A Bill Belichick Mistake?

March 16th, 2022

New Bucs starting right guard Shaq Mason.

Gregg Rosenthal can’t believe it.

The NFL.com editor is just about convinced Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht got over on his old boss, Bill Belicheat, by trading a fifth-round pick for starting right guard Shaq Mason.

It’s hard to overstate how much the Bucs’ fortunes have changed since Tom Brady unretired on Sunday. They’ve brought back Ryan Jensen and Carlton Davis. They picked up Gage, and they agreed to trade a fifth-round pick to New England for guard Shaq Mason, who is 28 years old and has been a top-five player at the position when healthy. This is such a typically mystifying Bill Belichick move, dealing away a fairly priced, high-quality starter who should be in his prime. Maybe Belichick is still a huge Brady fan.

Per the Boston Herald, it seems Belicheat trading away Mason was a salary dump.

The cool thing about bringing Mason on board is that he fully understands what Bucs quarterback Tom Brady wants in a guard. No extra work for Brady there.

37 Responses to “A Bill Belichick Mistake?”

  1. westernbuc Says:

    Patriots are an offensive line factory, but yeah this still seems like a steal

  2. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Dang! I LOVE this move! Not sure what I’m more giddy about – the Shaq Mason pick up or sticking it to the Birds with the Gage signing!

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Personally I think the Bucs just made out like a bandit on this deal. Shaq’s highly experienced, is still young (28), has played with Brady for several years, and has 2 years to go on his contract (UFA after 2023) which is for a very affordable price (about $9 mil per year). Considering that we should get a comp pick for Cappa next year, trading away a 5th Rnd pick is no big deal.

    So why did Belicheck trade him? I think the Herald nailed it: salary dump to create CAP space so he can fill a couple of key positions (on offense & defense). They just lost their starting CB (Jackson) & starting Center (Karras) and have big name players not under contract yet. Shaq was expendable to Belicheck.

  4. Joe in Michigan Says:

    So the Bucs might’ve actually improved from Cappa to Shaq? I know Cappa and Wirfs worked together well, but Shaq blocked for Brady for 5 years in NE. This is great, on paper, anyway. We’ll see.

  5. JA Says:

    I checked with various websites who rank guards and found Mason was ranked anywhere between #5-#7 behind or just ahead of (you guessed it) Ali Marpet.
    He is invariably listed as a great run blocker who sometimes struggles with pass protection, especially in 2020. He will need to continue to build on his “significant pass blocking improvement in 2021” unless Brady becomes the most successful, slowest scrambling QB to ever play the game.
    No matter, to get this guy for a fifth rounder is either a steal or a curse if he comes with an overlooked flaw (highly doubtable with today’s analytics).

  6. Bird Says:

    I read some article that pats lost maybe a tackle too. So he is losing a few spots on oline?

    You can bet that the guard from BC has a good chance at landing to Pats at 21

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s a good trade. Looking at the cap $$$ and for a 5th rounder, this is a good deal.

  8. '79 Defense Says:

    Following this site is so much more fun when you know Tom Brady is still a Buc.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    We definitely made out Belicheat must have something up his sleeve
    I am sure hes eyeing Zion Johnson lg Boston College at pick 21. He was probably going to release him for cap space and Licht got wind of it. Low price to pay for an excellent guard.

  10. adam from ny Says:

    the shaq for cappa swapperoonie was on point…on point…

    i bet even cappa’s like:

    “dang the one upped me right quick”

  11. adam from ny Says:

    people really need to understand somehow, someway, we are the “new america’s team”…

    even belichick understands and is complying 🙂

  12. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    Bill ALWAYS seems to get rid of a player at the perfect time. This guy will be out of the league in less than two years.

  13. DarenGibo Says:

    @Fishhawkbuc ALWAYS? like Brad and Gronk? You may be right with Bill OFTEN gets rid of player at perfect time, but always? Nah.

  14. richbucsfan Says:

    It is a great sense of pleasure to see Licht grow in his profession. He is without question the best GM in the NFL. Great to watch him work. There seems to be a synergy between the GM and owners that you rarely see.

  15. Pete I Says:

    One of the sport talk stations in Boston called the trade (for Tampa) an open net goal. And preceded to roast Bill Belicheck as a GM.

  16. mg Says:


  17. adam from ny Says:

    maybe we can get will hernandez next…from the giants…they are down on him and he possibly needs a change of scenery – as well as a handful of other giants as well…

    a good team to pilfer from – they’re a hot mess

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Wouldn’t the Gage pickup negate the Cappa comp pick?…….we still have Whitehead possibility but that might be a later round.

    As for Mason….definitely, positively a very solid pickup

  19. PassingThru Says:

    I can see why Belichick would move Shaq Mason, the Patriots have Mike Onwenu waiting in the wings. Onwenu is a bulldozer (6’3″, 350 lbs.) who has surprisingly good lateral movement and reasonably light feet. Onwenu is listed as a OT, but he’s better as an OG.

    But what I don’t get is why Belichick would only get a 5th round draft pick in return. It’s not like Shaq Mason is making some ridiculous amount of money, or is oft-injured. He’s like an Ali Marpet; he’s quite effective as a pass blocker and a nightmare at run blocking.

    And why would Belichick do Brady any favors? Did old Bill have a senior moment, and thought his job was still to protect Tommy Boy?

  20. Hodad Says:

    Belichick is also letting his best corner go. This is nothing new for Bill. No matter who they lose in the secondary they are always tops in that department. same goes for the O line. They let good players go all the time, but never lose a beat. They’ll use that 5th rounder and turn it into another great piece, at half the price they were paying Jackson, or Mason.

  21. Bojim Says:

    Maybe Bill still loves Brady and wants to do what he can to protect him?

  22. SKBucsFan Says:

    You’re right Hodad. How often did the Pat’s trade down from the 32nd pick and accumulate additional picks? Then Bellicheat turns those picks into gold. He doesn’t overpay for players. He knows he is better off keep the team young and affordable. The difference between them and most other teams in the league is that he is an effective coach/gm that recognizes talent. They will still win the AFC East this year.

  23. PassingThru Says:


    Belichick is great at finding value in the middle rounds. He’s been stinking it up in the early rounds, which is why New England has an aging roster that is bereft of talent.

    The man needs better scouts, or if the rumor is true, he has the scouts but too often discounts their recommendations.

  24. David Says:

    Something definitely seems off here. I don’t understand how it’s a salary dump when it’s 7-8 mill a year on the cap hit for a potential pro bowler the next two years.
    For just a fifth round pick? I think it’s great for the Buccaneers, it’s actually cheaper and an upgrade from Cappa

    Make sure the medical examiners do their due diligence

  25. sasquatch Says:

    Joe Says:

    The cool thing about bringing Mason on board is that he fully understands what Bucs quarterback Tom Brady wants in a guard.

    Ha… Yeah, block those guys in the other jerseys. I know Brady is the GOAT, but Bradifying every move is a little old. Jason Licht is the GM (not Brady) and Bruce Arians is the coach. There are also 2 offensive line coaches… but, it was really about what Brady wants in a guard. You guys are ridiculous. 🤣🤣🤣

  26. YucstoBucs Says:

    Pats are going to be getting Collins from the Cowboys, so that’s why Shaq became available and a 5th round for a cap casualty is better then nothing ? I’m a huge fan of this trade as long as he’s heathy !! Go Bucs

  27. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    The relationship and chemistry between a QB and his OLINE is critical to the success of any football team’s offense.

  28. PassingThru Says:

    BelleGladeBuc is right, especially since Brady is one of the few QBs who calls out OL blocking assignments during his audibles.

  29. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Hmmmmmmmm … 😃

  30. Mikejp Says:

    The Bucs will hire Belichick’ son as their coach! Perhaps next year or after Belichick retires. Jason Litch would be stay for a long time and can help his 2 sons!

  31. stpetebucsfan Says:

    A couple of young Pat linemen must have really developed last year making a veteran salary expendable.

  32. Pastfan007 Says:

    Shaq Mason was not good for the patriots last season. He only would’ve started this coming season due to his salary.Seems like a guy who could use a change. He can be a very good player. I think due to several considerations it was probably time for him to Move on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaq wanted to move on as well. Belichick did him a favor by trading them to Tampa Bay. Belichick may look like a jerk from the outside but players rarely say anything bad about him, at least players that have played for him. I hope Shaq plays well, and I’m sure he will. Olineman love guys how get the ball out quick and no one does it better than Brady.

  33. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    @PatsFan 007

    Hey look, it’s another Pats fan from the northeast where there football knowledge and football player development is a joke coming on this site to share his low football IQ with us Floridians whose high school football players developed by us are one of our main exports like oranges and beef!

    PFF graded Alex Cappa at a 74.2 out of 100 in 2022.

    PFF graded Ali Marpet at a 84.1 out of 100 in 2022.

    PFF graded Shaq Mason at a 85.2 out of 100 in 2022.

    85.2 > 74.2

    85.2 > 84.1

    Shaq > Cappa

    Shaq > Marpet

    PFF > @Patsfan007

    Who is it easier for an offensive lineman to block for @Patsfan007, a rookie QB in Mac Jones or the GOAT in TB12?

    YOU ARE A JOKE @Patsfan007!

  34. Listnfrmafar Says:

    DumbBelle, they maybe better than those from the North for two reasons? 1. Better weather longer & 2. Sacrifice an education for a sport. Good for you Mr. Florida.

  35. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    You’re obsessed with me. Living rent free in that tiny brain of yours.

    Reasons why Massachusetts sucks:

    1) Weather
    2) Citizens of Massachusetts suck at playing football and coaching football at the youth level, using excuses for their failure by blaming the weather even though Ohio and Pennsylvania have horrible weather and they produce great prep football)
    3) Taxes and political leadership suck so bad there that New Englanders are leaving there and admitting to everyone in the country that the state sucks to live in
    4) Football Fan Websites suck so bad that New Englander’s need to come on to Florida based awesome football websites like Joe Bucs Fan
    5) Having non loyal Fans like @Sh!tlist represent the New England area. He says he’s a Pats fan and a Bucs fan = Two Face Cheating Fan.

  36. steele Says:

    Not a mistake at all. Belichick is famous for letting players go in their prime, if he sees a way to replace that talent at lower cost. Dozens of moves over the years have looked like stupidity, only to be anything but stupid with time. Belichick is not always genius and has made mistakes. He’s blown numerous drafts.

    Not keeping Shaq Mason looks like a neutral move. He is good, but not irreplaceable. Pats develop O line talent as well as any other team.

  37. 6 Rings > 2 Rings Says:

    Oh and btw @bellegladebuc , I know I can’t match your vast football knowledge and incredible ability to decipher who PFF thinks had a better year, but I just have to say something: defend Tommy and say he’s the GOAT all you want , because he is. But just remember that nobody outside of the poor souls who think the non-coastal part of Florida is a nice place to live is going to ever think of Brady as a buc when it’s all said and done. Nobody. Brady did what many American men do in their mid forties-he had a midlife crisis, got pushed out by his significant (football) other, and decided to go do the Florida man thing for a couple of years. His time with the bucs will be viewed as a bizarre footnote to a career in New England. And as I said above, the ring from 2020 shouldn’t even be viewed as a real title on par with his others-it came in a season where Covid completely skewed everything, some teams had double digit season long player and coach opt outs, and many teams had key guys miss crucial games in quarantine. Last year was the first year he had with TB that was semi-“normal,” and I think the result was much more realistic. But hey, a guy can never have enough “nfc divisional round participant” t shirts!

    And I still can’t get over it so I have to ask-why the hell would anyone decide to live not just in Florida, but in the part of Florida that is landlocked? I lived in south beach for almost a year and had to move because the weather was so brutal 7+ months out of the year, I can’t fathom living with that level of heat and humidity and not even having the beach.