proved that you’re the only bias mutt on JBF….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  52. Ndog Says:

    813 I actually feel bad for you that you have so much hate for someone and yet you know so little knowledge about in which you speak.

  53. 813bucboi Says:

    ndog i feel bad for you….

    i guess EVE was right….love is blind…and it’ll take over your mind…what you think is love, is truly not, you need to elevate and find….lol….

    wake up and smell the kibbles….JW IS A BUST!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  54. Beeej Says:

    Donovan is under contract thru next year, doubt we can simply cut him sans nasty cap hit

  55. Leighroy Says:

    Enough of the bickering and the cute little shots at Licht who has made chicken salad out of chicken $h!t since allowed to take over from Lovie, clean up after Smith/Koetter and negotiate the nuances of Arians. Let’s actually sort this out….

    Top 5 biggest cap hits signed thru 2022 are ME13, Marpet, White, Brate then Whirfs. VV will probably get his 5th year option despite the injury this year. ME13 will make 18.4 mil in 2022 alone. Brate is likely gone, the other 4 are going nowhere.

    Some roster turnover will happen naturally by then thru the TE’s, Brady, Suh & JPP – that’s 62.5 mil right there!

    “Easy” decisions:
    – Whirfs replaces Smith
    – Gholston walks
    19.5 mil saved there, minus whoever fills in for those 2 (hopefully at cap friendly rates)

    Trim the fat:
    – Joe Haeg, Shady, Griffin, Gabbert – 6 mil that could all be replaced by draft picks in 2 years

    Hard decisions: Shaq, LVD, Godwin, Jensen, Fournette. Maybe 70 mil is enough to sign all those guys? But still ? at QB

    Good problems to have:
    – If Carlton Davis continues good play, he’ll cost north of 10mil to keep as a #1CB
    – if Ronald Jones builds on his recent “success” he’ll cost more than 6 mil to keep around
    – Serviceable guys who will need deals by 2022: Cappa, Whitehead, Miller

    What happens at QB probably shapes how all of these decisions unfold. Draft a guy late 1st or 2nd round gives a lot of cap flexibility to build a team, but likely won’t be a dynamic talent. Rogers and others may be available as FA’s in 2022 but then kiss 20-30 mil goodbye from your cap room.

    Also: what happens when the salary cap drops next year, but then (theoretically) shoots back up another 40 mil in 2022 with fans back to capacity league-wide?

    This is a fun exercise! Contribute some real ideas instead of trolling each other like pimple-nosed 12-year olds.

  56. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Guys what are you on about? he is out of guaranteed money after this year. We can cut Smith this offseason with no hit.

  57. Ivan The Insider Says:

    LOL @ Ndog trying to play the “All told you so!” card. ROFLMAO.

    You don’t tell anyone anything.

    This is very close to the SAME TEAM as last season with different QBs.

    Outside of Gronk, go ahead and name all the big free agent signings we brought in to ‘help’ Brady…

    Go ahead… we’ll wait.

    Seriously… go ahead.


    RoJo is our primary back and he was on the team last year. McCoy and Fournette were both brought in on MEASILY contracts.

    We drafted Winfield and Wirfs (a great draft).

    You act like this team “Sold Out” for the short term and ruined any chances long term. They exchanged Winston-turnover-prone inconsistent QB-due-a-massive-new-contract for a proven winner to go in a different direction.

    They’d have the SAME issues mentioned in that article as we would with Winston.

    The team is underachieving right now DUE TO INJURIES. Anyone can see that. Not having Godwin on the field next to 100% Evans has really hurt our Offense. Not to mention Scotty got a little banged up.

    Losing VEA is going to be a huge loss for this team.

    Ndog you’re a CLOWN and NOT an actual Bucs fan. You’ve shown your true colors.

    813 – Ndog is the same guy that was posted “Mike Evans is overrated. He’s not that good.” LOL. Future HOFer, Mike Evans.

  58. Defense Rules Says:

    Let’s see … oh ya, the 2020 season is only 5 games old with almost 4 months to go til the SB and we’re worrying about 2021? We have no idea at this point if Brady will even be back, so who’s your starting QB preference if he doesn’t … FA Gabbert, FA Griffin or FA Rosen? Is JPP gonna be worth keeping for $12.5 mil if he can’t get his knees healed up? No issues there.

    Right now our Top-10 players have us committed for $115 mil in 2021. That doesn’t include a lot of heavy hitters who’d be nice to keep, like Fournette, Godwin, Shaq, LVD to name but a few. 2020 was our SB year – or bust. Let’s see how 2020 turns out first.

  59. gp Says:

    Some things never change
    Talking about the draft in October
    And we used to think it was because of our losing record

  60. JimmyJack Says:

    Hey guys I never said this because evydody has been hyping a Super Bowl for 2020(i dont like raining on parades) but I knew going in this was a two year plan. Not saying they planned not to win a Super Bowl in 2020 but its naive to think its a one year only window.

    You cant expect Brady to waltz into Tampa with a losing roster and immediatly win a title…….Heck maybe he will. But at the end of the day winning it all is hard and this team has no idea what a big game even feels like…….Can’t yall even imagine this team will be even better in 2021? After a year of continuity? And maybe a taste of playoff atmosphere?

    Winning a Super Bowl in 2020 sounds awesome. But lets be somewhat realistic and realize it might take 2 years to make that huge a turnaround. If 2 years to win it all is not good enough for you I dont know how yall survived being Bucs fans for the past 18.

    GO BUCS!!!

  61. unbelievable Says:

    I mean this was pretty obvious to anyone paying attention, was it not?

    Zero salary cap + a ton of highly paid and old vets = all in on this year

    And right now we look like an 8-8 or 9-7 team, even with all this “talent”.

    Bucs fans need not worry- constantly rebuilding is about the only thing the Bucs have done consistently for the last decade plus.

  62. BigMacAttack Says:

    Talk about jumping the shark. Can we at least get through the season and try to have some fun before idiots start ripping us apart? Charlie please just stfu

  63. Darin Says:

    Its not even half the season yet jackwagons. My goodness. Talk about some whining steven a baylesses. They lost a game. Time to move on to the next one. The sky is still up there

  64. lowercaseg Says:

    Donovan gotta goooooo.

  65. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    They won’t rip apart the roster. Give me a break.

    Now they guys one short expensive contracts may not be brought back, but they won’t rip it apart.

  66. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It took us until week 5 to lose our second game. Come on, people. Stop crying like the season is over.

    If we maintain the 3-1 record per quarter, we go 12-4.

    Ya big crybabies.

  67. Buczilla Says:

    Travis Etienne would look good in a Bucs uniform, but I’d rather have a guard, tackle, or quarterback with our first round pick. Gosh dammit, I didn’t think that I’d be thinking about the draft in October again!

  68. PrimeTime Says:

    Lichtsinn has the draft fever and the only cure is More Kicker!

  69. ItzOK Says:

    never draft a rb in the first round. I thought Sequon Barkley was worthy of it but even he has missed a ton of games due to injury

    OL or DL is probably the pick.
    In two years sign Aaron Rogers, or Jameis can get a second chance.