The Ryan Jensen Question

February 10th, 2022

Bucs center Ryan Jensen.

Could it be that one reason former Bucs quarterback Tom Brady retired is that he wasn’t assured Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen would be back in 2022? That’s a real possibility since Jensen is a free agent this spring.

When the Bucs signed Jensen four years ago, he was the highest-paid center in the league. And he was one of Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht’s best signings.

Not only did Jensen improve as a player, his gnarly attitude slowly but surely rubbed off on the rest of the Bucs’ front line and the Bucs currently have arguably the best line in the game.

In ranking the top free agents next month, Kevin Siefert of BSPN has Jensen listed just outside the top-25.

27. Ryan Jensen, C
2021 team:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Age entering 2022 season: 31

Jensen has played out the four-year, $42 million deal he signed after moving to Tampa Bay from the Ravens in 2018, one of the better free-agent signings in recent memory. He hasn’t missed a start, was named to the Pro Bowl this season and should have several highly productive years remaining in his career.

There is a split decision at world headquarters. One Joe wants the Bucs to wave goodbye to Jensen as the team has to start counting its Team Glazer nickels. The other Joe sees other teams play games with the salary cap and believes Jensen should be franchised.

The Bucs are not going to lure a quarterback to Tampa Bay by shaving off top-shelf talent, especially one that will be directly responsible for keeping a quarterback on his two feet.

After 2022, then yeah, “this Joe” is OK with patting Jensen on the back, handing him his parting gift and waving him goodbye with perhaps the promise of having his name in the Ring of Honor someday.

22 Responses to “The Ryan Jensen Question”

  1. SB Says:

    Nice insight article Joes. I agree with neither in particular.
    I think we NEED Jensen. For him to bail ship right now would send bad vibes to the young players who have gotten used to winning the past two years.
    However he is only worth so much and not just for his age.
    You CAN’T replace his nasty, play through the echo of the whistle moxy that infects the entire team!
    However, we cannot let him afford us Godwin, or/and Davis/Whitehead.

  2. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Interested in which “Joe” is the one who likes to dismiss the value of leaders on the team. Jensen is a very solid player, but most of all a leader and shot of energy for this O-line on game day. One could say Jensen is in his prime or maybe the tail end of it. I’d keep him. He seems to like it here. Unless Hainsey is THE guy and we just don’t know it. Keep the O-line together if you want to keep winning more than losing.

  3. jvato24 Says:

    We need more articles called the dueling Joes

  4. Steven007 Says:

    I would challenge someone to name the starting center of all of the teams in the playoffs this year. Or perhaps just the championship teams. Outside of Jensen, I doubt the average fan or even a big fan would have an easy time naming more than five starting centers out of the 32 teams. Centers aren’t quarterbacks. They can be had in the draft as was pointed out in an early article by Joe. Jensen himself was a sixth round pick. Interesting to look up, but I’m sure Brady has played with over 10 centers in his career. I have a hard time believing Jensen would be a make or break player for Tom. Don’t get me wrong, I love him as a player and would prefer he stayed on the team. But not to the detriment of signing some of the other free agents with positions that typically aren’t just a draft pick away. Especially with what he is going to cost us.

  5. SB Says:

    Steven said what I said.

  6. SB Says:

    Without the ‘nastiness’ angle.

  7. DoooshLaRue Says:

    We can get another sweaty ass crack for a lot less.
    The “nasty” comes with a 15 yd. price tag too.

  8. BucfaninMi Says:

    I agree with whichever Joe says franchise him. See what happens.

  9. Marine Buc Says:

    Sorry but using the franchise tag on Jenson would cost us $19.5 million…

    That is an silly suggestion IMO.

  10. westernbuc Says:

    Jensen is a tone setter for this offensive line. It should be a priority to retain him until his play falls off

  11. bucschamp Says:

    Tom retiring was not about the roster but more about the supermodel wifey. look he’s vacuuming the carpet

  12. David Crum Says:

    If he can stick to about 10 to 11,000,000 that would be ideal. They have to sign in. He brings the attitude to the O-line and the more they can keep them together, the better

    Must sign-
    Davis (franchise)


    Say goodbye-
    OJ Howard
    Brate (if Gronk is done)

  13. HC Grover Says:

    Are the Bucconeers self destructing?

  14. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Save The Licht House…jensen must sign!!!!

  15. steele Says:

    Of the QBs in the draft, I hope the Bucs avoid Malik Willis. He’s a big, strong run-first Wildcat type, with penchant for making wild spectacular highlight film stuff out of broken plays. He does have a big arm but is completely unrefined and borderline reckless. He is definitely run-first, doesn’t read the field (just takes off), and is a wild “thrower” versus a polished passer. He’s going to get a lot of attention for his super athleticism. Right now, that’s all he’s got.

  16. adam from ny Says:

    tommy is whipped by giselle…she has tom in deep check…she even gets jelly when tom is up under center calling hut hut…she feels the only azz he should ever touch from here on out is her small tush

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … Thanks for taking the time to see what the franchise tag cost for a Center will be this year. It’s sooo easy nowadays to buy the huge new house like your buddy has, then end up eating franks & beans every night struggling to pay the mortgage. Franchise tags can be VERY unnecessarily expensive.

    Spotrac lists Jensens’ Market Value at $10 mil based on a 3-yr $30.3 mil contract & the Franchise tag cost at $16.7 mil for a OLineman. Got a hunch that Jensen would LOVE for the Bucs to franchise tag him. Who wouldn’t?

    They also list the franchise tag costs for a CB (like Davis?) at $19.6 mil and for a Safety (like Whitehead?) at $13.5 mil. Sorry, but almost $20 mil for Davis is too rich for my blood, and paying Whitehead $13.5 mil would be grossly overpaying him (his Market Value is projected at $7.8 mil). Sign him to a long-term contract; he’s worth it.

    The real problem with Franchise Tag IMO is that the money would come straight off the top this year (i.e., no way to slide any of it to future years). For any team in a tight salary CAP situation (like the Bucs?), that’s taking a big hit in 1 year that could be avoided by signing the player to a long-term deal. If they’re not worth a long-term deal, find someone else who is.

  18. PassingThru Says:

    You franchise tag Left Tackles coming off their rookie contracts in order to buy time for a longer term agreement later. You do not franchise tag old Centers, that would be financially insane.

  19. Jeff Says:

    Bucs fans. It’s over. This is a 7 win team without Brady. Garbage coaching. So bad Brady is leaving he Bucs when he still wants to play football. What an embarrassment. Only the Yucs could screw this up. Arians is a clown! You will all see that this year.

  20. doolnutts Says:

    I think we keep Jensen OR Cappa but we cannot keep both. I think the bucs will see what the market decides. If Cappa gets offered some kind of crazy deal on the open market maybe the bucs bring back Jensen at the expected high rate knowing he’s great and worth rather than paying Cappa a crazy overpriced rate knowing he’s just good but not great. Licht’s greatest strength seems to be drafting and signing OL though this entire OL is his so I am going to just sit back and see what he does. In Licht I trust… At least along the OL.

  21. Bosch Says:

    Why did the Joes prevent posts to the Bowels article? Is it because the fan base in general despises him that much? Of course if indeed this is the case, he certainly earned it by NOT DOING RIGHT by his employer or it’s fan base.

  22. Duane Says:

    This team is in win now mode, and you think its a good idea to dump your pro bowl center? I dont buy it. There is no future to plan ahead for. BA and Tom Moore arent getting any younger. This team misses the playoffs next year and its quite possible we are in for a really big shakeup in the roster.