It’s Different For The Bucs

March 22nd, 2021

Proven Super Bowl-winner.

A lot of NFL insiders believe if a team wins free agency, it loses.

The Bucs know all about that. See The Lost Decade. There were times when the Bucs won free agency, and lost.

The first was 2012. It was Bucs commander Greg Schiano’s first season. Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, sleazy Eric Wright and well-traveled, directionally-challenged backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky were added as free agents. Jackson was excellent as a big target for leaky, sleepy Josh Freeman. Carl Nicks was fantastic but got a nasty case of turf toe. Wright was a toasty corner who was really a bad apple the Bucs eventually traded prior to the 2013 season.

Even with those big names, the Bucs couldn’t win.

Then it was the massive free agent class of 2014, followed by 2017, when the Bucs had high hopes for two more free agents. DeSean Jackson turned out to be a back-stabbing cancer who had a physical altercation with an assistant coach and did his best to get the starting quarterback run out of town. And Chris “Swaggy” Baker was a lazy, palm-tree-grinding slob who constantly whined on social media about how bad players have it. But hey, at least you couldn’t call him “gutless.”

As one could imagine, the Bucs cratered that season after losing a wild card tiebreaker the previous season.

Now this year, several NFL analysts claim the Bucs are winning free agency along with the Belicheats. So should Bucs fans be worried?

No, said Michael Lombardie, the former coffee fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, The former Browns general manager said on his podcast, “GM Shuffle,” that there is a difference with the Bucs winning free agency this spring.

“The Bucs have spent $46 million and that’s on [players from] the Super Bowl team,” Lombardi said. “So they are all in. This is how you repeat when you go all in.”

Paying the players that have proven they can work together to win a Super Bowl is a winning formula, Lombardi said.  There’s no “hope” about it, it’s all proven. You’ve already won with Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett and Ryan Succop.

Lombardi confessed he’s unsure the Bucs will be able to re-sign Ndamukong Suh (he didn’t mention Playoff Lenny or furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing Antonio Brown). Lombardi’s two sons work in the NFL (one works for Belicheat, the other is an assistant coach with the Crows) said he would not be surprised at all if the Bucs signed receiving back James White.

Joe believes Lombardi nailed it. This year, you don’t have to hope. The players the Bucs brought back will be getting their rings in a few weeks.

As for Suh, well, it could take a few weeks still. Suh came to the Bucs in 2019 signing on May 21. Last year he re-signed on March 25.

Today is March 22.

18 Responses to “It’s Different For The Bucs”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Winning free agency” has a different meaning this year. In the past, it was big name/big impact FAs. This time, we’re bringing back “our guys.”

    NOT worried in the least!

  2. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Are we forgetting the “outsiders” the Bucs signed last year? Would any of this been possible without Brady and Gronkowski?

  3. Leighroy Says:

    Finding outsiders at a large imbalance of cost for talent is different than “winning FA” implying who spent the most that year. BB is trying that tactic in NE this year and it’s doomed to fail bc Cam Newton isn’t a spry dual threat 24-yr old anymore.

    But finding playoff Lenny for what, 4 mil in the preseason and AB for even less than that into the regular season is like finding your child’s favorite new toy for years in the bargain bin at the dollar tree.

  4. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    @Joe in Michigan, you make a good point, and I would add Lombardi Lenny to that list. There were critical moments Lenny came thru for the Bucs.

    I do not understand the attitude some have about Fournette – especially wanting White over Fournette. Playoff Lenny stats during the playoffs:
    • Rushing – 16 attempts, 300 yds, 4.7 y/a, 1 TD each playoff game
    • Receiving – 21 Tgts, 18 Rec, 86% catch rate, 148 yds

    • Fournette 25 years old – 76.9% catch rate, 3.9 avg yds/ rush
    • White 29 years old – 74.2% catch rate, 4.0 avg yds/ rush

    In case you missed the above, Lombardi Lenny is the better choice – he is younger, stepped up big when the games mattered most averaging 5.6 yards rushing in the SB and a TD in every game. Lenny is the better receiver as per his career catch rate

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Back on Feb 1st you wrote a piece Joe entitled ‘Ndamukong Suh Says He Plans To Play In 2021 And Wants It To Be In Tampa’. I’m confident that he’ll re-sign here but that he’s in no particular hurry right now. Gut feel is that he’ll be looking for a 2-year deal in the neighborhood of $15 mil total or thereabouts.

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Gronkowski was a trade, anyway. I hope the Bucs find some bargains again this year, an edge rusher would be nice so JPP and Shaq wouldn’t have to play so many snaps.


    Identifying the players that have or know how to win is the key, then get them all moving in the right direction. Watching GMF this morning they listed the QB’s with the most turnovers in the last two seasons: Jones 39, Goff 38, Rivers 35, Mayfield 35, Winston 35. What do four of these QB’s have in common? They all start and played last year. Only one rode pine and still made the list. Sorry Oneilyall, I don’t make this sh@#t up. The facts are the facts. Look at it this way at least he made one NFL Qb list.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Surely, we won Free Agency last year….picking up Brady, Gronk, AB, Fournette & Succop

    And we surely won last year, winning the Super Bowl….so that puts an end to that narrative.

  9. Goldenbuc Says:

    Turf toe or Mrsa for Carl Nicks Joe?

  10. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    The Bucs won free agency last year too. That turned out pretty well.

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    I also thought it was MRSA that did Nicks in.

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    Brady is the difference with this and prior free agent signings. It’s clear as day, he’s the motivating factor and the glue that will keep all the other pieces fitting nice and tightly together.

  13. Joe Says:

    I also thought it was MRSA that did Nicks in.

    It did eventually the next season. Not initially.

  14. Topdoggie Says:

    Thought the turff toe treatment led to Mrsa

  15. Joe Says:

    Thought the turff toe treatment led to Mrsa

    It did. Not sure it was the treatment but Nicks had an ugly turf toe injury. Joe saw it and documented it here on this site. It was gross. Later on he got the MRSA in his toe.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    SHICR: I’m okay with Lenny coming back. If he chooses to leave, the Bucs will have other options.

  17. David Says:

    Signing a bunch of big-name free agents like the Buccaneers did last year rarely pays off. They already had a core but damn good team and needed a leader, Brady. This year is different, their resigning their own team back

  18. firethecannons Says:

    doubt Suh will want to move with twins on board