ESPN: Drafting A Punter Was A “Cost-Saving Move”

May 1st, 2022

Bucs P Jake Camarda.

Look, Joe is not about to pile on like so many Bucs fans who, triggered by ugly memories of the past, freaked out because Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafted a punter in the fourth round.

As Joe has written several times, Licht has constructed a pretty damn good resume to earn the benefit of the doubt. Joe had a guy Twitter at him that any man who drafts a punter that high must have his ability to build a football team questioned.

Joe would like to remind this character, and others, that Licht built a Super Bowl winner.

Jenna Laine of ESPN believes there was something more than just drafting a punter at play when the Bucs selected Jake Carmada of Georgia in the fourth round — hey, they picked a guy from the national champs! Laine believes the pick was motivated to save cash.

Joe wrote about the money angle. So Joe understands what Laine is suggesting and she isn’t wrong in believing that Bradley Pinion’s salary made him a target. But drafting a guy in the fourth round to be a cheaper alternative seems is a bit extreme.

The Bucs used another punter successfully last season when Pinion was hurt. They could have just cut Pinion and signed an undrafted free agent or some other punter that would be walking the streets between now and September?

Joe will have more tomorrow about Camarda, specifically how and why he can succeed without being Punt God, who was drafted after Camarda.

43 Responses to “ESPN: Drafting A Punter Was A “Cost-Saving Move””

  1. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Well right or wrong…did you see the Bucs war room explode when the Camarda pick was announced? Everyone was giddy in that room except for Arians.

  2. SB~LV Says:

    BA is no longer sitting at the cool kids table in the cafeteria.
    Gonna be a awkward year for him.

  3. '79Defense Says:

    At least Camarda wasn’t wasn’t a second round pick and is not responsible for scoring points– like another guy we drafted in 2016. Won’t be anywhere near as much pressure on him.

  4. Allbuccedup Says:

    Never pick a kicker or punter before the sixth round. Buffalo got the best kicker/punter in the sixth round. How can you get that excited for a one dimensional punter. What a waste.

  5. tampabayallday Says:

    Wasted pick

  6. FortMyersDave Says:

    I get drafting a punter, just why so early? Did someone actually think there would be a run on punters after the Ravens drafted one 3 picks before the Bucs? Heck, only 2 other punters were taken after the Bucs drafted the UGA kid, one in the 6th (Bills with the Jags pick that the Bucs traded to them earlier when they moved up to get Goedeke) and the other in the 7th and that is where the Bucs should have selected this guy even if he makes the Pro Bowl.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We had the extra 4th round pick……we saved cap….we probably wanted to make sure we selected a punter that would play at least 4 years and play at a high level….mission accomplished.
    I have absolutely no problems with this pick.

  8. Todd Says:

    4.5 40!

    4th and two.

    New beastly blockers for our special teams.

    “Fourth round punter takes the snap, doesn’t even fake the punt…he just flies around the right side of the line looking in the rear view mirror. Runs out of bounds picking up the first down…and flips the ball to Aaron Rodgers! Fourth round punter saves the game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!”

  9. SB~LV Says:

    I have NO problem with the slot he was picked at!
    The draft is a crap shoot!
    Only slightly favoring the higher picks.
    As long as the pick works out I am fine with the big picture!

  10. Bird Says:

    Yah. This kid would have been available later

    We were last in average yards per punt last season

  11. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    Agreed TBBF.

    The Ravens are coached by a Special Teams guru and they also took a punter in the 4th before we did. To the individuals not happy with our draft, relax.

    This franchise is in a good spot; for the second year in row the Bucs are picking at the end of each round which indicates that your team is pretty good (OG Bucs fans like myself are still getting use to this new norm). I’m sure we don’t many if any NFL scouts posting on here. I trust Jason Light and his team of scouts; they get paid to do this. And they’ve been pretty good at it in recent years.

  12. alvin Says:

    As I recall the Oakland Raiders drafted a punter in the first round a few years ago. Ray Guy was a valuable part of that team for years, and was elected to the Hall of Fame. All draft choices obviously don’t work out – see QB Trubitsky for Chicago- but if there is ability to upgrade a position that is a need with a player that the FO determines is THE right choice, it shouldn’t matter where he is drafted.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    If the position got upgraded with young talent and the team saves $2M+…. What would anyone possibly have to complain about??

    It was a late 4th round pick.

    Pinion was too expensive and didn’t play well last year. Made some critical mistakes in fact…. the last Rams game stood out as a lowlight….

  14. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Hey, I like the pick of Camarda. Not only is he potentially better then Pinion, he will also save us a lot of money.

  15. ChiBuc Says:

    Todd, were you playing with your lil plastic army men when you had that punter fantasy. Lol. I like it, put it in the playbook!

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only way you can assure you pick a player with immediate impact is to select a player in the top 10……and that’s still not a guarantee….

    Or….a great punter.

  17. Leighroy Says:

    2.5 million could be the difference between signing Suh or not having enough cash!

  18. Brandon Says:

    Of course it was. This guy will be on a rookie contract for the next four seasons. Pinion is $3 mil this year and would need to be re-signed next year. It’s how you run a football team.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’ll have to admit, though……this draft was saved for me by using next year’s very late fourth round pick to get back into this year early in the 5th round to select Zion……..totally saved the draft.

  20. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Just like EVERY pick in the draft, only time will tell!

  21. matthew veal Says:

    We’re due a little luck drafting punters and kickers. People need to calm down about the fsu kicker. No commenter in the newspaper and elsewhere cones out clean in this business

  22. teacherman777 Says:

    4th round picks are successful if they make the team and contribute. Especially on special teams.

    Kwon Alexander, Jordan Whitehead, and Ryan Smith were great 4th round picks.

    Ryan Smith was one of the bets gunners in the NFL for 3 years straight. Kwon left us on a huge free agent contract. Jordan Whitehead was a good starter on a Super Bowl squad.

    I hope our 4th round luck continues with this punter.

    Punters are very important. He can run and tackle. He’s a unique talent.

    Worthy of a 4th round pick? Maybe it was a stretch. But not if he becomes a guaranteed starter for 4 years.

    Its very hard to find a STARTER in the 4th round. Hell, even the 3rd round.

    A starting punter would be a valuable pick considering its the 4th round.

  23. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Doesn’t this beg the question why Licht would sign Pinion at such a large contract 2 years ago? Plenty of teams do enough homework to draft kickers late or find free-agents, why can’t we. Camarda’s salary will be inexpensive but, for his position, his draft position wasn’t.

  24. TheBradyBunch Says:

    TampaBayBucFan not sure why a 5th round CB from a tiny school “saved” the draft for you. At best he will be play special teams in 2022. At worst he doesn’t make the roster. He has a ton of potential and is very raw. A late round rookie going to a SB contender will have little to no impact on this team. Maybe down the road his measurable will pay off big. However, there has to be a reason a guy like this wasn’t playing in the SEC and was taken in round 5. He damn sure won’t be a starting corner in 2022. Maybe it works out but who knows.

  25. SB~LV Says:

    4 th round pick for a key starting position is WIN

  26. BucDawg Says:

    Caramada has a strong leg & is a better athlete than the average punter. He is capable of handling the teams kickoffs & did a good job at UGA with that job. He is also a potential place kicker for the BUCS should they decide to go in that direction.. he was the backup at UGA place kicker he succeeded at all three positions in college.

  27. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Cutting Bradley Pinion’s salary, paid for all the rookie contracts this year. Left-over cap will be spent on Gronk.

  28. sasquatch Says:

    The draft is always partially about filling needs with cheaper alternatives. No team can afford to buy a free agent to fill every need. In the Pinion case, if he were worth his salary, they would not have drafted Camarda.

    So, it’s not especially brilliant commentary to say it’s about cost cutting… also about getting better at the position… Duh.

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Drafting a P in the 4th is just flaunting.

  30. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    That 5th round pick is gonna shine.

  31. SKBucsFan Says:

    Licht has had a chance to construct a good roster because the teams he fielded for years were mediocre…at best! The only thing he should get credit for is bringing in someone to manage his players…TB12!!!! And yes, that is enough to let some things slide. But let’s be realistic. Had we kept our 6th pick this guy would have likely been there.
    And saving $2 million (or 1%) of your payroll through the draft isn’t exactly something to be proud of. It means you are struggling to balance the books. Not a good trait in a GM. At least not for the next guy.

  32. Buc1987 Says:

    If he pins the other team inside their 10 a lot.

    I’ll have no problem with the pick.

  33. Craig Says:

    A cost saving situation would be to find a punter as a UDFA. There are lots of punters out there, walking the streets.

  34. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Saved the draft because we desperately needed a CB……even Joe called for one as our first pick…….many wanted one in the 2nd….the 3rd….the 4th (2 picks no CB)
    Plus….I think many had Zion going in the 3rd……time will tell….but this draft with no CB would have been severely lacking.

  35. Posey99 Says:

    If a punter gets you 5 more yards per punt. You’re talking about a starter that can potentially help the team create. 15-20+ Yards per game of field position. That could be taking them out of field goal range or even a touch back extra per game which would add to that. An overlooked position for sure. If we got the best one available then it’s a huge hit on a pick for us.

  36. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    With our coverage, who can say we don’t need better punting?……And, Pinion was pretty good at touchbacks…but when our opponents ran it out…they did well….

  37. PassingThru Says:

    As I mentioned elsewhere, Licht had to take a punter early. He needed the cap space to sign the draftees plus Gronk. The Bucs had something like $12 million in cap space prior to the draft, if they release Pinion you get roughly $3 million more, for a total of $15 million under the team cap.

    Gronk is going to charge what he made last season, $8 million. The two second round picks are going to cost about $4.7 million or so. The other picks won’t cost as much due to their lower draft status, but the way I look at it, the whole shebang (Gronk plus draftees) is going to come pretty close to $15 million in cap space.

  38. steele Says:

    They wanted to get rid of Pinion, Camarda was the top punter on the board. Fine.
    Look at the talent they passed up.

    In order to get a guy who was probably available later, or even much later. And how much of a dropoff from Camarda to the next best punter, or a punter in FA on a cheap deal?

    Only if Camarda is the next Ray Guy can you call this move great.

  39. Crickett Baker Says:

    In case some of you hadn’t noticed. Brady was not in the draft room. There were about 20 people, however, that had worked on the draft for MONTHS. It is not all Licht nor anyONE else. To me, it went very well, for all we see now.

  40. sasquatch Says:

    For the value and need, Camarda made a lot of sense. Was there another player on the board at that point that was going to become an instant starter? Camarda is an upgrade as a punter and a kickoff specialist. When you consider the impact a good punter can have on field position every week, I’d say a 4th round pick is definitely reasonable. But some people love to complain…

  41. BUCman Says:

    Pinion is gone saving $2,900,000. Succup will also be gone saving $1,750,000. Jose Borregales will be our kicker this year. Succup may stick around until final cuts in August just in case. Combined that is $4,650,000 saved in salary cap to help with Gronk, Suh, and an ILB to fill Minter’s spot.

  42. Scorps1 Says:


    Pinion was signed to such a beefy contract because he handled both punts and was a touchback machine. I can’t remember if Succup was the kicker at the time but if so he doesn’t have the leg for long kickoffs. Both his and Pinion’s leg went south at the end of last year.

    I read recently about a punter who revolutionized the position by booming punts not just long but high so coverage could stop the return. I would be happier with kickoffs coming down at the goal line but being high enough to allow coverage to stop the return at the 10-20 yard line. Pinion was a touchback machine but that still puts the ball at the 25.

  43. adam from ny Says:

    in the pic above he looks like a skinny edge rusher who needs to bulk up a bit…

    go figure