Could Bucs Use Superior Depth To Deal For A Center?

July 29th, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

What Tommy wants Tommy gets. He’s got the street cred. And the clout.

So despite what former Bucs offensive linemen have said about how backup center Robert Hainsey is ready to fill in for star center Ryan Jensen, it really doesn’t matter.

The guy whose voice is final is Tom Brady.

Is Brady, who turns 45 next week, confident enough in Hainsey to work with him for perhaps Brady’s final NFL season? If not, you better believe Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will be persuaded (forced?) to go find a veteran.

Now Joe isn’t crazy enough to think the Bucs signing a USFL receiver is an immediate sign of a trade coming, but it is interesting. The Bucs are crazy loaded at receiver. So why in the world did Licht sign a USFL receiver (unless a camp meat receiver is so terrible they have to replace and ship the guy out?)? Perhaps Licht is getting ready to pull the trigger on a trade?

With the Bucs signing Julio Jones this week, they arguably have the best Nos. 1-4 receivers the NFL has ever seen:  Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage and Julio. That means there will be quality receivers in Bucs camp who will not make the final cut.

Could Licht be in the early stages of dangling a receiver or two, paired with a draft pick or two, to land a veteran center?

It makes Joe wonder.

63 Responses to “Could Bucs Use Superior Depth To Deal For A Center?”

  1. Cover deuce Says:

    JC Tretter is still a free agent why would Licht trade assets before looking that way?

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    Who are they going to trade? Godwin? Evans? Of course not. Julio Jones? No. Perriman? Gage ? Minimal trade value. Darden? Zero value in trade.

    All they have is draft picks.

    Stay seated, remain calm.

  3. Mike pizzoli Says:

    JC Tretter is the answer

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Why trade when you don’t need to…..we have the money….pick up Tretter.

    But, don’t we trust Licht….picking Hainswy…….probably time for him to step up.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Brady’s last season. Tons of TV revenue on the line. The league isn’t going to let Tom play behind an inexperienced poser. Wheels be a turning. He’ll be behind another pro bowler sooner than later

  6. Alvafan Says:

    Brady’s last season. Tons of TV revenue on the line. The league isn’t going to let Tom play behind an inexperienced poser. Wheels be a turning. He’ll be behind another pro bowler sooner than later

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    Tretter. Or, trade Julio.

  8. Allbuccedup Says:

    There are 3 good center free agents out there makes no sense to waste another draft pick we already do not have a 4th pick. With Tretter leading the way.

  9. gofortheface30 Says:

    I absolutely love what I’m hearing about Hainsey. Number one, Notre Dame guys actually go to class and get good grades (rim shot) but he looks a lot bigger now and is undoubtedly prepared. Just…not this yr. Not interested in taking that chance. Experiment with unproven guys when Trask or Gabbert lines up next yr. The Bucs are supposed to be a wagon, and I expect a wagon. Get Our second superbowl this yr at ALL COSTS

  10. Goatfarmer Says:

    It would be our third super bowl, face.

  11. NCBucfan Says:

    Well we can’t beat the saints and rams with Jensen. How the fudge are we going to beat them w/o Jensen. They both will stunt us to death! My gawd!!!!

  12. NCBucfan Says:

    Maybe we can move Vea to Fullback!

  13. lunchmeat Says:

    According to the link, the USFL guy isn’t a WR, he’s a tight end
    Thinking of trading Cameron Brate?

  14. #8 Says:

    If Jensen goes to the IR, does his salary count towards the cap? I think its only the top 53 dudes, so hopefully him being on IR (potentially) also means more $ to spend?

  15. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Vikings’ Center is in a contract year, he had a good year in 2020, disappointing last year- and their new coach is looking for Receiver depth.

  16. nosetackle Says:

    Tretter couldn’t practice his last three seasons, due to injuries. No thanks.

  17. Goatfarmer Says:

    lunchmeat — signing a TE sure makes more sense than adding a 34th WR to the team.

  18. SB~LV Says:

    Quit panicking!

  19. Bobby M. Says:

    I think the young back up is ready….I have faith in Licht’s drafting of lineman.

  20. Hodad Says:

    Everybody has to start somewhere. Is it Hainsey’s turn? Jensen wasn’t exactly a first round draft pick. The good news is it happened early. Plenty of time to get our act together. I will say tho it’s no time to fool around. We can’t screw around all preseason at LG, and center. Give the guys who you are high on, and let them get that continuity going NOW!

  21. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Well just got breaking news via NFL. The thought is Jensen’s season is done.

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    It’s the 3rd day of camp. They aren’t going to do anything until they evaluate Hainsey after running with the 1’s for a while. They pride themselves on scouting and developing offensive linemen. Relax.

    Teams don’t trade starting quality offensive lineman. Period. They will just have to trust their process and speed someone currently on the roster up, and then sign someone else for added depth.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    This is just the START of training camp. Let’s see what Hainsey has (he might surprise you all). If not up to par, Brady will let folks know & we’ll have a veteran center in here lickety-split (either a FA or by trade). Besides, no one even knows the true extent of Jensen’s injury yet & how long he’ll have to spend in the repair shop.

    As of today, Bucs have 3 of the 5 OLine positions manned by guys who didn’t start here last year. It’s gonna take time for them all to gel & get on the same page. And that page was written by Tom Brady.

    Personally still much more concerned about our DLine. They’ve got an even bigger job of getting everyone to ‘gel’. Our defense is dependent upon what goes on in the trenches, and especially the pass rush. We’ve had the good fortune over these past 3 years of having an excellent pass rush, combined with a top-ranked run defense. Bucs had 224 ‘pressures’ last season (sacks, hits & knockdowns) plus 81 TFLs. In 2020 we had 193 ‘pressures’ plus 91 TFLs. And in 2019 it was 186 ‘pressures’ plus 87 TFLs. Compare those numbers to 2018 where we had 122 ‘pressures’ plus 85 TFLs. We’ve been getting better every year, but we no longer have Suh & JPP to rely on. HOPEFULLY our new guys can produce at the same or higher level. Time will tell.

  24. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    In 2003, Brady won the Super Bowl with Dan Koppen, a rookie 5th rounder as his center. In 2014, he won again with Bryan Stork, a rookie 4th rounder at center. In 2011, he won with Dan Connolly at center. A guy (who according to pro football reference) who was an UDFA who played guard the other years in the league and didn’t even make it onto the field for 2 of those years. He has won before with inexperienced non-blue chip offensive linemen, specifically centers. He should be able to do it again.

  25. Goatfarmer Says:

    How do you run a non-contact practice but have your guys in the trenches hitting each other resulting in a season ending knee injury for your most important O-lineman on the second day of practice?

  26. gbobucsfan Says:

    Do we even know if Jensen will be out an extended period???? Hopefully all this talk is all for naught.

  27. TiredBucsFan Says:

    JC Tretter, be great fill in

  28. Jerry Says:

    If you want a team to trade a pro bowl-quality center, they are going to want a LOT more than Julio Jones and some camp meat. They are going to want Godwin and maybe even some draft picks to sweeten the deal.

  29. gofortheface30 Says:

    Goat – I meant second in 3 yrs and Toms second w/Tampa. The point still stands

  30. Infomeplease Says:

    I like the idea of using Hainsey, sure he’ll be tested again and again and that may cost the Bucs a win or two, but he’ll get real under fire reps. If Jensen can’t get back for the playoffs, Hainsey will be ready by then!!

  31. Thadeus Says:

    Brate. Godwin. Miller. Package deal for a good center.

  32. AtticusFlinch Says:

    Cash? Brady and a coupla few other well compensated vets who know what’s at stake would restructure to pick up the best available center. The issue is the TIME needed to get back on track. The fact that this happened 2nd day of camp is the only silver lining here. DO IT Licht.

  33. PA Buc Fan Says:

    Thats just stupid Thadeus. Godwin in any trade is just blasphemy! Evans and Godwin are Bucs4life!

  34. PassingThru Says:

    JC Tretter is probably the best option. There are valid health concerns, but he’s a quality starting center who has missed only one game in the past five seasons. How many Buc starters can make that claim? He also allowed only one sack last season, and is a decent run blocker.

    Call him in, give him a physical. Older free agents this time of the year get nervous. If no team signs them, they know it’s the end of the road for their career.

    I don’t know about Hainsey, this assumes there are still some rough edges. He was a RT in college, that position is quite different than C. There were also questions about his base, was it enough to anchor as an IOL versus OT. And stating the obvious, how clean are his snaps? I’ve seen some Gs struggle when asked to snap the ball in game situations.

    Maybe Hainsey is ready, but the season rides on how well he can keep the interior from collapsing. Brady is a pocket QB, which means he needs to function and step up into the pocket. This becomes essential on late-developing plays.

  35. #8 Says:

    Defense–Our DLine is doing great so far. They’ve already knocked out a starting center!
    Too soon?
    Suh. backup center.

  36. mark2001 Says:

    NO Trades. Why? We have Ryan under contract for two more years, and Hainsey as well. What 10-million-dollar man are we going to sit for two years? And if it is a one-year deal, why would you trade guys and picks or a one-year deal? It will either be a FA like JC or staying in house with Hainsey. I believe we will do the later, and maybe pick up another lesser FA center as a backup.

  37. AbucAway Says:

    Go with Hainsey and find a FA center on the cheap. Put some weight on Fournette and have him and White in a 2back set. At least until Jainsey gets his sea legs

  38. AbucAway Says:


    Also, Stinnie can’t stops rook without pads. No bueno.

  39. mark2001 Says:

    And BTW… watch this Sadarius Hutcherson kid at guard. Heard good things last year before his injury. He might help the line out this year.

  40. SB~LV Says:

    Pads on next Monday!
    They will know soon enough

  41. Coran Says:

    The pats have traded with us, likely won’t be going anywhere, and have an older, fairly cheap center that Brady knows and won rings with. Bill also pulls off weird trades… maybe we can get Andrews cheap. Prob not but that’s the best case scenario if Jensen doesn’t come back.

  42. DG060 Says:

    The one guy not named Brady who was absolutely irreplaceable goes down for the year on day 2 of training camp. Why in the hell did these coaches let these guys go full bore with all those bodies getting flung around?
    So disgusted I could puke.

  43. Bilobi Says:

    Tommy will probably smirk when I say this, but didn’t Patriot’s coach show his talent at center For M Jones earlier this year, might get him on the cheap 😎

  44. BuccoBruce Says:

    I say sign Suh and have him play center. You wanna match Jensen’s attitude…well then.

  45. Wade Landry Says:

    It’s football…in several weeks it’s f-IN for real. Loved the insight/info on B’s previous history with less then stellar C’s…stay away from blaming the coaching …again it’s Football..injuries suck much more for the players then the spectators Jensen, speedy but safe recovery…5star General Brady is the most battletested athlete in the quote his buddy Arrogant Rodgers RELAX…

  46. PassingThru Says:

    Well the rookie Stork was key in the 2014 Super Bowl run, when healthy he did a good job anchoring a pretty unstable O Line. But it also has to be pointed out that he was key in the New England loss in the AFC Championship game to Denver. Talent and coaching matter and Stork kept bobbing his head prior to the snap, which telegraphed the Bronco defense when to jump-start their pass rush. The game was played at Mile High, which means the audible was inaudible. The Denver D Line had a better jump on each snap than the NE O Line. Brady had his ass kicked by Von Miller and others that game. Stork was traded and the O Line asst. coach was fired.

    The moral of the story is that the polish on a vet Center is important.

  47. Costa Rica John Says:

    Just remember when Trent Green went down with the Rams and Kurt Warner was an unknown. He stepped up and guided the Rams.
    I expect Hainsey to pull something off very similar this year.
    Let’s go Bucs!!!!! Super Bowl bound!

  48. PassingThru Says:

    OK, here’s the deal: Bowles just confirmed that Jensen has a severe knee injury, and will likely be out “a couple of months or more”. This is based on what he saw rather than an MRI as it will take a few days for the swelling to go down.

  49. Goatfarmer Says:

    Todd didn’t know what happened in the practice he was in charge of running. And since he chose to limit practice to one field instead of three, he had to have been right there. What was he doing, checking his stock portfolio while his limemen were hitting each other during a “non-contact praactice?”

    Can’t wait for the Rams game now. :facepalm

  50. Ash Says:

    Some of these fans and the blame game doesnt matter anymore get over it injuries happen to all teams bucs are not the exception. Always liked hainsey I’m rooting for him I think he can do it.

  51. Bird Says:

    People are saying : lets see how hainsey does in offseason? Seriously?

    The season starts in a few weeks
    Players can barely practice against same team in their pads so limited contact

    And preseason will show what ? Cause starters wont play much
    Heck brady wont play much to even find their chemistry together
    And then hainsey gets thrown in the mix hoping for the best in 17 game season ?

    So to wait and see his progress ? Really? Meanwhile guys like tretter wont be out there long.

  52. sasquatch Says:

    This is a stupid phargging idea. There’s a reason we drafted Hainsey. He’ll be the center unless he’s clearly not ready.

    We’re not trading for a center.

  53. Joe Says:

    So to wait and see his progress ? Really? Meanwhile guys like tretter wont be out there long.

    Everything Joe hears is that the Bucs are going to give Hainsey a shot and unless he proves them wrong, he’s their guy. Also heard Tretter is not a serious trade candidate.

    No one knows what Hainsey can or cannot do better than the Bucs. Joe will refer you to A.Q. Shipley’s words yesterday on Hainsey.

    It all boils down to Brady. If Brady is good with Hainsey, that’s it. If Brady is not good with Hainsey, then you very possibly will see a move made.

  54. Buc king Says:

    Guys calm down we cut a te and picked one up…Trotter is a option let’s first see the time line on jensen.
    Also there’s a thing called team cuts you know..when they size down the roster. A lot team cut expensive vets who may of lost a step or don’t work well with the staff or a cheap trade can be made like von Miller.
    Along as we don’t appear desperate we can score a good or pro bowl venter for a 2nd be 4thrd pick… I doubt the new pick up are on the table to get a center…scotty Miller with a pick could interest teams I doubt brate will be moved he’s just took a pay cut.

    Let’s look at ghe team depth which is kinda of shallow.
    Rb Lenny Vaughn white
    Qb brady Trask n trashbert
    Fb ehh
    Te brate Rudolph some rookies
    Wr Evan godwin gage julio Miller perriman Grayson Johnson..I think Johnson maybe
    O line..not naming them all there jobs are secure even more

    De Tryon Shaq Nelson n well a need for more depth
    Dt nick vea n darkness Charlie Murphy
    Lb David ghost of d white n some developing guys
    Cb Logan Murphy Dean Davis n some other dudes
    Safety Winfield Jr Edward’s neal..Neal…

    Whose expendable…you gotta get another guy fir center depth n competition..many ways to pull this off..
    Draft picks..or team agency. We will find the guy the most important person on the team to keep happy n healthy is tom.
    Next would be Mike.
    Next would be the coach.

    If those 3 are happy we will be happy plain n simple

  55. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Passingthru. Totally agree with every point. When waxing poetic about what was done in NE with their OL, remember they had Dante Scharmaccia. The greatest OL coach in history. That’s very important. This is an all in year. We brought it a HOF receiver. There is no time to experiment with a new C. That A Gap will be open for business with Stinnie and Hainsey. Stinnie was also the guy who got beat so badly by the rookie that he slammed into Jensen’s knee. Don’t let the small sample of the SB fool you into thinking Stinnie will be some quality starter. Teams will run more games than a casino.

    As a Michigan alum, I’ve watched EVERY single snap Brady has taken, and interior pressure is his kryptonite. With his advanced age, it can only get worse. One of the things I love most about Tom is that he has great self-awareness. He knows his weaknesses, and for sure will let the coaches know he’s not riding with guys who can’t do their job. That’s the “Patriot Way” still ingrained in him.

    I suggest people watch that last game against Washington. Allen had a field day, and once Tom took that big hit it was check down city. Also, watch the 2015 Divisional round against the Broncos. Brady took like 15 hits, but was tough as nails and kept fighting through. I still can’t believe they had a chance to win. That 2015 Broncos D was historic. Earlier in that year, they crushed Aaron Rodgers. He had one of the worst games I’ve ever seen him play.

  56. PassingThru Says:

    Hainsey or not, a vet IOL has to be signed.

    The replacement C is going to have to be one special dude. He’ll be bracketed by two Gs who he is unfamiliar with, one of them will either be a rookie or a backup who is trying to become a regular starter. It isn’t just handling a DT or NT, it’s also working with your Gs so that you have enough chemistry and recognition to handle stunts. The one nice thing is that Tom Brady can call out blocking assignments in his audible, which works best when everyone can hear that audible (think road games, especially during the playoffs).

    It’s a tall order for whoever tries to fill Jensen’s shoes. I’d feel better going with Tretter, but that’s just me. It’s up to Brady and the coaching staff, they’re closer to the problem than any of us.

  57. MadMax Says:

    Big V at Center…..yeah, i said it.

    just trust me.

  58. Allbuccedup Says:

    Billy Price allowed two sacks with the Giants playing center also can play guard young and cheap.

  59. Busboi239 Says:

    Duane Brown and Eric Fisher are both free agents as well and both offensive lineman that can contribute right now as plug and play veterans. Either one would be an upgrade to JC Tretter who Cleveland allowed to walk specifically because of his inability to pass or run block at a high level, hence the reason he is still a free agent. Any offensive lineman that can add depth to our line would be great while Hainsey develops and we could add both Brown and Fisher for the price of Tretter!

  60. sasquatch Says:

    We’re not signing or trading for any veteran o-linemen. Mark it down.

  61. PassingThru Says:


    You couldn’t be more wrong. Cleveland released JC Tretter to save over $8 million. They’re paying peanuts on his replacement, Nick Harris, who they believe is going to be a quality Center. It has nothing to do with J.C. Tretter’s blocking. Tretter has been one of the best Centers in the league for years, even his PFF grade last season is among the best.

    And then you tout two vet OTs, Eric Fisher and Duane Brown to replace a Center. Why? If you’re going to make a wild projection as to an offensive lineman who might be able to play Center, go with a Guard.

  62. sasquatch Says:

    There is no reason to think Hainsey won’t be our center unless he doesn’t look the part in preseason. Everything I’ve heard about him is positive, except for the chatter from the complain by default crowd on this board.

  63. steele Says:

    The coaches are happy with what they see with Hainsey. Under normal circumstances, sure, put him out there trial by fire.

    But circumstances are not normal and very specific. This is TB12’s last season, and TB12 has specific problems with interior pass rushes.

    Yes, look at film of the 2015 Pats-Broncos loss. Look at the lost SBs vs NY Giants. You don’t want any whiff of any of that again with an older, slower Brady, but that is what is coming unless that interior gives him a clean pocket.

    Tom Brady isn’t Russell Wilson or any of those other mobile QBs. Joe Gilbert is not Dante Scarnecchia, who somehow got production out of nobodies and found ways to overcome broken OLs with patchwork. Nobody is Scar. (But not even Scar could fix Brian Stork.)

    In this final Brady all-in season, why risk everything—and that OL is everything—on a near-rookie? “Give him time”? There are other teams lining up to grab Tretter, who may be the last starting caliber center left in free agency. Bucs’ now-blatant problem will inspire these teams to sign him very soon. Bottom line, they need to get him now. And there’s almost no one else. Matt Paradis is still recovering from his own injury. Billy Price and Trey Hopkins both came through the Bengals, and their pass protection was among the worst in the NFL.

    They need additional C/G depth anyway. I have to wonder if Stinnie is a problem all by himself. The more I look at the clip, the more I think the main culprit was Stinnie’s failure to deal with Hall, more than Hall’s over-enthusiasm.