Freedom Rings For 23 Buccaneers

February 14th, 2022

Safety Jordan Whitehead

Bucs fans are exactly four weeks from the free agency dinner bell ringing. In 28 days, representatives of unrestricted free agents can start negotiating with any team — and deals will be announced within hours.

A full buffet of Bucs are hoping to cash in.

Here’s the menu:

Running backs Giovani Bernard, Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette
Guards Alex Cappa and Aaron Stinnie
Cornerbacks Carlton Davis, Pierre Desir & Richard Sherman (expected to retire)
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert
Defensive linemen William Gholston, Ndamukong Suh and Steve McLendon.
Wide receivers Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman
Tight ends Rob Gronkowski & O.J. Howard
Safeties Jordan Whitehead, Andrew Adams and Curtis Riley
Center Ryan Jensen
Linebackers Kevin Minter & Jason Pierre-Paul
Backup offensive tackle Josh Wells

Man, Joe would love to see the big board at One Buc Palace and all the if-then scenarios and spreadsheets in place. It must be a spectacular sight. (If Gholston won’t take two years at $5 million each, then ____.)

One intriguing angle is four names above are from the Bucs’ 2018 NFL Draft class (Vita Vea already has a new contract).  Joe would be stunned if the Bucs do not retain two of the four remaining: Whitehead, Jones, Cappa and Davis.

What regime ever lets a majority of free agents from a successful draft class walk out of the building?

38 Responses to “Freedom Rings For 23 Buccaneers”

  1. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Here is where our team starts to come apart, but hopefully we will be able to replace some of the players we are sure to lose.

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe

    What about Zack Triner, JPP, Pat O’Conner and Blaine Gabbert?

    We really have 26 free agents…
    Joe didn’t add Triner and O’Conner because they are restricted free agents and, well, not exactly key cogs.–Joe

  3. Bruce Blahak Says:

    I’ll take a cappa, jensen, godwin, gabbert and bernard. To go with the suh, gholston and whitehead. Pay ya later…

  4. Bruce Blahak Says:

    and JPP!

  5. Robert Says:

    holy $heep$hit!!!

    most of the OL, except the overpaid LT. (at leart we have Wirfs)

    our #1 and only truely good CB, Whitehead, no TE’s left besides Brate

    all the RB’s and the GOAT is gone to pasture

    CG who may or may not be the same

    One goo DL left in Vea and shaq who shows up when he wants to.

    This team is a dumpster fire. no wonder TB clocked out.

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe

    You don’t consider a long snapper a “key cog”?

    I’m not saying it is the same as QB but come on man… Every team needs a solid long snapper and last year I believe Triner made @ $1.5 million dollars.

    A key cog? – no.

    But noteworthy – yes…

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe

    I’m glad to hear they are both restricted free agents. I was not aware of that.


  8. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Robert

    Exactly. This is why I don’t understand the people who still claim we are a Super Bowl ready team.

    Not to mention Trask is the only QB we currently have on the roster…

    This team is far from “Super Bowl ready”.

  9. allbuccedup Says:

    Bucs scenario running back-RonaldJ. 2mil, guard Alex C. Team friendly 5mil, corner Pierre D. 1mil, qb BAs drinking buddy Blaine G. 1 mil., defensive line Willian G. Team friendly 4 mil, wide receiver Chris G. prove your still healthy contract 15 mil., tight end we will see safety Jotdan W. Team friendly 6 mil. Center we will see, linebacker we will see ot Josh W 1 mil. Thats 35 mil just a tat higher than our cap space. Since in 2025 we will still be carrying Gronk and Suh even though the are free agents in 2022. Might ss well beef up the roster and spread into 2035.

  10. Pewter Power Says:

    Man you are depressing and unrealistic. No playoff team is losing anywhere close to 23 free agents. Bucs have more than enough cap space to selling key guys, we aren’t in the bottom of the league in terms of cap space. Going to be a drama queen this off-season I see

  11. Casual Observer Says:

    Time for Licht to really earn his keep. Hope he succeeds.

  12. Just Me Says:

    Ok, this is depressing, but with all these guys as FA, we should have a decent amount of cap space, right? So we can re-sign or pickup new guys. IDK, trying to be optimistic.

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Casual

    Licht and Mike Greenberg will both be tested.

    I’m sure we will restructure some contracts and hopefully we will be able to put most of the pieces back together again. But sacrifices will have to be made.

    Biggest question is at QB…

    Will it be Gabbert, Trask or other?

  14. HC Grover Says:

    Normal NFL turnover. Good Grief.

  15. allbuccedup Says:

    Everyone is doing the same thing now Rams, Packers, Saints and of course Bucs they are just shoving money down the road in a win now mode. But only two teams can go to the big dance so you better spend your money wisely or you will end up like the saints a minus 75 mil in cap space and you wonder why Payton retired!

  16. Bucs Guy Says:

    You mean you will be surprised if the Bucs don’t keep 2 of 3 from the 2018 draft Cappa, Davis and Whitehead.

    Ronald Jones is gone. I’ll be really shocked if we keep ROJO or OJ.

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Well you coach is BA and he and his cronies had no problem retiring Brady.

  18. RonRico Says:

    Now we know why Brady retired

  19. Buczilla Says:

    Geez, when ya put it on paper like that, it’s kinda crazy how many key pieces may leave. I trust Licht at this point, but the team is gonna look different next year for sure.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Robert … ‘This team is a dumpster fire. no wonder TB clocked out.’

    Undoubtedly TB12 knew what was coming in terms of Bucs’ roster turnover, but I doubt THAT’S what caused him to retire. Lots of other factors in-play. Only he really knows why.

    And seeing this team as being a ‘dumpster fire’ depends on whether you see the glass as half empty or half full. Bucs have 47 players under contract right now (actually 44 if you exclude Brady, Gronk & Suh, all of whom we owe money to because of how their contracts were structured). Brady is the only 1 of the 3 who wouldn’t cost us more IF he plays because ‘he’d be unretiring’ and his 2022 contract is paid for (not so with Suh & Gronk).

    Of those 44, as many as 14 very possibly won’t make the final roster (of course, none of them make very much either). So in my eyes I see a very talented roster composed of about 30 players still under contract for 2022. Guys like ME13, Vea, White, LVD, Shaq, Marpet, Wirfs etc etc. Our current problem is that we’ll need to add probably around 23-25 players to who we have under contract, and right now we only have $6.9 mil in salary CAP space to do that with.

    Good news though: we can restructure some contracts if we need to, and we can release some players under contract IF we need to without any significant penalty & replace them with younger, less expensive players. Thankfully it’s not our job to figure that out; that’s why JL gets paid the big bucks.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    UsedToStaring- It’s a “chicken or the egg” scenario.
    I’ll pose this: Wouldn’t it be more enticing for a QB to know who’s on the roster first?
    The way I look at it, it’s an easier sell with some of the aforementioned FAs signed and in place. Of course with this method, there may not be enough $$$ left to lure an elite QB.
    If you sign the elite $$$ QB first, you may not be able to retain near the same amount of FAs.
    What will they do?!

  22. Rich Says:

    List, why all the hate for BA?? Have you forgotten what it was like before he got here? People forget what it was like before.. short term memory I guess.

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    This is a fork in the road the Bucs have never really faced in their existence.

    I have no idea why some above are saying were not SuperBowl ready. You look at our team and FAs we can resign, almost everyone has a SB ring. Proven winners.

    The team hasent decided which path their taking yet so lets see what they do. They might just be ready to fork over 4 number ones for an elite QB. Do that and sign key free agents we are instant favorites in the NFC. I dont think thats what will happen but until we know what they are doing everything should be on the table……For all we know Tom has told Bruce behind the scenes to keep the engine running.

  24. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I agree. The term “dumpster fire” is a bit extreme. We will be able to gain some salary cap dollars by restructuring/cutting a few contracts. My guess is we will have between $35-$40 million to work with.

    Even with $40 million it is going to be very interesting to see how the Bucs go about this off season. There will be several teams also bidding on our free agents which will drive up the prices.

    The biggest question for me is at QB. Will it be Gabbert/Trask or other?

  25. Bqen green Says:

    Don’t worry about the FA defensive backs, they suck anyway. Focus on Lenny, cappa and Jensen. Gronk will wait in “retirement” until Brady picks a new team. They’ll lose Godwin if they don’t tag him. Everyone else is either expendable or too expensive. They need to draft incredibly well to make up the slack. Ben can’t think of one player the bucs drafted last year, that made any meaningful contribution to the team.

  26. Adrnagy Says:

    Fournette is gone. Going to bills.

  27. allbuccedup Says:

    If we keep Bradys name on the roster until June with will gain another 12.7 mil to go with the 6.9 which will give us close to 20. We will need about another 15 players plus draft picks. We should be able to sign 6 or 7 with the 20 then Licht will have to move some money to sign the rest.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … Agree that QB is the biggest question mark right now, but it could potentially be a huge positive too. We simply don’t know right now.

    My personal preference is to build the TEAM and roll with Trask & Gabbert (plus 1) IF we need to. With a quality TEAM, who’s to say that Tom Brady won’t get the itch to ‘un-retire’ come August or so and see what he can do with the Bucs (who he happens to know pretty well)? Maybe even later than August IF our starting QB gets injured or whatever?

    OR … MAYBE some SB-ready team works a trade with JL for the rights to TB12 (who coincidentally lets it leak out that he’d like to play again but not for the Bucs). We could probably pick up a lot in salary CAP relief AND possibly a draft pick or two. Stranger things have happened.

    In any event, IF we build a reasonably strong TEAM in 2022, that puts us in a much better position for 2023 to be even more competitive. IF our QB situation isn’t settled by then, 2023 provides better QB options than we’re seeing now for 2022. Still way too early to know how this whole thing will flesh out for 2022.

  29. Casual Observer Says:

    I think Bgen green has it about right.

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    You really cannot blame players for going with the money. careers are short. And we can’t keep’em all. Build the defense.

  31. Bqen green Says:

    Why thank you Casual Observer

  32. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I agree..Highest probability is Gabbert/Trask and a prayer that TB12 returns…

  33. Buccos Says:

    Competition between Trask and Trubisky, praying for Brady to return. Keep all the best players and let the rest go and draft their replacements.

  34. SOEbuc Says:

    Whitehead is second in our secondary behind AWJr. I’m hoping he sticks around

  35. Kenneth Kistner Says:

    I say the Bucs let go of Gabbert and draft Tanner McKee on the 2nd or 3rd day of the draft

  36. Austin Says:

    I’m still pissed we gave donovan Smith so much money

  37. Joe Says:

    I say the Bucs let go of Gabbert and draft Tanner McKee on the 2nd or 3rd day of the draft

    Don’t bank on the former.

  38. Oneilbuc Says:

    Rich. BA ain’t trying to coach any more he’s trying to win without coaching !! BA ain’t never developed no quarterback but some of yall trying to give him credit for Payton Manning wich Manning got good once BA left . Big Ben was already developed and he helped the Steelers win with a good defense and a running game. But never the less Tomlin vetoed a lot of his play calling during games in Pittsburgh. BA got Andrew Luck killed and pushed him in to retirement. Palmer got beat up and Palmer was already a 10 year vet by that time. So what quarterback that he developed?? And again this is not even close to being a superbowl roster or even contenders right now!! Forget Brady let Trask start since he had time to sit and learned give him this year and if he suck than you move on and draft a quarterback in the first round!! But bringing in a vet who’s at the back end of their career is just stupid because every other year you are gonna be worried what’s next !!