The Big 3 For Free Agents

January 31st, 2022

“Answers are everything, Tommy.”

The quality free agents demand to have three questions answered.

In no particular order:

Who is my head coach and how long will he be there?

How much are you paying me? 

Who is my quarterback?

 (For free agent quarterbacks, substitute, ‘Who are my receivers and what does my offensive line look like short- and long-term?)

That’s NFL reality. And it’s why Joe is leery of the Bucs doing anything but trading soon after Tom Brady retires for a name quarterback, three-time Pro Bowlers Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins would be two examples (though Cousins earns too much money).

How exactly are the Bucs supposed to re-sign Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin — and have a prayer at bringing back Rob Gronkowski in a post-Brady world — without an established quarterback? “Hey Chris, we’re not sure what we’re doing at quarterback and the head coach/offensive architect might be in his final season. How would you like to stay?”

If that’s the scenario, then Joe would expect competitors in their prime like Godwin and Fournette to leave town quickly.

Who could blame them?

Joe still holds out hope of Brady returning for 2022, but the Bucs must be prepared with a good and fast answer to the quarterback question in order to have their best shot of winning it all in 2022, if Brady is done.

Joe also suspects prime free agents like Pro Bowler Ryan Jensen and guard Alex Cappa are looking for certainty rather than mystery, same goes for cornerback Carlton Davis.

The Bucs surely have a plan and answers to all the key questions and if-then scenarios. But will their big guns like what they hear?

61 Responses to “The Big 3 For Free Agents”

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    “The Bucs surely have a plan” .. 😂

    No, and stop calling me Shirley.

  2. firethecannons Says:

    Good article we wont know sht about any of it until we find out if TB12 is coming or going. Looks as if Byron is on board for the long term. It may end up being a rebuild year–we have a downright brutal schedule anyway.

  3. Tye Says:

    IF only Trask or another young blood QB would become a quality talent for the Bucs so we can go 5-10 years without this situation constantly come around FAR to often!

  4. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Plan better include fixing the secondary or we in trouble. Joe do a poll. “Would we like to see Russel Wilson at QB or……..? “

  5. Captain Oblivious Says:

    I’ve admitted it before, I’m a Brady fan first and, by extension, a recent Bucs fan. Maybe I am still in denial but I think Brady plays next year. Perhaps he was waiting to see the results of the 49ers playoffs this year. If they won the SB then Jimmy G would likely be their QB in 2022. However, if they lost the NFC championship and JG played poorly, then the 49ers would be looking for a AB that could lead them to a championship. That’s exactly what happened last night. The next few weeks should be interesting.

  6. LVMYBUCS Says:

    I love TB and what he brought to the Bucs but damn he goes to the ground to fast for me I would love to have a QB with some fresh wheels on him so he can escape the pockets.

  7. Pewter Power Says:

    This is absurd, the ways people can do exaggerate a situation. If mike evans was so worried about his quarterback he would never have resigned. We never had a quarterback until Brady now all of a sudden everybody wants to leave? Didn’t affect vea decision or Lavonte. Who thought he would play there 3-4 years on that team?

    It’s about money and the team. So only playoff teams are gonna targets our free agents? Chances are worse teams will

  8. Jeff Says:

    There is no plan. It’s Blaine Gabbert at QB backed up by Trask. They’ll resign Godwin. Let’s hope he heals up and can play half a season next year. Suh, JPP, Brate, all gone. It’s rebuild time. Let’s hope Light can do it again. But faster this time. Bucs have cap room to blow it out if they can land a good QB via trade. Try for another SB.

  9. Pewter Power Says:

    Playoff Lenny is about getting touches and being the featured back, if anything he’d get even more touches and Godwin, he gets the easiest passes thrown his way Playing in the slot. They about their money

  10. Tye Says:

    Even if Brady plays 2022, the Bucs need to be answering this question so we are not in this same predicament Feb 2023!…
    Burrow got hurt in his 1st season so he had a year to study play book… IF Trask is doing all he can to be ready then one more year behind Tom could only be better!

  11. DBS Says:

    One thing so far the OC DC chatter leaving has been quite. Looks like nobody is jumping all of a sudden.

  12. Gofortheface30 Says:

    I would imagine Godwin wants to work with a franchise quarterback and have some direction. Contract talks are going nowhere with Godwin until he knows who that guy is. Reality is this: The colts for example may trade for sayyyy Russell Wilson. Then Indy makes a top 5 offer to Godwin to be THE GUY on a contending team with Jonathan Taylor. Well ya know, he will be gone. Chris may be the nicest person ever but he isnt running a charity. Tampa needs to provide a some assurances and have their ducks in a row to make them the best option for him and his family

  13. BucsFan81 Says:

    It’s really simple if Brady retires. Trask is starting and the rebuild will start. In a couple years if Trask is not the guy then you add a new QB to a younger team that has been rebuilt with younger talent. Part of the reason for so many injuries this year is majority of these guys are over 30 and take longer to recover and more wear and tear on there bodies.

  14. Ash Says:

    There are no fast answers and keeping your head in reality no realistic good answers. What they eventually have to settle with isn’t going to be what most fans are not going to be very enthusiastic about bucs are about to look alot different this coming season probably will be rough. It was a hell of a two years though lol

  15. LakelandSteve Says:

    If Trask is the answer to Brady then why wasn’t he active as the backup to Brady for any of the games. None! Gabbert was the backup the entire year and he is not that great of a quarterback. I can understand the beginning of the year while Trask is still learning the nuances of the offense, but the second half of the season he still was never active. They could have had three quarterbacks active if they ever expected a blowout and wanted to get Trask experience at garbage time but that never occurred. I don’t think Trask will be the answer. Like Arians said the Bucs are going to see who is behind door #2.

  16. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Hard disagree on this philosophy.

    Plenty of big name free agents have stayed or gone on to sign with teams that didn’t have their sh!t together, whether at QB or head coach.

    The only question of these three really matters is the “how much are you paying me?” one.

    Otherwise how did the Bucs lure any free agents or resign anybody during the Lost Decade?

  17. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Clock is ticking… many moving parts… Licht and Arians and the Glazers need to be fully engaged 24/7. If not, we could be in contention for the #1 pick in 2023…

  18. zzbucs Says:

    CG Cappa and Jensen I do care about those 3….I don´t care about Davies nor Gronk (he won´t be here without Brady) nor Lenny…..

    I wouldn´t do anything stupid trading for a Star qb and mortgage the future….I wouldn´t mind going with trask if Carr or Cousins don´t come at a reasonable price……

    Players coaches and GM just are passing threw, Fans will be here forever!!

    Go Bucs!!!

  19. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Save The Licht House…Make The Bucs Great Again

  20. tampabayallday Says:

    Let em all walk if TB12 is really retiring. Reload on defense.

  21. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Certainly the “team” and it’s chances of winning are important.

    But sadly to me the #1 requirement is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    No doubt all of the factors Joe mentioned can have an effect on how much money is required. We’ve benefitted from a Brady discount. But at the end of the day these guys are professional athletes with a very limited time to earn.

    I honestly do not understand however guys focusing exclusively on money. ALL FA’s are multimillionaires and yeah everybody has the right to earn as much as they can but at the end of the day quality of life is just as important.

    I feel that way and I do not have a FRACTION of the wealth of an NFL player.
    I do not begrudge them at all. It’s just that I’m incredibly happy and blessed right now and money has had NOTHING to do with my happiness.

    As the OJays sang in their classic “Money”.

    For the love of money
    People will steal from their mother
    For the love of money
    People will rob their own brother

    For the love of money
    People will lie, Lord, they will cheat
    For the love of money
    People don’t care who they hurt or beat
    For the love of money
    A woman will sell her precious body
    For a small piece of paper it carries a lot of weight
    Call it lean, mean, mean green
    Almighty dollar

  22. Posey99 Says:

    “How much money will I make?” is #1a, 1b and 1c for a player in his prime who has already won a superbowl.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    If Brady is back, you make sure you have the offense in tact for him. You’ll all in on 2022 and kick the cap hell bucket down the road.

    If Brady is gone, then you take your medicine, take your cap hell hit. I’d still resign Godwin since he’s still young, maybe bring back Cappa if he’s not too expensive, perhaps bring back Davis, but he might be too expensive compared to his play. But guys like Jensen you would let walk since he’s up there in age and you’re building for 2023 and later.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How about Andrew Luck as our QB……far-fetched? I think not.

    As far as Godwin,Davis & Cappa……the Bucs drafted them….I think if the price is right, they stay no matter who the QB is.
    Jensen came for Jameis….that answers his question…..

    Lenny is happy here….pay the man.

    And……they all earned a ring with Tampa.

  25. WillieG Says:

    I’m still holding out hope that Brady signs an 8 year extension. Or maybe that he comes to the realization that he can, and should “turn it off” at 6pm and go home to his family like every other working man in America. He doesn’t need to put in all the time he does, because he has so much experience. Well, that’s my opinion, I could be woefully uninformed.

  26. Buc92’ Says:

    Luck is close with BA & has Been spotted more lately … bt yea Watson , Wilson , or Trask for me …


  27. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    I cannot believe Brady is retiring and this organization hasn’t found a new, all Pro QB in 48 hours. Fire everyone. Let the board GMs run this team.

  28. Adrnagy Says:

    Top 3 FA imo

  29. 86_90 Says:

    Trade… I see Brady being traded to San Fransico for Jimmy G. and a pick.

  30. Adrnagy Says:

    If trask is starter. Fournette is a priority. Run first offense. Also cappa , jensen.

    It all depends. Whats arians future like and licht strategy knowing arians and brady are gone.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Tampabaybucfan – Luck would be interesting, but the Colts still own his rights, and they’re not just going to give him up for nothing.

    Also there’s the issue of Luck himself, have you seen any recent photos of him? The guy looks like a stick figure. He’s almost sickly looking, very thin, his arms look like a woman’s arm, he’d have to gain at least 50lbs you’d think to play and not get broken in half.

    It’s a very very far fetched idea, and the Colts still owning his rights is the big thing. There’s no way they’re not demanding a bunch of firsts for him or just blocking him from playing again.

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    If Trask is the starter, you’re literally playing for the #1 pick in the 2023 draft. While I’d keep Godwin, I wouldn’t bother with Lenny, I’d go with Vaughn and see what you got. The idea of Trask starting is to say, lets see how many games we can lose.

    If Trask surprizes, then fantastic, you build around him. If not, you got a top pick, which I’d then trade for a bunch of picks, make sure your offensive line is good, make sure your WRs are good, and then try to sign some aging proven winning QB who people think is washed. I wouldn’t bother spending a top pick on a QB when we just saw how the Brady model works, and it doesn’t take 5-years to figure out if you got something or not.

  33. Adrnagy Says:

    Can you get the idea of playing for the #1 draft pick gone from your head!

    So why give shaq and vea a multi year contract ?

  34. Adrnagy Says:

    If trask or teddy or gabbert are the starters. We are a run first offense. Fournette , jensen ,cappa are a priority.

    Its not like the saints, falcons or panthers are a power house with a franchise QB in place.

  35. HC Grover Says:

    We could trade two first round picks, Tryon and Howard for a good QB. Even throw in the great Gabbert and Darden. duo.

  36. Buc4evr Says:

    If Trask or Gabbert starts, the Bucs are done , stick a fork in them. No free agents of any stature are coming here and expect a big exodus of our current free agents. Short of bringing in Arron Rodgers or Russell Wilson we are toast. Teddy is a bust and Derrick Carr would struggle in a Tampa. I hate to say it, but I can envision the Bucs signing Jameis.

  37. DBS Says:

    I can also see them signing James. He knows the offense and the receivers. As long as they stop the old way they tried to use him.

  38. Posey99 Says:

    “If Trask or Gabbert starts, the Bucs are done , stick a fork in them.”

    Since you know the future of Trask before taking a snap. Can I get some lotto ticket numbers?

    Everybody on this team has a superbowl ring. Money is #1 at this point in their careers. If you think guys are going to uproot their family, leave a no state income tax warm weather state to go play in california, SF, seattle, greenbay, etc I wouldn’t bet on it unless it’s for more money.

  39. DBS Says:


  40. BUC IT Says:

    If Brady retires….I think we should go after Rodgers or Watson and if we miss out on them. Then we should blow it up and trade some of our key assets for 2023 picks. Most of these veteran QB’s who will be available aren’t good enough to win us a Super Bowl.

  41. Bucsfanman Says:

    Howard’s a FA and even if he wasn’t, you’d be lucky to get a box of Cracker Jacks and a 2 liter of RC for the guy, let alone a draft pick!

  42. VabucSINCE’97 Says:

    Let Carlton Davis Goooooooooo

  43. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    At least Captain Oblivious is open and honest about it. That is why I have read and taken time to digest his comments.

    I am also taking a wait and see approach. The most obvious thing to me about our situation is that we fans won’t have a clearer picture until TB actually leaves us or returns to us. I reiterate, we will either be in rebuild mode, including a look “behind door number two” again or we will be in retool mode and will then prepare to make one more run at getting another Lombardi Trophy after the 2022 season. I think I am merely stating the obvious in simple terms.

    Go Bucs!

  44. Defense Rules Says:

    Pewter Power … ‘It’s about money and the team. So only playoff teams are gonna targets our free agents? Chances are worse teams will.’

    I agree with you on those two (money & team), but I also think that some sign on because of the coach & whether or not he has ‘a plan for the future’, as well as because of who the QB is. Professional football IMO is first & foremost a BUSINESS, and these players are BUSINESSMEN. Almost all of them use agents & they understand the business side of the NFL very well.

    Would Chris Godwin sign with the Bucs this year IF we offer him a quality contract right when FA starts? I think so. Same with Fournette & Cappa & Jensen & others. The big advantage that we have IMO is right at the start of FA. Now if we let them test the market, who knows? All bets are off at that point.

  45. SOEbuc Says:

    Trask QB money:

    1. Godwin
    2. Fournette
    3. Davis
    4. Whitehead
    5. Cappa

    Gotta develop young without all our vet FHOF, and there is nothing wrong with that.

  46. Pittbucfan Says:

    Please, just say no to another TB. Teddy Bridgewater. Rather see Trask or try moving up fo Pickett.

  47. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    BucsFan81, your comments are to the point. Straightfoward and simple enough for a guy like me.

    I am not capable of assessing NFL talent deeply. I do know that there were some analysts who did say Kyle Trask was a possible first round pick about a year ago. I do trust our scouting crew based on many of their successes in recent drafts. That does not mean I have much of a clue about what we have with Trask. He seems to have the kind of intangibles I look for as a long time football fan. Drafting on potential is not a bad thing when you have the luxury to do so.

  48. Bucfanforlife Says:

    Deshaun Watson!! Simple trade for him and the Bucs are back in the thick of winning a Super Bowl!!!!

  49. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    Now here’s someone focused and straight! ^^^^
    Been pimpin’ it here despite the shortcomings of others.

    Someone should tell (needs to) StudyFromUpClose…

    THAT’S WHAT’S UP! Bucfanforlife

  50. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Some of you guys are just talking crazy.

  51. Reddington Neck Shores Says:

    they drafted trask to start trask. 22 is the year

  52. Gunnin4Ya Says:

    And as far as the 4pm post from SOEbuc..

    Well, just saying that #1 And #2 agents advice, not too mention the players themselves, wouldn’t sacrifice their PRIME wage earning contract years, by catching passes and taking handoff from Kyle Trask. Nuh uh. Just simply sayin.

    They’d be best marketing themselves outside the organization, unless TB12 returns for a year, or Deshaun Watson is for. Then your list will be fine after that.

  53. T REX Says:

    Anyone who thinks Licht had anything to do with our SB is looney.

    He happened to be GM when Brady picked the Bucs.

    That’s it. Licht was a loser before Brady and is again.

  54. Joe Says:

    Anyone who thinks Licht had anything to do with our SB is looney.

    Who drafted, traded for and signed the Bucs players, Leeman Bennett?

  55. T REX Says:

    Joe, what was our record under Licht without Brady?

    I’ll bet you whatever number you want we go back to a losing record.

    Brady ran the freaking team and recruited guys.

    You think Licht brought in Gronk?

    Tall me you aren’t that stupid.

  56. WalkdaPlank Says:

    T Rex

    I for one was HUGE Licht detractor, mainly because of one of the worst draft picks of all time in Roberto Aguayo.

    But the dude has been solid money almost across the board since that pick. Even some decisions before that pick turned out to be diamonds. FA’s too.

    Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, JPP, Sack Barrett, Marpet (actually the whole O-line), Devin White, Antoine Winfield…..the list goes on.

  57. Tim R. Says:

    Godwin and Gronk are going to go to the highest bidder. You can not blame them. The Bucs need to keep the defense in tact. Getting a suitable replacement at quarterback will take some doing. It can and will be accomplished. The next two months will determine what course Jason takes. At this point anything goes. It’s going to be a chess match. There is no telling what kind of team the Bucs will have next season. I wish the organization the best on their deals and decision making. Go Buccaneers!

  58. Buczilla Says:

    Hell no to Carr, and LOL hell no to Cousins. Reboot this b!tch! If those free agents mentioned above don’t want to play with a first year starter, then sayonara! I’d rather have at least a damn good team capable of vying for Superbowls or a horrid team vying for the first pick in the draft. Carr and Cousins will keep us in perpetual mediocrity and neither is worth even half of what they’ll want in their next contract.

  59. Broseph Says:

    We all know it’s a house of cards. If or when brady retires the whole
    Thing comes crashing down. I personally think he s floated a few ideas
    To the glazers through his agent. If they can meet all his requests he ll be back for 1 more run. If not he s out to either San Francisco or he ll just officially retire. He won t play for a non contender.

    Trask and or Gabbert won t be the answer for a multitude of reasons.
    It’s officially rebuilding if either are the starter for the next few seasons.
    Russel Wilson, kirk cousins, or DeShawn Watson would be enormous upgrades from Trask or Gabbert. Trouble is the bucs wouldn’t be able to afford long-term deals with key free agents if bringing a 25m a year QB.

    Let’s give it one more run Tom !!!

  60. Chiloquin Bill Says:

    We’re not as strong on both sides of the ball as
    Last year and this year once Chris went down we were in trouble
    The defense couldn’t stop the pass all year. The offence keep it close but at the end defense was torn up . AB is a DICK with all
    They put up with this year.from him to pull that.I hope he’s off Tom’s
    Party list ..Tom see’s the writing on the wall ..we got what we could out of it ..Lets let him go to SF49er and get what we can for picks next year maybe the following ..
    Thanks to him for what he did we couldn’t stop them with 40.sec on the clocke not he’s doing that’s the game Thanks Tom I understand don’t stop playing move on to. SF 49ers get us what you can Thanks..

  61. Buclova Says:

    @st.pete..Absolutely love your Ojays breakdown of how it goes..don’t let money change you!!!