Will Contract Season Help The Bucs?

December 24th, 2022

Sean Murphy-Bunting is focused.

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht once delivered a famous quote about former Bucs running back Doug “Molly Hamster” Martin.

“He might be one of those guys that needs a carrot. And he’s got a pretty big carrot in front of him right now because there’s no guarantees that he’s going to be here,” Licht said of Martin needing to stay healthy and sharp while he faced a three-game, drug-related suspension in September of 2017.

Martin had a fat contract awaiting for him for the final 13 games of that season, if the Bucs kept him on the roster following the suspension. The cash was the carrot.

Joe remembered Licht’s line and thought about the carrots hanging in front of Lavonte David, Logan Ryan, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, Mike Edwards, Keanu Neal, Will Gholston, Akiem Hicks and Anthony Nelson.

They are all free agents after this season. So that’s a lot of carrots on defense with three regular season games remaining, and seven or eight of those guys will be starters tomorrow night.

How many of those defensive guys are smelling the carrot of a fat contract somewhere in 2023? The Bucs should have plenty of extra motivation on that side of the ball.

Bucco Bruce Arians used to say he loved having quality veterans on one-year contracts because it’s a great way to get players’ best performances. Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett was in that boat when the Bucs signed him in 2019.

Head coach Todd Bowles said Murphy-Bunting had what might have been his best game of the season last week. And Joe has seen a lot of juice recently from Ryan, Neal and Nelson. And David has bounced back from a minor midseason dip in his play.

Yeah, money matters. Joe thinks that will show up on the field tomorrow, as the entire league watches on NBC.

Dial up today’s Ira Kaufman Podcast!

17 Responses to “Will Contract Season Help The Bucs?”

  1. BucFanForever Says:

    Maybe we can try week-to-week contracts

  2. unbelievable Says:

    The Molly Hamster!

    The Druggernaut!

  3. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Are those the type of guys we want around though. There are players who love the game and make it big because of that, play, and talent.

    Then there are those who play for the paycheck despite any of those tangibles. I want the guy who knows its a job but doesn’t feel like it is. Not the guy who thinks he’s worth more because he performs slightly better and his job is hard. Look they get paid either way if they perform enough for the contract but still.

    The love of the game matters, I look to those types as inspiration to the league and they usually are often the best leaders, motivators, long term players, and often loyal to their team or city.

  4. Dwight Schrute Says:

    BucFanForever Says:
    December 24th, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    Maybe we can try week-to-week contracts?

    Incorrect! Human nature is to avoid work. Daily contracts with termination clauses every hour as well as shunning.

  5. EA Says:

    I like Lavonte David, great guy. He may be headed the Gerald Mccoy path………..

  6. Goatfarmer Says:

    Buh-bye Diva White.

    Thanks for the playoff games and SB 55 when for a brief shining moment you displayed results approaching your potential. Otherwise you are a bust. Your bad example is emulated by JTS except he never makes plays at all. He’s got your headless chicken without your talent.

    Go away. Make your $100 million elsewhere. Some sucker will pay.

    LVD will groom your replacement, someone that will actually listen to him and learn.

    Blow me a kiss as you’re leaving.

  7. Bucsbeast Says:

    Lavonte is declining
    Ryan declining
    Bunting has a shot
    Dean is riding pine
    Edward’s hasn’t showed up yet
    Neal is a back up
    Gholston is declining
    Nick’s should retire
    Nelson is over hyped

    An article about future money for guys on the way out of the league. Way to make an article outta toilet paper.

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    Lavonte is still a very good NFL starter. Guys age. He’s still knocking out balls and one of the rare players on defense that haven’t had bad injuries at bad times. Trade Lenny, Jensen, Cam Brate. Try to resign SMB and Edwards, no Dean. Maybe try a number two CB early in the draft. It’s up to the Bucs what they want to do at QB.

  9. steele Says:

    Should never need contract incentives to play all out and hard, for your team.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    If they wait to show up on the 15 th game pf the year with a 6-8 record they don’t deserve a carrot.

  11. Hodad Says:

    Bringing back all the same players and expecting better results would be insanity. If they weren’t motivated enough by now, they never will be. Tear it down, start all over.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Too bad our coach is not in a contract year……

    And, Devin White is signed through 23………

    We’ll need to draft a LB to replace LVD…..

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    I dunno.

    I wouldn’t mind this team shedding the cap issues and starting from scratch.

    The older guys are declining, and just a couple on that list are worth building around. Dean. Neal. Ryan. Hicks (or not, he’s getting older). Nelson (but not at a huge price.) Edwards.

    I love David, but unless on a lower $$$ contract, he is no longer worth the Big Bucs. His decline is obvious, and will get worse with age.

  14. NEfan Says:

    Are we talking the SMB that dropped the clear int last week? What game was Bowles watching??? Once Davis was taken off Chase he had a field day against SMB. They showed a clip on GMFB this week, Bucs D was lining up White in the middle and LVD was trying to get White to move or do something total shat show, ball snapped, Chase runs right by White under Neal, TD. White is a cluster F out there.

  15. Jack Clark Says:

    Our defensive backs are always embarrassing Todd Bowels defense because they keep getting torched in one-on-one coverage. If Bowels had lock down cornerbacks his defense would be legendary

  16. mark2001 Says:

    Jack…this team is approaching legendary, even by the Bucs old standards. It just isn’t legendary good.

  17. mark2001 Says:

    Darn Cobra. Have to agree strongly. This team isn’t in a reload situation where one or two guys will turn us into a SB contender. Time to trade some assets for some draft picks, cut some cap and rebuild. Carolina has already on that road trading McCaffrey. And if we don’t do something, we could very well become a division bottom feeder sooner rather than later or never.