Emotional Investments

May 16th, 2021

A Buccaneers legend explains the team’s unprecedented free agency success

Joe often explains that RondΓ© Barber may be the ultimate insider. The legendary cornerback has active juice at One Buc Palace and seeks knowledge on what’s happening and why.

And Barber was like that before his childhood babysitter (literally) and lifelong friend, Bucco Bruce Arians, took over as head coach.

Barber was on CBS Sports Radio last week and quoted Tampa Bay salary cap guru Mike Greenberg, the guy general manager Jason Licht calls “the real GM.

Barber said he picked up the phone recently to call Greenberg and asked about the Bucs’ historic retention of in-house free agents. ”We’re makin’ all these guys want to be here.” Greenberg said, per Barber.

That sounds like a nice one-liner, but Barber went on to explain the deeper meaning. And after 16 year with the Bucs, Barber has the credibility to speak to why players stay with their team versus chasing dollars.

”You do it because what you have invested emotionally into your football team matters to a degree,” Barber said, noting Lavonte David was a prime and impactful example.

”If you can get your best player, your most tenured player (David), to come back and sign, why wouldn’t everybody else come back and do the same thing?”

As for free agents who had far less time invested into the Bucs, such as like Leonard Fournette and Shaq Barrett, Barber said not to discount how the team had unique bonding through COVID-19 and completely believes that the Bucs have a very unique and special team.

”At the end of the year, this team was the best team in football over the last month and a half of the season,” Barber said. ”They should have won a Super Bowl and they did. So, you ask me how they sign all these guys back; they want to do it again. …Guys want to be there. They feel that they’re going to win.”

Joe’s still excited to be typing this kind of commentary about a Buccaneers team. What a glorious gift after The Lost Decade.

The line about emotional investment really resonated with Joe. It does matter to a point, and somehow the Bucs managed to leverage it just enough to bring the whole band back together.

23 Responses to “Emotional Investments”

  1. Dew Says:

    I’m with you Joe. Whole situation is unbelievable. I was a longterm season ticket holder & eventually just lost hope. And then all this. Almost impossible to wrap my head around. NFL Network rebroadcast this weekend our first game of the season vs NO. I laughed at how poorly we played. But we played really really well the last month (except against the WFT). At 72 I’m finally a happy Bucs fan.

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    These guys came back bcuz they believe another ring is possible. If Brady retired, there would’ve been a MASS EXODUS

  3. SB~LV Says:

    It certainly was a special accomplishment as all the stars aligned .
    I was looking at the salary of all the Bucs and guys like Cappa have been playing for like 500K a year, open market he is 10x’s that when he signs a contract next year.
    Enjoy !
    loved reading this line
    “What a glorious gift after The Lost Decade.”

  4. Swampbuc Says:

    I have wood.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Think about yourself……..sure, you want the most money with your job….but you also want to be happy doing your job….it matters who your coworkers are….who your boss(s) are…..and you’d probably not leave for just a few bucks….you wouldn’t take the gamble.

    It’s greater with football….it’s a game…..players get used to the football brotherhood and it matters to most of them.

    Big bucks…..sure.

    I suspect the reason why R. Smity, A. Adams & J. Haeg are gone is because they could tell the Bucs really didn’t want them.at their price and felt they could do better replacing them with draft picks, other FAs, UDFAs.

  6. Youngbucs Says:

    All hail the 🐐

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    R. Smith

  8. Swampbuc Says:

    Right on TBF

  9. Swampbuc Says:


  10. SB Says:

    What TBBF said:

    Winning trumps All. I would rather be paid a standard amount and be a Winner!
    Rather then being paid a few extra dollars to be a Loser

  11. SB Says:

    Yep that did it

  12. Eddie Marz Says:

    With a chance to go back to back, I’d come back too. These guys were peeking at the end of the year. Keep it going BUCS!

  13. Dewey Selmon Says:

    2 Words. Tom Brady. He is the real shot caller.

  14. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Emotional investment. These guys are fans too.

  15. Atlbucs28 Says:

    !00% Truth TBBF!

  16. gp Says:

    Three words.
    Want, Expectation, Need.

    Of course, everyone wants to win. wants to be on a winning team, wants to be liked/loved and respected by their peers and all who know them.
    However, do they expect to win? If you are playing a team that doesn’t look good or has a losing record, then expectation is high. If, on the other hand, you are playing a team with a better record, you might not have such lofty expectations.
    This has been where the Buc’s have been for almost the entire history of the franchise and it has delivered a sub par lifetime performance.

    Now for the third word, Need.
    We have all heard the word used to describe a game when the season is in the balance. ie, “we need this game to stay in the playoff hunt”.
    How often has “that” worked out for us?

    Enter Tom Brady.
    The definition changes just a little bit here.
    It becomes a visceral need to win.
    Almost like an addiction, nothing else is good enough and leaves you feeling empty.
    Sometimes this “addiction” can be passed on to other individuals through close contact. That certainly seems to be what is going on at OBP (at least that’s what I hope).
    Sorry, Just an old, long suffering, yet eternally optimistic Buc’s fan doing a little daydreaming!

  17. Buckaroo Boozie Says:

    It’s definitely the Brady Effect… Everyone wants to play with the 🐐!

  18. #1bucsfan Says:

    I glorious gift indeed.

  19. DrunkInYbor Says:

    I was thinking about a G.m we had that had huge hand in the decade of depression who seems to have got away with no blame. One Me. Bruce Allen that would be Jon Grudens main man who replaced one of our greatest GM. Rich McKay. Now Rich had is faults mainly wanting Marvin Lewis and ownership said NOPE we’re going to make a splash now. Which was a great move getting the Chuckster. But Bruce Allen was a compete disaster and he never ever gets mentioned. Bruce famously let one future hall of famer John Lynch go without trying to resign. John went to the Broncos and went to a couple more pro bowls. His teams went 5-11 then 11-5 then 4-12 then mediocre 9-7 and 9-7 with the Bucs losing the last 4 games straight sending both Jon and Bruce to the unemployment line. Bruce sure as hell ain’t no Goerge.

  20. Oneilbuc Says:

    Lol πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ it’s not about Brady . David been a great player yall give Brady all the credit when things went good last year. But blame BL when it didn’t look good on offense. I get the New England fans but you so call bucs fan are a trip lol πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚ .

  21. Trey Long Says:

    Brady effect is huge. It means winning and brotherhood. That’s how a 7 and 9 team transformed into Super Bowl champions.

  22. gp Says:

    If you can’t see the difference between wanting to win -vs- needing to win, I can’t help ya!

  23. MarkRIf Says:

    I heard someone say once about TB when he was with the Patriots, “Tom, he does love winning, but he absolutely detests losing!” Whether that is, or is not, the basis of Tom’s fervent and unqualified expectation that he will win every game he plays, that expectation is what changed the culture around here so dramatically and overnight.
    In the world of pro athletics, winning solves everything. It makes the struggle to win more satisfying and the journey a helluva lot more fun. Of course, he is the major factor in the veterans all returning.