Make The Call, Mr. Licht!

July 1st, 2022

Click on through to shop at Bill Currie Ford GM Sean Sullivan is ready to help you PERSONALLY and give you the Ira Kaufman discount. Just ask!


One more phone call.

Before Jason Licht and Todd Bowles welcome the 2022 Bucs to training camp, they need to drop a dime to the agent of a veteran defensive end still sitting on the free-agent market.

His name is Carlos Dunlap — and he probably won’t be available much longer.

Edge rusher Carlos Dunlap is coming off an 8 1/2-sack season in Seattle.

Dunlap may be 33, but he’s a proven pass rusher in a league that craves defensive disruptors. He recently left Carolina without a deal in place, but that doesn’t mean Dunlap has run out of options. The Panthers, Chiefs and Packers could all use a guy with 96 career sacks, a half-sack behind Warren Sapp.

If the price is right, the Bucs should also have a keen interest in signing Dunlap, who posted 8 1/2 sacks for the Seahawks last season, despite playing only 38 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps.

The former Gator standout finished with a rush, registering seven sacks in the final four games. For context, that’s the same number of takedowns credited to the Bucs as a TEAM in Tampa Bay’s final four games.

Is there reason for concern regarding the pass rush this fall? Absolutely.

Shaq Barrett is the only proven edge rusher on Tampa Bay’s roster at the moment. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka shows promise but has much to prove to Bowles in Year 2. William Gholston has averaged two sacks per year during the last five seasons. Cam Gill and Anthony Nelson are young and raw. Rookies Logan Hall and Andre Anthony haven’t played a down in the NFL.

Dunlap is old and seasoned. For Buc fans who remember the Michael Johnson free-agent folly of 2014, Licht’s first year as Buc GM, it’s understandable that you’d be wary of a defensive end who made his bones in Cincinnati.

This one’s different.

Give Todd Bowles one more seasoned weapon, writes Ira Kaufman..

Dunlap wouldn’t be coming to Tampa as a presumed starter. He’d be a situational pass rusher and a 6-foot-6 insurance policy in case Barrett is injured or Tryon-Shoyinka fails to earn the trust of Bowles. Nobody’s breaking the bank for Dunlap, whose best days are behind him after 12 NFL seasons.

But the man is durable and the man is driven. In the past decade, Dunlap has missed only five games. He was beaten down in Cincinnati by all the losing and Seattle’s youth movement made Dunlap expendable in March.

He proved late last season that he can still collapse the pocket.

Tom Brady’s presence could help lure Dunlap to One Buc Place. Coming to a team favored to win the NFC figures to be a morale boost for a guy who has played only one postseason game in the past six years. The man is 0-6 in the playoffs, so he’s hungry for the big stage.

Could Dunlap provide the same kind of boost Von Miller gave the Rams last year? That’s a stretch. Miller’s going to the Hall of Fame. Dunlap will need a ticket to visit the busts in Canton.

But he could help.

And when you have No. 12 under center, a little help may be all you need for a deep playoff run. Since the Bucs are all-in, as they should be during the Brady era, they need to seriously consider bringing in Dunlap.

If the two sides can work out an equitable, one-year deal, Bowles will have one more weapon to unleash on all those elite quarterbacks coming his way this fall.

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

38 Responses to “Make The Call, Mr. Licht!”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Gotta say Ira – I think the more pressing need is TE. After that Dunlap would be a luxury piece.

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    I would rather work JPP out and if his shoulder is healed, bring him back.

    Or Suh.

  3. Onetrickpony Says:

    I’m with GoatFarmer

  4. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Spot on, Ira! Another pass rusher is easily our biggest need. No one is going to be able to replace Gronk, there are only a few elite tight ends who even come close. Brate and the rookies still give us at least an average tight end room, and that position isn’t nearly as valuable as pass rush. We improved secondary and receiver depth. Now let’s get a pass rusher in the building!

  5. #8 Says:


  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Agree, Ira……at least one of the Joes thinks the money should go to a TE because we have “2 starting OLBs”……..
    I think we should add a pass rusher & perhaps also a serviceable 2nd tier TE…..

  7. Dooley Says:

    Jesse James.

  8. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    LOL, you can never have “enough” pass rushers, so if we can afford him, I say go for it.

  9. Cho Says:

    I agree, but I believe another underrated need is backup OT. BL really didn’t adjust in the playoffs after the loss of Tristan Wirfs, still calling for deep routes and leaving Von Miller 1 on 1. If we lose either of our tackles early (hopefully that won’t happen) and we keep trying to throw deep, Brady will no doubt be hit too often for a 45 year old. Protecting Brady is job number one this season IMHO.

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    Good call. We could use him.

  11. Steven007 Says:


  12. PassingThru Says:

    Trey Flowers.

    With Flowers you get someone who can play DE and OLB. You can start him at DE if Hicks gets injured, or at OLB if JTS doesn’t mature into a quality starter, or be used in situations where JTS isn’t likely ready, when it takes the process skills to know whether to rush the passer, defend the edge against the run, or drop into coverage. Flowers can also be used from time to time if Bowles wants a 4-3 defensive front, and have the option of having Flowers move inside where he’s also been an effective weapon.

    Or if Bowles is hellbent on replacing or supplementing Gholston (which is being postulated here) you can have Flowers in that role as well.

    There are potential vulnerabilities in the Buc front 7; Trey Flowers is the plug and play answer, not Carlos Dunlap.

  13. #8 Says:

    I like Flowers also-

  14. GOB Says:

    I agree passing. Flowers over Dunlap.

  15. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree totally with Lt. Dan. A TE with some experience is our no. 1 need. LIcht will take his time, though.

  16. GBuc Says:

    I’d like the Bucs to go after Anthony Barr myself.

  17. BucsNoles Says:


  18. LOL Says:


  19. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Good call Ira.

  20. adam from ny Says:

    i still say you’ve gotta sign one of your two guys…

    suh or jpp…

    if you aren’t signing suh, get jpp in here for a workout and pay the man something…

    healthy and older, he is still good for 8 sacks…

    and he brings the tude

  21. adam from ny Says:

    the fact that you can hypothetically plop a captain “C” on either suh or jpp’s chest at any time, also says a lot

  22. #8 Says:

    Cannot sign JPP until after the 4th. Just in case.

  23. CJBuc Says:

    Good one #8…after the 4th for sure!

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Some Bucs “fans”: Tight End is a need!!!!!
    Reality: When Gronk comes back the Bucs will be set at TE.

  25. Buccos Says:

    I definitely prefer JPP to any of those other guys. There must still be a place for loyalty in this league somewhere!

  26. My Momma Says:

    Ira, I’m disappointed in you! Tell me this: How many sacks did Anthony Nelson get in so many games last season?

  27. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So he went to Carolina and left without a contract? LMAO! Obviously this guy is looking for major cash in the Suh/Gronk range. No Thanks!

  28. My Momma Says:

    Specifically the last 7 games….

  29. Jay Bee Says:

    I think a glaring weakness is linebacker behind White and David. My biggest concern.

  30. Jerseybuc Says:

    Have you guys ever met a gator you don’t want the Bucs to grab?

  31. geno711 Says:

    Been a JPP fan but would not touch him right now. Maybe mid-season.

    Never thought of Ira as a gator fan, @Jerseybuc. One of the Joe’s might be but not Ira.

    I did not see enough of Trey Flowers or Carlos Dunlap the last couple of years to pick one as a better fit over the other in the Bowles defense.

    If there is a tiebreaker for me, it is just that Ira likes Dunlap and Ira is the most knowledgeable of us IMO.

  32. Steve Says:

    Go for Dunlap. Gronk is coming back, he wouldn’t let TB12down, I’m perhaps his last year
    TB12 call Ali Marpet. He is only 28.

  33. William Walls Says:

    I’m in.

  34. westernbuc Says:

    Can never have too many pass rushers

  35. OBVIOUS Says:

    I think you’re spot on. Maybe someone else could be a great fit too but addressing the position seems well, obvious.

    Well said Ira


  36. Buczilla Says:

    Hell yes!

  37. Anthony Gironda Says:

    I would like for the Bucs to go after either Anthony Barr, Carlos Dunlap, or Robert Quinn.

  38. 1#bucsfan Says:

    We need both a TE n another pass rusher. I like joe but it’s his 2 season. I don’t think we should hang out bay on him n hall to be those guys. We need help