“Instant Upgrades”

March 16th, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Just a few short days ago, Bucs fans soberly were considering the likes of Blaine Gabbert, Teddy Bridgewater and Carson Wentz as a starting quarterback to replace the retired Tom Brady.

Now? The Bucs are doing what Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht promised he would do this offseason: reload.

And the first bullet in the chamber was Brady coming back. Yesterday, the Bucs added two starters to the roster, guard Shaq Mason and receiver Russell Gage, just hours after announcing center Ryan Jensen will return.

On the second day of legal tampering, Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports labeled the Bucs as winners.

How Tom Brady can inject life into a franchise is incredible. Before Brady made his decision to return, the Buccaneers were interested in Deshaun Watson (weren’t considered a favorite) and about to lose a good chunk of their free agents. After a rough Day 1 on the offensive side of the ball, general manager Jason Licht found some help for Brady.

The Buccaneers are expected to sign Russell Gage to a three-year, $30 million deal, pairing him with Mike Evans at wide receiver while Chris Godwin recovers from his ACL tear (Godwin will be back at some point). Brady has three wide receivers who can make plays down the field, keeping the passing attack one of the most dangerous in football. Just imagine if Rob Gronkowski decides to come back.

Licht also countered the loss of Alex Cappa by acquiring right guard Shaq Mason from the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick; that’s all Tampa Bay had to give up for one of the better guards in the game. Mason actually allowed fewer sacks (one) and pressures (15) in more pass-blocking snaps than his best season in 2020.

Bill Belicheat doesn’t get swindled often, so Joe has his antennae up to try to find out why Belicheat would want to dump one of the better right guards in the league who is very durable for just a fifth-round pick. Regardless, he will fill in for Alex Cappa quite nicely. But this isn’t the first time Licht scored a strong guard from Belicheat for next to nothing; see Logan Mankins in 2014, who was a Bucs Pro Bowler in 2015.

Gage seems like a very good under-the-radar signing with Godwin recovering from knee surgery.

The Bucs are pinned against the wall by the salary cap yet they spend valuable resources to get a receiver. Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bruce Arians must be down on Tyler Johnson, Scottie Miller and others.

Of course, it helps that Gage has logged a lot of snaps as a slot receiver, where Godwin plays primarily. We know Godwin could miss at least the first few games of the season.

A nice day of reloading for Licht.

29 Responses to ““Instant Upgrades””

  1. Buc4evr Says:

    Mason and Gage are great additions. I never thought Cappa was a good run blocker and of course anyone that has their head screwed on right is better than AB. Concern going forward, assuming we get Gronk and Lenny back, is Safety, DL, and Edge rusher. Not sold on JTS.

    Also what are the Bucs going to do about the kicker position ? Seems this one always bites us in the butt. We go with a guy that looks good in preseason and when the real bullets start to fly he has a meltdown.

  2. Allbuccedup Says:

    We had a good kicker and Licht dumped him.

  3. PSL Bob Says:

    A few weeks ago, I was anticipating watching Bucs games just to see what would happen. Now I’ll be tuned in to watch them make another Championship run! Damn! Who woulda thought it?

  4. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Our kicker is already on the roster, Jose Borregales. We were just rewarded another seventh round pick albeit the next to lsat pick in the draft. Perfect spot to go after a punter.

  5. JGhotier Says:

    Does anybody remember that movie Bogus and/or get a Gérard Depardieu vibe and slight look-alike in relation to Jason Licht?!

    I’ve always thought Depardieu when I see JL. Either way, I’m glad he’s not a bogus GM and that we really do have a pretty quality GM.

  6. Show Me the TDs Says:

    The Gage transaction seems like a deal between Ribert Kraft, BB and TB12. Might be a guarantee to retire as a Patriot when the time comes.

  7. Your Mom Says:

    Belichek had a great run of trading away worthless players… but then he let Brady go, so he’s hardly infallible.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    After shoring up the O line, Bucs need to resign Lenny, even before Gronk, and find someone , anyone, who can return a kick-off or punt for more than 5-10 yards. And why not float an offer to Julian Edelman. Want to talk about chemistry?

  9. Goatwatcher Says:

    After shoring up the O line, Bucs need to resign Lenny, even before Gronk, and find someone , anyone, who can return a kick-off or punt for more than 5-10 yards. And why not float an offer to Julian Edelman. Want to talk about chemistry?

  10. DG060 Says:

    Show Me you meant the Shaq Mason transaction.

  11. BucFan29412 Says:

    I am a huge Godwin fan and think he is the best receiver on the team when healthy. My question is could he be traded. He is only going to get more expensive and given he did not come to a deal before the start of free agency it does not seem like he really cares if he is with the Bucs or with another team. Not calling him greedy…good on him…he is set to make family tree altering money and I can not blame him. Could we trade him and clear 20mil in cap and set up to the draft for the next few years? He is set to make more than Evans and he has missed games every season since 2018. We need a strong #3 because our #2 is constantly hurt. Again…I love Godwin and think he absolutely makes this offense churn out points but….

  12. Bobby M. Says:

    I think Belichick has a formula for every unit and how much of the cap they can consume. Its hard to argue with whatever methodology he uses but once a guy hits a certain number/production….he’s quick to cut ties and move on.

  13. Bird Says:

    What is it with belichick letting a guy go means the guy is crap?

    You seem to forget we got logan mankins that turned out to be a solid trade for us. Belly gave up on him ?

    Oh and bellichik gave up on tom brady. 😂
    How did that work out for him?
    And for us?

    Just stop

  14. Buc4evr Says:

    I know we have Borregales but he is unproven in the NFL and we don’t know how he will respond to pressure. Succop with his flaws is better than we have had in the recent past. Should be interesting to see how this shakes out. Agree about a kick returner. Maybe we can find someone in the draft. Darden isn’t the answer. Amazingly we went from doom and gloom rebuilding mode to possible playoff contention in a week and it looks like Jason will be pulling out all the stops today . Go Bucs!

  15. Tye Says:

    I still won’t be completely stoked for this season without a wrecking ball in the backfield….
    Hopefully these past few weeks the Bucs se their need to prepare Trask and get him fully prepared to take the reigns in a year or 2…

  16. ClwJB Says:

    Lots of good backs in this draft, expect a high pick there if Lenny won’t settle for about 5mil per – this coach doesn’t pay RB’s and shouldn’t with TB12 on hand

    DLine/edge/RB/TE are top priorities to me early in the draft – Gronk is coming back of course – need to upgrade depth there

    Very nice recovery on the OL and WR spots already – great work thus far

  17. Mike Says:

    I think Brady has some blackmail pics on Belicheck and said look, give us Mason for a 5th or I go public… 🙂

  18. geno711 Says:

    @Allbuccedup Says:
    March 16th, 2022 at 10:23 am
    We had a good kicker and Licht dumped him.


  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Cappa was a decent Guard, but Mason is better, all for a 5th round draft pick!
    Patriot fans are up in arms over this trade.

  20. Bucsfan951 Says:

    A lot has been done to improve this roster since Sunday but a feel like a lot more needs to be done. Questions on the d line, rb position, te position, lb and cb depth, and safety depth all have question marks.

  21. Craig Says:

    Its starting to look like Licht isn’t real sure about Godwin coming back.

    If I were Godwin, and/or his agent, I would be pissed. They had all year to nail down a contract, and it didn’t happen.

    I hope they can give him a contract before he has to sign the tag again, but I doubt it.

    Other than that, the team is getting closer, a few good draft picks should get us a long way.

  22. BA4President Says:

    @Allbuccedup He wasn’t a good kicker when he was on this team.

  23. SlyPirate Says:

    The Patriots have a young stud guard ready to take over for Mason. It cuts cost for the Patriots to fill gaps later in FA.

  24. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I can’t exactly say where I got it but I have the notion that Jose Borregales will do just fine as our kicker. I will second Jaymiss.

  25. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I’m sure there are questions about Godwin’s recovery at this time. Just because some have done well after similar injuries there can be no absolute guarantees. And of course when he wil be back is another question.

  26. Jarid Says:

    Think the reality Godwin is gonna be traded is becoming more and more clear now isnt it? ugh gut punch but.. its buisness

  27. Bojim Says:

    Guess Tom called Bill. “Hey, I need a real good guard.” The power of TB12. 😁

  28. Buczilla Says:

    I don’t agree with all of Licht’s recent moves, but there’s a reason why he’s a football gm and I’m just criticizing him on Joebuc from time to time. Dude is golden and easily the best gm that we have ever had.

  29. David Says:

    Who do we have for a kick returner? Be great to really shore up that position with a burner Could be very valuable to our Bucs