“I Think They Keep One”

February 25th, 2021

Hall of Fame general manager, six-time NFL Executive of the Year and Bucco Bruce Arians buddy Bill Polian analyzed the Buccaneers’ Big 8 free agents last night and had firm opinions.

First, Polian is adamant that kicker Ryan Succop is a no-brainer guy to re-sign. He’s good, he’s healthy and he’s affordable, Polian said, so pay the man. A good, expensive kicker is worth signing.

Farther down the offensive roster is where it gets more interesting for Polian. He sees Antonio Brown as a leverage/backup piece if the Bucs can’t afford Chris Godwin. “Of the offensive guys, [Chris] Godwin — take Gronkowski out of the picture — Lenny [Fournette] and Brown, I think they keep one.”

Joe agrees with the above from Polian, but damn Joe cringes when Polian and others talk about how replaceable Fournette is. If that’s true, then where was the Bucs’ version of Fournette in 2019?

Of the defensive free agents, Polian thinks the Bucs want to keep Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett, and will pursue them aggressively.

He’s not a free agent, but Polian firmly believes O.J. Howard has taken his last snap for the Bucs.

The Big 8

Ndamukong Suh
Shaq Barrett
Lavonte David
Ryan Succop
Chris Godwin
Rob Gronkowski
Antonio Brown
Leonard Fournette

ENJOY THE LATEST IRA KAUFMAN PODCAST EPISODE, presented by Bill Currie Ford. All kinds of free agency chatter and more.

44 Responses to ““I Think They Keep One””

  1. Tampabucfan88 Says:

    Look I know it’s not a popular argument but playoff Lenny & oj are very expendable so is will go

  2. Snook Says:

    It’s not that Fournette is replaceable, it’s that you don’t get value when you pay RBs big contracts. Name a current one that’s gotten a big contract that’s truly been worth the $.

  3. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Heard the segment last night…always enjoy the curmudgeonly Polian. I’m confused on the O.J. Howard front…5th year option picked up…guaranteed for injury I believe. I’d love to know the real scoop…

  4. SB : Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    LOL Macklemore just said he has always hated Tom Brady until he won this past SB and went all “Weekend at Bernies”! Now he wants to play Golf with Brady.
    Burleson said he is gonna set it up. Let’s see if it happens. 🙂

  5. Youngbucs Says:

    Selfish Lenny the only guy sulking on a talented team. Almost got cut he’s good but we don’t need him. Joes you guys could’ve hit those running lanes.

  6. Bojim Says:

    Howard can’t seem to stay healthy. Don’t really need that.

  7. AlV Says:

    I think they’re keeping both Godwin, Brown, and Gronk. Fournette is gonna be too expensive. Brown and Gronk only want to play with Brady.

  8. The Red Mirage Says:

    Let Brown and Fournette walk. Sign the other 6. Draft a running back and sign one of Brady’s former RB’s to catch passes.

  9. AlV Says:

    Also we need a RB that can catch so in replace of Fournette we get James White and lord would we be set at that point.

  10. doolnutts Says:

    Winny Testaverde – I don’t think thats the case. Yes the option was picked up but I looked on Spotrac looks like cutting howard gets us 6 mill right off the bat. But it may not be updated?

  11. SickofLosing Says:

    Doesnt t Howard’s 5th year option become fully guaranteed if he fails a physical coming soon.
    “Their option years become fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year in the fifth contract year” CBS Sports.com

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Joe wonders where the replacement was for Fournette on the 2019 Bucs Roster..

    Huumh!…..Let’s see.

    Fournette 2020 97 carries for 367,,,,3.8 ypc 6 TDs

    Rojo 2019 172 carries for 724….4.2 ypc 6 TDs

    I guess Rojo’s 2019 stats don’t fit the narrative…

  13. Bird Says:

    How does fifth year option work?

    He is basically stating that howard will be traded?
    Or cut ? and they get discount of the team that signs him for x amount of dollars since fifth year option that gets picked up is guaranteed

    Any thoughts?

    The good thing is 2 teams in our own state need to give their young QB as many weapons as possible. And if godwin tagged that is one less player they really want.

    Tua and lawrence need help and since both teams have huge cap space either one could pull the trigger on a trade for howard. May only get a 5th round pick for him but he cannot be trusted. Sorry. I like howard and he was starting to connect with brady but dude is always hurt. You have gronk and i have feeling brate would come back for home town 3-4 mil ( behind the scenes verbal) if cut.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    I like Bill Polian; he takes a very logical approach to the decision-making process facing the Bucs. LVD, Shaq, Suh, Succop get re-signed; either Brown OR Fournette get re-signed, with AB being ‘leverage’ in event we can’t re-sign Godwin. OJ & his $6 mil salary don’t make the cut.

    And SickOfLosing, I’ve read in several spots that the Bucs could release OJ, before a certain date apparently, and save his $6 mil salary. I suspect that’s what prompted Polian to take that tact.

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    We build through the draft and we didn’t draft Vaughn in the third for him to not get a chance, especially when money is on the line. Lenny looked like Peyton Barber all regular season. Big thanks Lenny but ya got to go.

  16. tickrdr Says:

    I suggested bundling OJ Howard and picks to try to move up to acquire Justin Herbert in last year’s draft. Couldn’t be happier with Wirfs however, but Herbert would sure look good in red and pewter for when Brady retires.


  17. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I hope it is true that the Bucs want to keep Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett, and will pursue them aggressively.
    And Poilan may be right about OJ Howard. I thought he was a luxury pick when we took him, and he just hasn’t worked out here.

  18. TOM Says:

    I’m still a little confused about OJ 5th year option. Is it or is it not guaranteed? What would the Bucs save by cutting him? It would be nice if they could trade him, but who in the hell wants to pay a TE 6mil. who can’t stay healthy who is over rated?

  19. Bruce Blahak Says:

    the big 6…AB and Fournette were cheap rentals

  20. PassingThru Says:

    As much as it pains me to say, Bill Polian is right. OJ Howard must be traded. It means accepting that he might yield a fourth round pick (doubtful at best), the team needs that $6 million cap room. Even if you firmly believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa and the Tooth Fairy, you have to understand that if OJ Howard plays well in his first year with Brady, he’ll be impossible to keep beyond next season.

  21. bucnole Says:

    Letting OJ go would be a mistake IMO
    He is easily the most talented TE on the roster when healthy
    He has all the tools and couple with Gronk would be a nitemare for most secondaries
    Pay the man if he comes back healthy just pick up his 5th year option

  22. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Rojo + James White = nice backfield

  23. Cainishere Says:

    To be honest, Howard has done nothing much since being a Buccaneer. When people refer to him they reference his college play. Not good. Trade him and move on is what I would do. AB and Gronk are gonna just want to play with Brady. Succop you really need, Shaq is benefitting from a great DL coach in Kacy and David deserves to remain a Buccaneer until he retires. I would franchise Godwin and offer Suh a multi year deal to retire him as a Buccaneer. As far as Shaq goes just a simple multi-year deal will suffice. I think it is possible to bring everyone back as long as you strategically set up the contracts properly. Finding replacements for great players is hard to do, best to keep them than replace them and draft depth on the lines as there is no dire needs except at depth.

  24. Leighroy Says:

    Tickrdr is secretly the GM of the packers. Change my mind

  25. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Who’s O.J. Howard?

  26. Allbuccedup Says:

    The Bucs cant afford Barrett and Godwin both. So they pick one and sign Gronk, Suh, David, Brown, Succop, Gabbert and James White to replace Lenny. Thats about 50 mil Licht work it out.

  27. Darin Says:

    Cmon Joey you gota learn at some point dont ya? 2019 version of Fournette? Who was the QB then? You’re still underestimating the importance of a QBs brain, decision making, anticipation, etc? The will be a 2020 version of Fournette every year Brady’s here. He wont allow less. I’m guessing it’ll be an even better version considering the next guy might be able catch a pass or two

  28. BFFL Says:

    Trade DS and Jensen for draft picks. Restructure Brady, Cut Brate and Gholston. This will free up enough money.

  29. Cainishere Says:

    lol BFFL how drastic you are sir. Glad you are not in charge of our team.

  30. Slamback Says:

    If the player isn’t injured in the new season of year 5 it is not guaranteed . Can cut or trade the player .

  31. buxsxntkt Says:

    Brady has always needed a running back that can catch ! Doesn’t have to be Fournette. RoJo can’t catch and he tried to fix that last year. Maybe year two of working all offseason will work but don’t bet on it. Brady’s short passes and being able to flip from a run to a short pass to the RB will keep the ball moving and can make many RB’s look better than they are. They just need to be able to catch the friggin ball. If they can do that we can nickle and dime all we need to keep the ball moving and we don’t have to worry about LF losing his mind because he thinks he needs the ball more, even after a nice payday, a payday that could cost us a more important piece like CG, shaq or LVD, or even Suh.

  32. SickofLosing Says:

    Who’s OJ Howard 😆🤣😂

  33. cmurda Says:

    @Tickrdr. Herbert would be a luxury not a need at this point. We need to find the next Herbert a year or two from now. Herbert sitting on the bench a la Garoppolo isn’t going to be that effective if it’s for 4 or 5 years. I wouldn’t bet against Brady. Herbert might be 30 before he gets a shot and for QB’s not named Brady, we would waste the best years. Wirfs was the right pick all along especially if we want to see Brady for another few years….and we do.

  34. Buc4evr Says:

    Yeah, who is OJ ? If there is any way to unload him and not take the hit, he needs to be traded or cut. If the Bucs can sign Shaq to a long term deal they can franchise Godwin and work on a long term deal next year. AB over Fournette even with Godwin on the roster. Succop, Suh, JPP and LVD need to be re-signed.

  35. Ben Says:

    I guess it depends on how much cap they can free up without compromising their future cap space by “kicking the can down the road”. I agree that Godwin is a stud WR and an important piece to the offense, but I am a firm believer in that defense wins championships, specifically pash rush. Most may remember when Bennett left the Bucs thought they could replace him via the draft and it backfired leaving a massive hole at the pass rush position. When you find a good pass rusher, you keep him! Barrett needs to be retained!!! Here is to hoping david, Barrett, and Godwin all can be retained at minimum.

  36. cmurda Says:

    That’s a very good point Ben. Michael Bennett being ousted remains Mark Dominic’s biggest crime. That one was a common sense fail. Bennett wasn’t even looking for unreasonable money and he wanted to stay. Mark probably wishes he had that one back. Pass rush is more important now than ever but I still place Godwin higher than Shaq. Nothing but love for Sack Barrett and I obviously hope we find a way to keep him but I can’t just dismiss the dip in production while Vea was gone. I think Vea is the most important piece on that line and we cant win a pissing contest over Shaq’s services.

  37. Ben Says:

    I also have seen many comments related to replacing Barrett with a guy like Clowney. The Bucs already have Clowney on the roster. His name is William Gholston. I agree the QB pressures are important, but the Bucs need a rusher that can generate sacks! The offense was deadly this year, but a huge reason why the Bucs won this year was their ability to disrupt, pressure and sack the best of the best QBs. LFG resign Shaq!!!

  38. Ben Says:

    Cmurda I agree Godwin plays a huge role as well. I don’t want to sell him short either and I dont want to see him go. I’d like to keep what I think the top 3 FAs are in David, Barrett and Godwin.

    It is a tough situation I really just enjoyed watching the defense rise to to the top this year after years of struggling to build a d line and a secondary. I think the reason why the secondary was so effective was the pass rush also. Sometimes you might have to overpay as pass rushers come at a premium. I think shaq is worth is and outside of a guy like bud Dupree and trey Hendrickson I dont see any other edge rusher on the market with potential to replace his ability to get to the QB. Just my rant! Thanks all for listening.

  39. Wesley Says:

    Lenny Brate and Brown will be gone. Franchise tag Godwin, extend Brady and just maybe we can re-sign everyone else.

  40. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Ticketer or whatever the @&#$ your name is, without Wirfs the Bucs don’t have a Lombardi trophy. Herbert looks to be a keeper but he may never win a SB. Bucs made all the right moves last year.

  41. tickrdr Says:

    @Leighroy: I have absolutely no clue what your post is suggesting??

    @cmurda: Agree Herbert would be a luxury, but a very nice one to have.

    @BradyBunch: tickr dr = ticker doctor, i.e. I’m a cardiologist, a heart doctor. It might be fun to be the GM of the Packers, but I couldn’t stand the cold.

    I believe I have consistently posted that the most important player on the team is a franchise QB. I have even postulated my opinion of three simple criteria to determine if your team has a “franchise QB”.
    1) TD to INT ratio of 2:1 at a minimum.
    2) TD percentage greater than 5%.
    3) TD percentage minus INT percentage greater than 3, and as high as possible. The QB with the highest number for this calculation is most often the MVP of the NFL. If your team does NOT have such a QB, it is time to keep looking.

    For instance, Tom Brady had a most excellent season with TD% of 6.6%, and INT% of 2.0% yielding >>>> 6.6-2.0 = 4.6!
    But Aaron Rogers had a TD% of 9.1% and INT% of only 1.0 yielding
    9.1 – 1.0 = 8.1, and voila he is named the MVP of the NFL for 2020.
    By comparison, the last person on the top of the Bucs’ depth chart (JW3) never had this calculation greater than 1.8, despite FIVE seasons.

    So, my last point:
    Which teams have the best records over the last several years?
    Answer: New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and Seattle. I think I know why.
    So, yes, Justin Herbert would definitely be a luxury, but the best one to have to try for continued long-term success of this franchise. JMHO


  42. tickrdr Says:

    As usual thank you so much for moderating my post. Please feel free to correct any spelling or grammatical errata you may find.


  43. BoricuaBucFan4life Says:

    Fournette is easily replaceable. Rojo is by far the better runner. D’kemper mustve wrote this article, we all know he is atrocious at best when it comes to the evaluation of the runningback position.

  44. Sumosam Says:

    Why do you guys have it in your head that Fournette is expendable? I don’t see us being able to replace him. You need 2 good backs on your team because When the playoffs come, someone has got to be healthy.