Two Priorities For Bucs In Free Agency

February 27th, 2021

Thoughts on free agency.

A popular former player seems to think if Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht can keep one player on offense and one player on defense, no matter how the roster shakes out after the free agency smoke clears, the Bucs should be OK.

Former Bucs guard and current local sports radio personality Ian Beckles took to his podcast “In the Trenches” to discuss the Bucs’ battleplan for free agency. He began by saying fans better brace themselves for big names to wave goodbye.

“They are not going to be able to sign everybody,” Beckles cautioned. “Let’s just get that straight. It’s not going to happen. Jason Licht, there is no way you can redo contracts to get everyone signed. You can’t sign everybody. Not going to happen.”

For Beckles, Chris Godwin is about as close to a must-re-signing as the Bucs have, at least on offense.

“Chris Godwin? I would love to see Chris Godwin stay here,” Beckles said. “I would love to. Franchise tag him if you need to. That will be one year and not that big of a deal. See if you can figure out something later on. It would be nice to keep Chris Godwin, OK?

“If Chris Godwin goes, it changes the whole aesthetics of our offense. … Wouldn’t shock me if we lost Chris Godwin. It wouldn’t shock me.”

The guy the Bucs simply cannot afford to lose, in Beckles’ eyes, is Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett.

“Now you talk about Shaq Barrett. Shaq Barrett is the wild card,” Beckles said. “Everybody is going to want Shaq Barrett. … And I mean everybody.

“Why did we win the Super Bowl? Patrick Mahomes was uncomfortable. Shaq Barrett was probably the best [pass] rusher in the playoffs. Period. Got to keep him. Got to find a way to keep him.”

Beckles said he won’t lose any sleep if Playoff Lenny leaves. He doesn’t believe Playoff Lenny, despite balling out in the postseason, is much better than Ronald Jones.

Beckles also seems to think the Bucs’ offensive line is so good, any halfway decent running back on the market should do OK behind it.

As always, Beckles welcomes feedback and encourages listeners to submit Bucs questions by e-mailing him at

Enjoy yesterday’s Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

44 Responses to “Two Priorities For Bucs In Free Agency”

  1. Razor Ramone Says:

    Let’s see just how good Mike Greenberg is.

  2. Duemig from HELL Says:

    Hell will freeze over before they pay Godwin over any defensive FA

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow, Ian really went out on a limb here. Keep Godwin & Shaq but let Lenny walk. So since Ian acknowledges ‘you can’t sign everybody’ but that he only goes out on the limb for Godwin & Shaq (at least $35 mil together), that all our other FAs also get to walk?

    Reality Ian is that if EITHER one of those two decides to ‘break the bank’ they’ll be gone. Bucs can’t afford BOTH of them unless we get some type of a sweetheart deal (rather unlikely BTW).

  4. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    1) Considering the quality depth we have at WR/TE (ME, AB, Scooter, Johnson, Gronk & Brate), no way the Bucs can afford to spend that kind of money on CG. I would love to have him, but practicality says NO.

    Shaq is indispensable. I ask you – WHO IS REPLACING HIM?? Here is why – Stats for ’20 All Pros & possible replacements for Shaq. Note while Shaq may be lagging in sacks, its not by much.

    Shaq is ahead of the Best of the Best in Tackles, TFL, and leap years ahead in QB Hurrys, and marginally behind in Sacks, but only for ’20

    SHAQ 15 gm, 8 sacks, 57 Tkls (11 TFL), 16 QB hits (24 Hrry #1), 2 FF, 0 INT, 3 PD

    ’20 ALL PROs:
    * KHALIL MACK 16 gm, 9 sacks, 50 Tkls (11 TFL), 13 QB hits (16 Hrry), 1 INT 1 PD
    * Za’D. SMITH 16 gm, 12.5 sacks (26 sk 2 yrs), 45 Tkls (12 TFL) , 23 QB hits (12 hrry), 4 FF, 2 PD

    Replacement? At what DIFFERENCE in cost?
    Yannick Ngakoue 15 gms, 8 sacks, 23 Tkls (7 TFL), 11 QB hits (12 Hrry), 4 FF, 0 INT, 1 PD

    Draft picks of OLB/DE near the #32 pick
    * 2016: #32 Emmanuel Ogbah; #33 Jaylon Taylor; #34 Jaylon Smith, #39 Noah Spence (remember him?)
    * 2017: #28 Taco Carlton, #30 – TJ Watt, OLB
    * 2018: #14 Marcus Davenport, #41 Harold Landry (apparently, not a good year for OLB/DE)

    Ok, TJ Watt was a steal. But one out of 8? NOT good odds at #32

  5. Pete Mitchell Says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen more talk of using the transition tag on Godwin, as opposed to the franchise tag.

    Truth be told, as much as we as BUCS fans love the guy, he’s not a top five receiver. Top ten seems more appropriate, although that too may be a bit of a stretch.

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules you will appreciate my plan.

    If I am the GM there are no way no how i am not bring back every single little starter on defense……..Im not losing any of those 11. Watching this defense grow and get better, and peak right at the perfect time was a thing of beauty. Got goosebumps tying about it.

    I have to return that unit. They are gonna be danged good. Theyll probably get better and more dominant…….Bring back this defense is my key to chasing a second freaking ring.

    But maybe Im wrong, not perfect. Neither is Beckles for that matter………but lets not forget about a little guy called Tom Brady. The man is worthy of a statue. He for sure is worthy of getting some players back that he may want. And Im betting he was assured we would give him want he needs to run the offense when he signed…….We do gotta give Tom the respect he earned and deserves. We gotta give him whatever he needs……Hopefully Tom does realize he needs that D back.

    GO BUCS!!!!


    And that was without Vea! Vea and Suh only enhance Shaq & JPP’s ability to rattle QB’s. They are NOT the sole reason for their success. Interior Dline tie up blockers and Vea & Suh two of the best at their positions surely do that. Obviously if one is off the field the rushing LB’s job becomes more difficult. That applies to all teams. If anyone has to go it’s Godwin, AB can do what he does until Johnson is fully developed.

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    Senor Shaq didnt play 15 games. You leaving out the playoff games. Them ones kinda matter.

  9. Shannon O Woodcock Says:

    Nothing against Godwin he is a good WR.

    But this last season showed us that the only way you stop a high caliber offense is with a good defense and the front 7 is key.

    We gotta keep Barrett I do not think there is another FA any where near his caliber. And I’d like to keep Lavonte David as he pairs well with Devon White.

    Not to be crass but quality WR’s & RB’s flood the FA market. Jason should be able to keep or replenish that. If the Bucs are able to have a full off-season then Brady should have weapons and time to get acclimated to them. Do we think AB will be back? Wouldn’t hisbpending court case interfere?

    I like Fournette over Jones. Something about the beefier back with our OLine seems to work.

    I want to see what Free Agents come knocking on the door to have a legit chance at a ring playing with the GOAT.

  10. Joe in Michigan Says:

    “ The transition tag can be used once a year by each club unless they elect to use a franchise tag instead.“

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Nobody “wants” to lose Chris Godwin…..It’s simply a matter of math & priorities;….supply & demand.

    And, for those who say Shaq wasn’t that effective when Vita Vea was gone…..are they expecting Vita to be gone again?…..I’m more concerned about how effective Shaq is when he’s there…

    And, what about Shaq’s impact on JPP?……JPP is clearly more effective with Shaq there.

    I have a question for those who want to keep Godwin, Shaq, LVD, Suh, Gronk,AB & Succop….


  12. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    Have to figure out a way to keep Barrett and Godwin. Those two must stay for us to have a chance at defending the Super Bowl next year. Go Bucs! The Champs!

  13. Im not tired anymore we Super Bowl Champs!! Says:

    Go Bucs my new screen name. Haha

  14. Joe in Michigan Says:

    TBBF: There is a path for the Bucs to keep the 7 you mentioned. It wouldn’t be easy, but not impossible. We’ll see what kind of salary cap magic the Bucs can come up with. One of the quotes from Jason Licht from the other day was something along the lines of “The Bucs have set up their salary cap for a moment like this”, being able to resign players after a championship season.

    1) Restructure or add years to the top 9 or 10 highest paid Bucs (the Bucs have the highest cap space for the 2022 season)
    2) Sign Shaq and/or Godwin, tag one if you can resign both (this would be the most difficult, probably)
    3) Get David, Gronk, Suh, AB, and Succop to sign somewhat team-friendly deals unless all of the restructures/ added years gave the Bucs $75-80 million in total cap space

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    *Can’t resign both

  16. Adrnagy Says:

    Devin white had a far better year than shaq not only after the QB but run stuffing and coverage. And …Who ? Same guy as him. A backup , special team player. Then the first year 20 sacks with Bowles scheme , vea , jpp etc it will easy for a new guy.

    Now … who you gonna replace Godwin with ? Run blocking , slot , team player , etc …. with Edelman ? Or scooter ? Haha.

    But the real question is … would you sign shaq versus signing David and Godwin. 2 for 1 ?

    Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:
    February 27th, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Shaq is indispensable. I ask you – WHO IS REPLACING HIM?? Here is why – Stats for ’20 All Pros & possible replacements for Shaq.

  17. Darin Says:

    It doesnt apply to all teams. Theres only a handful of DT’s in the league who command a double team on every snap. Watch more football. When Vea’s in there shaqs getting a one on one. Yes shaq has played good last two seasons. This is just one of those situations where we will see if the players agent values his player more than the team can afford. Good problems to have. Either way with or without shaq the bucs will be ok. Licht will find a way just like he found shaq.

  18. geno711 Says:

    If you can’t sign them all, then I would prioritize the Bucs signings as follows:

    Shaq number 1.
    David number 2.
    Suh number 3.
    Godwin number 4.

    Not minimizing Godwin. There are many ways to win in this league and it is possible to win with Godwin and not Shaq – and I won’t be crying if that is what the Buc’s do. Instead, I will trust what they are doing.

    It suggest that the Buc’s easiest path for victory is hoping that we have Vea, Suh, JPP, and Shaq as our primary on line type of players with David and White there and the solid mix of defensive backs that we have.

    I am in the group that you can not replace Godwin for all he does BUT you can minimize his loss more than you can minimize the other players that I listed on the defense.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If we can bring our defense back….we can certainly score enough points on offense to win.
    Prioritize Shaq, LVD, Suh…..

    Then, restructure the rest of the team to tag Godwin.

  20. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Godwin is expendable. Brate and Gholston will be cap casualties. Tons of very experienced WRs available for a cup of coffee. No need for Lenny either , but would love to see James white added to roster as his pass catching ability and familiarity with brady is legendary.
    Must keep JPP ,Shaq, Suh, and David-PERIOD.
    Making sure Oline has depth is paramount to repeating. Making sure Dline has depth is also key. Draft best available lineman in Round 1&2. Football games are won and lost in the trenches. Wishing the season started tomorrow.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’ll never argue that WR is more important than a pass rusher. My favorite part of football is seeing a fierce pass rush. I played defensive end in high school. That said, I love what Chris Godwin brings to the Bucs. I love that he’s a team first guy, love the way he plays football, regardless of his position. This is why I think it’s important for the Bucs to keep him, his positive attitude and obvious love of football rubs off on everyone around him.
    I remember when Jim Kelly was the QB at Buffalo, they said he played the QB position with a linebacker mentality. The same can be said for Chris Godwin.

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Godwin is the type of player you don’t let out of your building.

    Too many seeing Godwin apparently as the ‘most expendable’ of the Bucs many important FAs – seem to be ignoring CGs intangibles that you just don’t find anywhere.

    He is literally a do-it-all receiver. Plays ‘above the rim’ like he’s 6-4 – yet has the quickness, speed and athleticism of a 5-11 guy. His routes are precise. His ability to ‘go get the ball’ in a contested situation is among the best in the league. His ability to excel inside or outside is very rare – and his high end blocking capability and general ‘toughness’ for a player of his size and build is practically unheard of.

    Combine all of this with the best and most workable, coachable demeanor you could hope for in a young man and team mate – along with a burning desire to be ‘great’ and a stellar work ethic to match….

    Oh – and Tom Brady says CG14 has the “best hands” that he’s ever seen – sooooooooo

    Guess what? Godwin ain’t going nowhere. Just like BA said.

    Anyone thinking Godwin is the odd man out in this upcoming game of contractual musical chairs is mistaken.

    He’s too good a player. Too good a team mate. Too good of a young man to let leave your team for ‘money reasons’.

  23. Adrnagy Says:

    I have to disagree. Why did we sign Antonio brown ? (Injuries)
    So .. if we don’t sign Godwin or aB and Evans goes down with injury .. where are you gonna get your points from ?
    And why did Brady leave NE and came to Bucs ? Was it the defense or the weapons …? At 45yrs old Brady is looking for weapons son. Not looking shaq.


    Shaq is gone. If bud Dupree is asking 18M and Matt judon decline 16m what makes you think shaq will settle for less than that. And those two guys have a better track record. No way Bucs open the checkbook for one player while having 7

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    February 27th, 2021 at 10:26 am
    If we can bring our defense back….we can certainly score enough points on offense to win.

  24. QUE589 Says:

    Got a feeling Bucs re-signing everyone except Fournette. Godwin is getting franchised

  25. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    What I don’t understand is, if I’m Tom Brady, I have $200+ million net worth, my wife has $400+ million net worth, I own a company and have endorsements outside of the NFL where I make bank, is there really a difference between a $25 million a year contract and say a $10 million? That could get you Chris Godwin alone, freeing up the remaining money to resign others/get Oline depth so he can stay healthy. Hell, sign for the vet minimum and grab any player you like so you can get enough rings to fill out your fingers (minus the thumbs).

  26. Beej Says:

    At some point you have to see if guys like Vaughn, Tanner Hudson, (assuming OJ is gone, he would play a bit) can do stuff. If we somehow retain Godwin, Shaq and LD, will be the OFF-season super bowl win

  27. martinii Says:

    Of all the post, all the articles, all the podcast, and all the arguments I think TBBF has made it clear, concise, and understandable for all those non-experts like myself. Defense first, Shaq, LVD, and Suh. Do your best to Tag Godwin. Any other plan is pissin in the wind. We’ve done fairly well in the draft the last few years. Thanks to Covid a lot of teams are going to blow a lot of money on a few good players. Finally as long as Brady holds up and Mike (hopefully Godwin) stay healthy we will be competitive.

  28. August 1976 Buc Says:

    geno711 Says:
    February 27th, 2021 at 10:11 am
    If you can’t sign them all, then I would prioritize the Bucs signings as follows:

    Shaq number 1.
    David number 2.
    Suh number 3.
    Godwin number 4.

    Spot on Geno….

    It iis all about the front 7, keep them intact, and another championship run. GO BUCS!!!!!!


    StickenUp4Centers, seriously you want Brady to be paid what the average back up QB makes after what he has accomplished in Tampa? Are you a relative of Belichick? Mahomes makes $50mm a yr, Wilson 40mm even Cousins and Stafford make more than Brady. I think only asking $25 mm was a steal. That being said he will probably restructure a team friendly deal to keep Godwin. He has done the past.

  30. Buc1987 Says:

    Once again.

    Godwin is gone and Shaq gets tagged again.

    Then they start from there and work on all the rest.

    I can’t be that far off other than a few extensions to free up money.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    They’re not paying for 2 number 1 WR’s….

  32. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Stop being cavalier about running backs, Ian included. Bucs have had average for too long and it got them nowhere fast.

  33. Dr. Buc Says:

    100% agree with this. Don’t need Lenny, he’ll leave to get paid.

    Nobody on the team does what godwin does, moving around and blocking, he’s a rare necessity.

    Need shaq. Period.

  34. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Buc 1987: Do you remember last year when people were saying there was NO WAY Tom Brady would ever sign with the Bucs?
    Do you remember people saying there’s NO WAY the O-Line would ever be good?
    How about there’s there’s NO WAY the secondary would ever be good?

    You might be correct, but I’m going to take a wait and see approach rather than being negative about the situation.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    To the people who say “Godwin is gone”, there’s NO WAY he’s back…Do you really think there’s a 0% chance Godwin re-signs with the Bucs? A 0% chance would mean a player hates the city and team he plays for, the team had a terrible season, or the coach uses him incorrectly. None of these are the case with Godwin. I don’t know what the chances are, but it’s higher than 0%.

  36. Buc1987 Says:

    Michigan…nothing negative at all.

    It’s a money thing and they don;t have much.

  37. Pickgrin Says:

    Godwin is a likely candidate to sign a medium range deal (3-4 years) with the Bucs IMO.
    And unlike most contracts the Bucs work out – this one may well include a large signing bonus that limits CGs cap hit for 2021.

    4 years – $65M – $35 guaranteed – $12M signing bonus – something like that…..

    CG stays a Buccaneer for years to come. Gets a team friendly yet still very good payday for himself with a big lump chunk of it now – and still has the opportunity to get another nice contract 4 years from now while he’s still in his prime playing years (late 20s).

  38. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Buc1987: Understand. Hopefully the Bucs can work some salary cap magic.

  39. StickinUp4Centers Says:


    I’m not saying Brady deserves to be paid that much. I agree that $25 million for his production is a steal. What I am saying is, the guy has 20 years of salaries we could dream of, he probably makes more money outside of football a year than what Suh or Gronk’s next contract will be. Between him and his wife, $10 million is not changing how they live at all but will allow the Bucs to keep a very good player. If I was a “relative of Belichek” I wouldn’t care if these other vets left the building.

    If I’m Brady, let me grow this absurd legend even further. Play for the vet minimum, keep/add to an Allstar cast, give me a chance at the age of 44(!) to go out there and try and top Peyton’s 55 TDs & 5,477 yards, pass Brees on the completion record, earn NFL MVP #4, grab ring #8, and make up the $10 or so mill I took in a pay cut via selling my magic TB12 anti-aging elixirs.

  40. crazybucs_CL Says:

    ….Ian Beckles… countless mistakes in his perditions during the years…. he is nobody that we should listen for football predictions and free agency…… radio show made his name known in this area…..remember making the same predictions/suggestions for Doug Martin… how we should pay him and such…
    where is DM today????
    He hates Glazers…. and he don’t care for the Bucs…. just NOBODY

  41. Durango 95 Says:

    I sadly stumbled upon this meandering mess of a so called analyst, Ian Beckles. Dismissed from WDAE with no place to go. He ends up spewing scat all over JBF.

    God only knows what the heck you Joe’s are thinking

  42. Bobby M. Says:

    Playoff Lenny was nearly cut…..bucs wont give him anything more then another 1 yr deal, he’ll find better elsewhere. I think Godwin and Shaq are back but i also think for a tag and trade, you can find something close and a discount.

  43. TOM Says:

    Beej says signing LVD, Shaq & CG is an off season super bowl win. I say Bull. Not a win without Succup. A lot of people forget Succup when it comes to priorities. Well I say he should be at the top of the list.Remember how many years the Bucs went without a decent kicker? Just remember how many games we could have won in the past with Succup kicking.

  44. covertwo Says:

    Who knows how this will go, but here’s a prediction

    1- Shaq gets paid
    2- Suh and David on team-friendly deals. Suh’s already bounced around and seems happy here. David hopefully gives a hometown discount.
    3- keep Succop
    4- Gronk on the cheap, if not he’s gone.
    5- Godwin is gone
    6- Lenny is gone
    7- A.B. on the cheap