A Roster For The Ages

March 25th, 2021


If the Bucs somehow coax furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing receiver Antonio Brown and Playoff Lenny back for another year, that’s like a freaking fantasy football roster, which is what the Bucs had last year.

If Brown decides instead to play for Russell Wilson in Seattle, former Bucs and Cowboys beat writer Charean Williams, speaking on “PFT Live” yesterday, seen weekday mornings on NBC Sports Network (which is on death row), threw out a name the Bucs could chase.

This receiver may not be as talented as Brown but could have a few drops of gas left in his tank, and he has a connection to Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians.

And that would be Larry Fitzgerald.

Williams and the creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio, were discussing veteran free agents who may not like what teams are offering them and might sit out a year, and then rejoin the NFL next year when the salary cap is expected to jump.

Then Williams connected the dots between Fitzgerald and the Bucs potentially joining forces.

“Now if the Bucs called [Fitzgerald] tomorrow and said, ‘Hey, we’d like to bring you on board for the veteran minimum,’ I would absolutely jump at that if I was Larry Fitzgerald — to go play with Tom Brady and expect to win a Super Bowl this year.”

This makes more sense to Joe than just what’s at face value. Fitzgerald would be a seamless transition. He already knows Arians’ playbook. And Arians would know just how to use him.

Fitzgerald would likely play mostly if not exclusively at slot, which would mean Chris Godwin would play outside, assuming Fitzgerald is not too old and fragile to block in the run game. The reason Godwin became a slot player was Arians saw a lot of Fitzgerald in him. In fact, it was Arians,, when he coached the Cardinals, who moved Fitzgerald to slot.

Now Joe would only do this if Brown doesn’t return. Joe learned years ago that if a player doesn’t start, he better play special teams. If he doesn’t play special teams, he is an endangered species.

Just to spitball here, if the Bucs had both Brown (five years younger than Fitzgerald) and Fitzgerald (whew!) that would mean the odd man out would be Justin Watson. “So what?” you say? Well, Watson is one of the Bucs’ best special teams players.

Fitzgerald played 20 plays on special teams last season. Brown played nine plays on special teams in eight games. Watson logged 173 plays on special teams in 11 games in 2020. He was inactive in three of four playoff games.

And is Fitzgerald, who will turn 38 in August, running on an empty tank? But hey, if you are all in…

47 Responses to “A Roster For The Ages”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We already have the entire starting Defense from the last two years under contract with the addition of Antoine Winfield Jr. I’d say that is a pretty good start toward next year.
    Our young secondary has gained experience including playoffs & SB….have rings…..their entire coaching staff is back.
    With some depth pieces added via draft, we should be very strong.

  2. Winny Testaverde Says:

    A feel good story for sure…I picture Hines Ward in his final season averaging single digit yards per catch. I’d prefer Brown if it’s an either/or scenario.

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Lol Larry Fitzgerald ain’t leaving Arizona

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Fitz has been linked to Brady every time he’s been a free agent. Maybe this is the year. Lol

  5. BA4President Says:

    I feel like this would be the only possible chance of him not wearing a Cardinals uniform.

    Larry Fitzgerald deserves a ring.

  6. Robert Says:

    Fitz WAS great. He has more miles on him than a 78 ford pinto

  7. Bucanero Says:

    I thought the Felton kid from UCLA is on the radar because he can play special teams. I like that. What about Fitzgerald and Patterson? There you go, slot and returner solved.

  8. Superd950 Says:

    Larry Fitzgerald is the Man. He would be great for our locker room.

  9. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Luvmybucs – Tom Brady ain’t leaving the Patriots. Jerry Rive ain’t leaving the 49ers. Joe Montana would never leave San Fran. Brett Favre with the Vikings? Never. Yeah, you’re right – I could never ever see Fitz leaving at the end of his career to chase a ring….

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe are you factoring in age when you say Larry is not as talented? If you are compared total careers i gotta disagree. Larrys better

  11. firethecannons Says:

    no what the fck for? why?

    get somebody we need who will make a difference(he mattered nothing for the sorry ass cardinals for at least the last 3 years)
    prefer AB over Larry

  12. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Brown, Fitzgerald, Miller and Johnson. That’s a waste of talent.

  13. westernbuc Says:

    If the Bucs become the retirement team where old players go to chase rings then we’re done for. I’m glad we stayed away from JJ Watt, if the Bucs want to ride the Brady Effect and build a dynasty, it’s gotta go through the draft and smart free agent hires

  14. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Im good with just going with Miller & Johnson….and if on draft day they get the Bama RB then the bucs would be good moving forward. Fitz would be a good #4 on this roster with OJ coming back and would provide depth and knows a version of the playbook

  15. TheShaz Says:

    Great job by the front office resigning the bulk of the free agents.

    My worry for 2021. . .

    Injuries <— We need to draft for depth
    Overconfidence <— How will the team handle being World Champs? The game against the Bucs will be circled by every team we face. We will be their measuring stick.

    Brady was the last one to win it back to back. I hope they are able to put 2020 behind them and get hungry for 2021.

  16. SKBucsFan Says:

    There aren’t too many good veterans out there at the end of their career that wouldn’t sacrifice some cash to have the best chance of their career to be a champion. Especially if TB12 comes knocking. But there is a reason they are at the end of their careers. They are getting old and less productive. Now maybe a slower Larry is better than a young Johnson. But the Bucs are not desperate for help, and I would rather see the young guys get a chance. If there is one thing that Licht and his staff do extremely well is scout receivers.

  17. SlyPirate Says:

    Evans, Godwin, Miller, Johnson … We’re good. Adding more just takes time away from developing Tyler Johnson. Johnson could be Godwin v2. Make the time investment.

  18. Tuddy Time Says:

    We’re going for two! If the “Over the Hill Gang” can help us win, we need to sign all the aging vets that haven’t gotten a ring. Even though Lavonte has similar numbers as Ray Lewis, would he be considered hall of fame material had he not been on a Super Bowl winning team? I believe he is on track to be in the hall. Perhaps taking a league minimum will be fine will guys who still have enough in the tank to help us secure our third super bowl? If so, let’s sign them all!

  19. Cainishere Says:

    Fitz is a good WR but not on the scale of AB. Be smart Bucs re-sign AB. GO BUCS!!!

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    Sly I think it gives Tyler Johnson more time to develope if we resign AB or bring in somebody like Larry. And it gives Tyler fierce competition which ideally forces him to get better quicker.

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Don’t get me wrong Larry Fitzgerald is one of those guys your root for.
    He’s deserves a ring. He’s the epitome of professional on and off the field.
    But I’ve heard him say out of his mouth several times – that he’s retiring as an Arizona Cardinal. That’s he will “never” wear another NFL Jersey.

    Funny, It’s seems like just yesterday he was a young kid – playing catch w/Chris Carter on the sidelines during a BUCS/VIKINGs game.

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    Fitz is such a great person. He should have a ring.
    Right now- is better than AB? No
    Is he better than Tyler Johnson
    Hell ya.
    Tyler had shown the ability to be a fantastic WR.
    But he aint Fitz.
    I want AB back.
    But we should keep an eye on Fitz- just in case?

  23. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Chris Godwin is the Bucs slot receiver. I don’t see the Bucs signing Fitzgerald.

  24. Alanbucsfan Says:

    AB wants to return to Bucs, but R Wilson wants AB and Seahawks don’t have a 1st round pick.

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Per: Larry Fitzgerald

    “If I’m not playing in Arizona, I won’t be playing anywhere.
    I’ve built a good life for myself down there.
    Playing in the same place for 15 years is a true blessing.”

    Larry Fitzgerald made it clear there will be only one team on his final NFL resume.

  26. TSmitty300 Says:

    I would bring in Fitzgerald to be another quality veteran who can make the receivers better. He is a top 10 all time receiver and made his bones with technique. Imagine the tips he could provide the Bucs receivers, especially a youngster like Tyler Johnson. Plus, Larry Fitz isn’t going to raise a stink if he doesn’t get plenty of targets.

  27. Brandon Says:

    The 3rd-5th WRs are ideally special teams players. Your 4-6th are almost always special teams as well as 3rd RB. Somehow we managed to keep Brown and McCoy active on game days and didn’t put them on special teams. This is why we need young players and old vets. Special teams. Just about every backup that isn’t a OL or DL has to contribute in special teams.

  28. Brandon Says:

    Yall talking about giving tips and mentoring young players with these vets… if we keep all of these vets we won’t have young players. Anyone else remember the Redskins of the late 90’s? It was an old timer All-Star team. They always looked great until age caught up with their old stars at the end of the season.

  29. Buccos Says:

    Resign AB. He gets open. All-Pro, much younger.

  30. PSL Bob Says:

    This isn’t an exercise in collecting HOF players. We’ve already got Brady and Gronk with likely candidates Evans, White, Wirfs, and David. With another SB under their belts other O-line (Marpet) and D-line players (JPP, Barrett, Suh) could also make a run. So too could AB if he stays with the Bucs and stays out of trouble. Fitzgerald is a shoo-in, but unnecessary at this stage of his career, and I think were approaching critical max on the HOF front anyway.

  31. Eric Brierton Says:


  32. stpetebucsfan Says:

    It’s AB or nobody. We are set at WR! ME…CG…Scottie..Tyler…it’s just that AB would be a SPECIAL edition.

    So they tell AB they can’t pay him what he’s worth but they’ll work with his agent and get creative as possible to pay as much as they can.

    Then the talk about his reputation. They say when they hired him last year they knew his reputation but that Tom Brady knw HIM…AB the person.

    The Bucs took a chance and AB blossomed into a mature outstanding vet.

    They tell AB its simple….31 other teams know his “reputation”…the Bucs know HIM. They want him back because of HIM not just his talent or reputation. But because he gave them everything last year including providing veteran leadership and inspiration with his focused practice and play and work ethic.

    The Bucs offer AB his absolute opportunity to be appreciated as a MAN not just another great talented receiver. What better way for a guy to build a stretch run into the HOF.

  33. Rod Munch Says:

    Fitzgerald is done, to compare him to AB is pure silliness.

    Fitzgerald is old, and slow, averaged 7.6 yards per reception. The guy is the most popular player in the history of the Cardinals, and they just turned their back on him. This isn’t a guy who still has something left, this is Gruden signing Tim Brown.

    Fitzgerald is an all-time great, but he’s finished. It happens to everyone, except Brady. AB is at least 100x more valuable of a player and Fitz isn’t even worth wasting a roster spot on.

  34. Zachariah Says:

    Many people come down to Florida to retire. Larry might like to retire here too.

  35. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    Re-sign AB and we definitely won’t have any “drop-off” if ME or CG suffers an injury ! Keep the “Band” together by ALL means necessary ! I don’t think AB or Lenny wants to go play anywhere else . A “ring” means more to these players than a few extra $$$ .

  36. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    If Brown or Fournette leave for more $$$ then that proves that they’re Greedy and NOT “Team Players” . Brady and this “Band of Brothers” only want those who want to WIN as opposed to making a few more $$$ and to be Dedicated to the “cause” . Nothing else matters !

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Rod Munch: I thought the exact same thing, Gruden signing Tim Brown, and using the 37 year old to return punts. Even Tim Brown knew he was done, he’d fair catch it with nobody around him. Good call on this comparison, IMHO.

  38. Eddie Says:

    I want Antonio Brown back. Him and Brady kill it.

  39. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Oops, my bad. Tim Brown was 38, not 37, with the Bucs.

  40. MarkR Says:

    I doubt that loyalty is one of AB’s stronger characteristics – although I believe he does feel indebted to Tom. I suspect if he does not get what he wants soon he will get angry and move on to Seattle where he and Metcalf will potentially become the best wr duo in football. SIGN AB!!

  41. David Says:

    This name is obviously coming up now because the talk that has been coming out is that they aren’t close with AB or playoff Lenny.
    So they’re either looking to Fitz or it’s a ploy to AB down and signed.

    Personally I would love to see Johnson in the slot more if AB does not come back.

    Arizona’s got one hell of a team being built right now so it could also be a ploy from the Fitzgerald agent to get his pay up

  42. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Special Teams players are a dime a dozen and if Watson can’t get onto the field other than that then he’s replaceable. He can’t hold Scooters jock. I’d part ways with him now save some money because our special teams outside of Succop has not been special since Joe Marciano then Rich Bisaccia left us.

  43. J.Allen Lofton Says:

    B. A. and others have said…this is a business and if you let your emotions about a declining player sway you then you are not helping the team. As great as Larry Fitzgerald has been in the past he brings no real value to the Bucs when we have receivers like Scotty Miller and others who perform at a higher level. When you are chasing Super Bowl number 2 we need to field our best 53. GO BUCS

  44. CardsFan Says:

    Larry’s too old? Don’t confuse a lack of targets with lack of ability. Look at the last few years of drops by Larry vs anyone else. Better or similar. As reliable as they come. He moves the chains.

    Licht knows receivers? Probably. He came from the Cardinals. Lol.

    You’d be lucky if Larry signed with you, and I’d root for the bucs if he did. But some of your fans are clueless when evaluating ability and looking behind numbers.

  45. Joe in Michigan Says:

    The fact that you’re a Cardinals fan and don’t sound like you want Larry Fitzgerald back on your own team is telling.

  46. Bbro Says:

    It’s just great to see and hear everyone talking about the Bucs and Championship Team in on sentence daily.

  47. Teresa Smith-Brooks Says:

    I believe if it’s not broke don’t fix it. However on the flip side these Veterans are the best of their era. Let them finish their careers where they should be….on the number one puzzle that was put together by Bruce Arians and coaches, as well as the players. They will make the right decisions like bringing AB into life with football. AB showed us that he can handle what he had to fix and is still working on it. Keep, AB let chips fall where the May!