Dear Players, It Really Is A Business.

March 30th, 2022

Trust. Loyalty. Respect.

That was the mantra of former head coach Bucco Bruce Arians to his players, the key to a successful team. But did freshly-retired Arians stick to his core belief in recent weeks?

And if not, then why not?

Joe is busy tonight putting together pieces of a confusing Buccaneers puzzle, one compounded by the fact that Joe just spent three days at the NFL Owners Meetings diving into all things Bucs with team officials and mingling around nearly everyone important in the industry.

Nearly every power hitter was in the house from NFL Media: Jay Glazer, Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport, etc., to owners, head coaches, general managers and top executives. Yet the Bucs got through the convention clinging to their secret that Arians was retiring — unless they didn’t really know and are just peddling a fluffy story tonight to cover up a different truth.

Raw honesty and candid communication are not on anyone’s job description when it comes to being a team official in the NFL. Lying and misdirection are part of the game. Joe gets that. It’s like politics. It’s fun. Sometimes.

However, Joe has seen club officials around the NFL get angry when media gets something wrong or has an opinion that doesn’t suit them. Ironic!

Joe is not annoyed. The NFL is a business. But Joe has to wonder tonight whether all the free agents the Bucs were recruiting to return in 2022 got played. Were they told Arians was likely to quit, as it appears Team Glazer and general manager Jason Licht knew for months?

If not, then those players were not granted the trust, loyalty and respect the organization lives by.

Simply stated, those players deserved to know their head coach’s status so they could make a decision accordingly.

Maybe giving those guys the hard truth wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference. But maybe for one it would have been a decision-changer. After all, Arians is the greatest head coach in franchise history.

If the pending free agents were not informed of Arians’ status — and they may not have cared — then the team might have eroded the organizational trust of intelligent guys like Ryan Jensen, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and others. That might not matter now, but it certainly could down the road.

27 Responses to “Dear Players, It Really Is A Business.”

  1. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    They all resigned for Brady

  2. BradyBucs Says:

    When you’re paying a free agent receiver $10,000,000 A YEAR, with a lot guaranteed, and he doesn’t have a no-trade clause or anything like that, he doesn’t ‘deserve’ to know these types of coaching details, in my opinion. It IS just a business.


    Bowles wasn’t offered another Head Coaching job because this has been in the works for a lot longer than anyone realizes.

  3. BradyBucs Says:

    ALSO, JOE…

    I think the Glazers probably didn’t let players in on things out of RESPECT FOR ARIANS’ AND HIS CAREER.

    If Arians was truly shuttled out the door because it’s what Tom Brady wanted, and sure is looking that way, then everyone involved probably felt Arians deserved to at least go out with a little more “manufactured grace” then it being “because Tom didn’t want to play for him anymore.”

  4. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    Nearly all the FA we signed were underpaid 25% or more. Chris is looking at Adams and Tyreek and other thinking he got 50% pay cut.

    Chris would be on tagged now arguing for a cheaper Tyreek deal if Brady didn’t call.

    Jessen could’ve made much more protecting a young QB, he was all but gone till Brady returned.

    Russel Gage wouldn’t be on this team without Brady.

    Lenny had some market but happily returned to play with Tom.

    Gronk will sign as soon as Tom new 3 year contract is inked adding another cheap all star player.

    Will Evans seek a Tyreek trade or new deal to be paid like a top 5 WR, he’s within his rights their would be a market, but no because Tom is hear so he reworked cap to help

    Tom main value to NE all these years was keeping all the other players happy to make less as Tom made less so can’t fight for market value with Tom plays 25% under.

    And he played to good cop to Bills bad cop with the players

  5. Willsslap Says:

    Most, if not all, of those players don’t come back if TB12 isn’t the QB. A random commentor could be HC as long Tom is QB

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    Scripted like the Oscars.

    BA was likely gone next year-Brady needs to see what Bowles team looks like if he is to resign in 2023.

  7. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    They need to change the name to the Tampa Bay Bradyneers 🏴‍☠️ anyone like @David and others that thinks things were all roses and no rifts between the QB and Coach maybe just don’t want to see it or are blind ? Kinda like not seeing Will Smith slapping the smallest guy at the Oscars or even scarier the POTUS aka Joey Bs cognitive decline 😳. It’s real guys and can’t think of one coach that would quit after getting Rings aka TB12 back for another season 😊 Would love to have been a fly on the wall when he spoke to the brass about meeting his demands or requirements for coming back to the Bradyneers.. Let’s Go

  8. Posey99 Says:

    I don’t get this idea. To add to what was stated above, not only did the players return for Brady, but they signed multi-year deals. Knowing damn well Brady and BA won’t be around. Arians doesn’t call offensive plays or set the defense. He helps game plan, I’m sure he will be involved with that still.


    New England Patriots Fan,

    Thank you, now good bye.

  10. westernbuc Says:

    All the defensive guys are posting on IG and seem pretty happy for Bowles.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I find ot hard to believe that the contract for Bowles ‘just got done’. I suspect the entire organization staff was aware this was coming…weeks ago…but they waited until the League Year had started.

  12. FortMyersDave Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai: waiting for the League Year to start to announce the retirement did make sure that the Bucs did not have to go through a media circus of Rooney Rule interviews (though technically they could say they interviewed Leftwich and Bowles to satisfy the rule). I think the Bucs waited to announce the BA retirement/reassignment so it would not interfere with any tier one free agent signings, a change with T Bowles at the top may have been used as ammo from agents and other teams to stop the Bucs from getting good free agents at a TB12 discount.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Nice theory, but honestly free agents don’t care. As a former professional athlete who has many friends still playing, I assure you three things matter most: money, social life and off the field business opportunities in a given city, and likelihood of winning. That sounds nice, but “likelihood of winning” and longevity in a city, in a game with unguaranteed contracts, means who the head coach is is a critical piece of the puzzle for a player. –Joe While players like playing for some coaches and organizations more than others, money and comfort level with where they live are the biggest determinants. We understand sports is a business and just like most of you at work care about your relationship with your immediate supervisor (for us position coach), most don’t care who the CEO is as long as the checks clear.

  14. Esteban85 Says:

    The team knew and the FA’s knew. BA had already taken a consultant type role as of last year. He’s already stated that he doesn’t do anything around there. I’m sure everyone saw this coming and didn’t think twice about it because they didn’t come back to the Bucs because BA was the coach and we all know that. BA played his part to perfection when he was coach and left the team in the best shape possible for his ideal successor. The only thing that could’ve made this more perfectenschlag would’ve been back to back Super Bowl wins

  15. RPK Says:

    Name one Buc player that wouldn’t have signed if they knew BA was leaving.


    They signed to play with Tom Brady on a stacked team in Florida.



  16. Pewter Power Says:

    No not mad but damn sure seem salty for some odd reason it’s almost like the narrative is owed to you someone and if kept secret there is some plot or conspiracy

    How about after all the years of coaching wanting to look out for Todd while going out on his terms his way his announcement and not wanting a repeat of the Tom Brady retirement fiasco!!!

  17. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    Last year’s loss in the playoffs sets the stage, for a much bigger Cinderella story when Bowles wins a Superbowl. Bet on it.

  18. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Say what you want Joe, BA has had this in his mind ever since the Super Bowl Win. I mean think about it Joe, BA is stepping away from being a head coach, not something he does lightly. How do we know if BA really knew it was now. Did he get some news about health? That forced him to retire already. I mean think about it, this is it for him as a Head Coach. That is a hard pill to swallow for someone getting to do what they love. Like my wife’s grandfather in Iowa, he was a farmer, and when the day came for him to finally give up his life long occupation. It was so hard for him to get off the John Deere tractor for the last time. THAT ALMOST KILLED him right there. So give BA a break, maybe he did not really know himself until the last week or so, that he would actually step aside now, and allow the succession plan with T Bowles to happen. I have nothing but respect for him and how he has been loyal to his coaches. To move to senior consultant, writing his own narrative. HUGE RESPECT FOR ARIANS, leaving the right way. Again he was loyal to the end to his coaches. How many coaches get to go out like this? BA is the best Coach the Bucs have had. All the best to you BA, smooth sailing to you brother in life and as a Consultant and whenever you go after that. The Bucs organization is better for bringing BA to Tampa!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  19. VA Tom Says:

    Here’s my conspiracy theory. Bucs want Brady to restructure, make cap room and sign for multiple yrs. Brady isn’t happy with Arians game management. Brady says, I love Bruce, but I’m not restructuring for x yrs with Arians as HC. Key to me will be if it’s announced Brady restructures with a multi yr deal shortly.

  20. VA Tom Says:

    Or (he or) his wife is sick.

  21. DungyDance Says:

    Joe – you mentioned in an earlier post that you thought BA’s health was more likely behind all this. But he said it had nothing to do with it. Why would he lie about that if it really is an issue, what would he or the organization stand to gain? Who knows what happened. This is all very sudden and the timing is just weird. But not really convinced about the health angle, especially since he himself said it wasn’t an issue.

  22. Bucs Guy Says:

    This article is total BS. You have no right to know your employer’s future plans or your boss’s personal life/medical plans. Yes it could effect your decisions, but they don’t have to tell you anything

  23. Proud Bucs Fan Says:

    If even one player is upset, then the Bucs could just have a bruce cardboard cut out asleep at a desk. Or for even more accurate, they could set it up late as well for an exact replica.

  24. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bye Bye Felicia, kicked to the curb like AB. TB12 has spoken. JoeinMichigan, looks like BA quot on the team.

  25. Allen Lofton Says:

    All these conspiracy theories are more hunches than anything – BA wanted to step down but when TB announced his retirement everything was put on hold. Once TB unretired it set up this whole scenario of events. Congrats BA, Todd B. the Bucs – everyone came out a winner

  26. Brandon Says:

    Good move by organization. Keep Arians leaving under wraps until Free Agency is cold. Draft picks have to go where they’re picked. Brilliant brilliant move.

  27. Buc You Says:

    Bruce is still the HC, regardless of title. This is all about promoting the staff. Simple as that.