“They Don’t Want To Go Back”

February 4th, 2023

Why exactly would Bucs free agents like Lavonte David and Jamel Dean, along with established veterans like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen and Leonard Fournette, be hungry to play for the Bucs next season if management decides to gut the roster, clear its huge salary cap debt and rebuild with a young quarterback?

The easy answer is money and pride, but reality says no established Bucs player would be all jacked up to go down that road following three years that included Super Bowl glory, seven postseason games, big-time expectations and the overall Tom Brady Effect.

Regarding veterans that tasted the sweet Bucs life, former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms and ProFootballTalk.com creator Mike Florio talked this week about how “they don’t want to go back” to an era of losing and a franchise in full reset mode.

Joe believes it is something to consider for Bucs management: Which veterans would buy-in 100 percent if the Bucs indeed decide to rebuild and took them along for the ride?

Joe can only imagine the faces of Evans and Jensen, two players from The Lost Decade with a combined 19 years of NFL experience, hearing Bucs general manager Jason Licht explain it’s time to start over without cash for free agents.

Man, if Licht is successful pulling the Bucs out of the Brady era and into a multi-year run of contending for title, then he certainly will be deserving of his name in the Buccaneer Ring of Honor.

52 Responses to ““They Don’t Want To Go Back””

  1. unbelievable Says:

    Re: Evans, saw an interesting stat today about him and Brady… did you know that in just 3 years, Mike Evans caught the 5th most touchdowns (36) of anyone ever during Brady’s entire career?

    And that was with them being completely out of sync this past season. Can you imagine if the offense had been the same as the previous 2 years? No doubt in my mind he would have passed Welker (38), Moss (40) and probably Edleman (41) to be #2 on that list.

    Pretty crazy.

    #1 is obviously Gronk, with a whopping 105 TD passes from Brady.

    You’re damn right Evans does not want to go back to the Suckaneers.

  2. Jmarkbuc Says:

    The Bucs have the demeanor and intelligence of Tapioca pudding, with less spine.

  3. BucsfanFred Says:

    @unbelievable: Evans isn’t a free agent and the bucs are unlikely to cut him. His 15 million (approx) is not all that expensive considering modern #1 receivers make about 30 million. Godwin makes about 20 million.

    @joes: Licht is already worthy of consideration for the Ring of Honor.

  4. BucsfanFred Says:

    unbelievable: Evans isn’t a free agent and the bucs are unlikely to cut him. His 15 million (approx) is not all that expensive considering modern #1 receivers make about 30 million. Godwin makes about 20 million.
    Joe,: Licht is already worthy of consideration for the Ring of Honor.

  5. #99 the Big fella Says:

    Cam Jordan shooting off at the mouth today saying the bucs will be back to losers now that Tom Brady is gone..I can’t stand that guy!

  6. sasquatch Says:

    Of course they don’t want to go back. That’s why you keep guys like Evans, Godwin, Jensen, and re-sign Lavonte. Everyone else approaching 30 or over is a bubble guy. Everyone else that can be cut and save a few million on the cap is vulnerable. Then trade guys who are a detriment to winning and trade ’em (namely Devin WHIte). We still have pieces that we can build a team around if we can find a capable QB this year and put the defense back together with some upgrades. There’s no tanking. There HAS TO BE getting younger, cheaper, and faster. That’s how we can win. Keeping up the one-year vet signings to play the “all-in” game doesn’t work, and it’s expensive. We’re not gonna go 13-4, but we don’t have to plan on 4-13.

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    Yeah Cam Jordan is an ass. Hopefully we can get a decent veteran QB, a TE and a LG.

  8. Bucanero Says:

    There’s no Honor in tanking

  9. captivajim Says:

    licht should be let go ,if for nothing else , than not getting veterans for center after jensen get hurt in july and same for left guard which he knew last spring when Cappa left.
    bowles will have a losing record for 2 more yrs before they fire him. then whoever comes in will start anew –so at best our next playoff game will be in ’28.
    I feel Evans and Godwin would think very hard about letting it be known ; they want to be traded to a contender

  10. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    The Bucs have no field general now. If only the offensive line hadn’t turned into a batch of wanna be Spanish matador’s pretending to be bull fighters. Olé, defense’s must have really liked playing against that unit, damn the bad luck. The one that really got me is the one paid ~15 mill a year that couldn’t hold anymore because his hands hurt to much. Puhleaze.
    Anyhow, the sun also rises.

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    When you sell your soul to the Devil, it sucks when it is time to pay up.
    But hard decisions will have to be made, and there will be more than a few players sent down the road.
    Let’s hope we can get some draft picks vs letting our guys go for nothing ?

  12. BrianBucs Says:

    The Bucs are in salary cap hell with no QB and Bowles as the head coach.
    Think that sounds attractive to these players?

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    captivajim Says:
    February 4th, 2023 at 7:55 pm
    licht should be let go ,if for nothing else , than not getting veterans for center after jensen get hurt in july and same for left guard which he knew last spring when Cappa left.
    bowles will have a losing record for 2 more yrs before they fire him. then whoever comes in will start anew –so at best our next playoff game will be in ’28.
    I feel Evans and Godwin would think very hard about letting it be known ; they want to be traded to a contender
    Uh, Cappa played Right Guard, Licht got Shaq Mason to replace him.

  14. BrianBucs Says:

    Oh, and no OC either

  15. DrunkinYbor Says:

    Cam is getting old. His downfall will be delicious 😋 Hea over there bring like the Saints are the Patriots of Brady’s era.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Set them free to the teams of their choice in exchange for draft picks or young players.
    Second tier veteran starting experience, blah blah blah
    It’s 2023 the old template of denying a team is not “rebuilding “ when in fact it is
    Just don’t get it done and the fans are not going to take that bait.
    Find the QB of the future, it is clear that if you don’t have something like we saw in the Playoffs
    Your franchise is just grist for the mill
    Stepping Stones for the playoff teams

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Jensen and Stinnie got hurt, Hainsey and Leverett played okay, about what you’d expect from backup players. Who would’ve you signed and/or traded for?

  18. BrianBucs Says:

    Gotta also remember that the word REBUILDING is absolutely horrible for ticket sales of any kind, plus any kind of relevance or interest goes out the window also.
    That is why when teams are rebuilding they will never say s0

  19. Beej Says:

    Evans was #13 in receiving yards last season, making about $16 mil per season. #12? Amari Cooper, makes $20 mil per season

  20. tbbucs3 Says:

    Never listen to Mike Florio talk about the Bucs (or anything)….he’s a known Bucs hater.

    People are overblowing how badly the Bucs will “dropoff” next season….sign a quality free agent QB this offseason and the Bucs will be able to compete with a new OC, a good WR core and a solid defense……in the weakest division in football…..

    The dropoff will be more so in national media coverage and ticket sales.


    Why does everyone assume the ship will sink without Brady? We lose one player and it’s the end of the world? Brad Johnson had a super bowl ring. Why can’t the next man up? Brady had a terrible season which, I am only speculating Why, he decided not to play next season.

  22. DoooshLaRue Says:

    It’s not ME’s production so much as it’s his bitchy little attitude.

  23. tbbucs3 Says:

    Also, I can assure you, that Jason Licht, who has been on thin ice many times throughout his decade long Bucs tenure…is not interested in tanking by rolling with Kyle Trask….

    Id imagine theres very little wiggle room for Licht moving forward and a 5-12 season would likely send him back to the scouting department in New England.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    @ BucsfanFred – that was for the people constantly saying they should trade Evans. I know he’s not a FA.

    He’s an incredible bargain for what he costs us.. Not to mention a total team player, non diva, all around good dude, who is still a top-15 WR. It was criminal how little they threw him the ball during the middle of the season.

  25. Miller5252 Says:

    I think you’ll see what the Bucs do once they know who the QB will be. If it’s a good veteran, Carr, Karen Rodgers, and maybe Lamar the Bucs will probably throw the money around to try and win again. If it’s Trask or Gabbert then you’ll see em get back in front of the cap and draft a QB. The Bucs play the AFC south this year and if they get a good QB and OC they really shouldn’t fall off. Their schedule is pretty weak.

  26. steele Says:

    It would be interesting to know how much of the locker room loves Bowles and the Bowles team culture. You’re looking at the worst of all worlds right now. It’s imperative to remove all underperforming dead wood and anyone who is not fired up. At the same time, who wants to be part of a team still on the way to the bottom? Who outside wants to come here?

    Miller5252 is right, a lot depends on who is QB. Brady, the marquee and the primary element, is gone.

  27. Oddball Says:

    WTF did everyone think was going to happen? Come on man.

  28. Alstott up the gut Says:

    I hope Mike Evans thinks about a legacy he can have finishing his career here. He has his ring so I hope he embraces a role the helps Godwin become the next #1 for the Bucs and is a Buc for life.

    I also hope Tristan read up on Cam Jordan’s comments as well. He needs a chip block from Playoff Lenny like Micah Parsons took right to the ground!

  29. Caleb lee Says:

    I think they try to win now. IF they start tanking and gutting the roster then I guarantee we lose that “Brady effect” that was supposed to linger for years to come..

  30. Dson Says:

    You want to know what I find crazy? I’ve been a buccaneers since I was 12 I’m 38 now me favorite team being the Buccaneers Always had one or the other awesome defense mediocre offense awesome offense mediocre defense what came together yet years ago when Brady came on board was amazing just because he retired doesn’t mean that OUR TEAM can succeed with the likes of Mayfield/ Garrapolo hell even $@#()+ if your a fan support this team instead of tearing this team down…

  31. Whoolio? Says:

    Licht should already be considered for the ring of honor. He got the greatest QB of all time to come to a smaller market team that gets zero coverage or respect from anyone. He won us a superbowl. If he’s not the best GM we’ve ever had, he’s right there. Drafting has been questionable but dude has put together some great teams. He should rebuild, ditch bowles, and be given 4 or 5 years to get us back in the playoffs.

  32. Buc1987 Says:

    Dooosh…I like Evans’ bitchy attitude.

  33. Tye Says:

    One of the main things about any good player is the desire to play for a winning coach!… Bowles ain’t one and NO quality player is going to WANT to play for him…

    Many know that the success of a team greatly hinges on the success of the QB which Bucs are unknown… Just another thing to repel quality players from signing in Tampa…

  34. Buc1987 Says:

    Tye….there’s no money anyways to get new players in here.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Two fascinating articles this morning in AP News:

    1 – Super Bowl-bound Chiefs are built around Patrick Mahomes

    2 – Super Bowl-bound Eagles are built around QB Jalen Hurts

    Seem to be 2 very different approaches in terms of team-building with one common denominator: the impact of the QB. Mahomes & Hurts are very different, but they’re still the focal point of each team’s offense. Each seems to have a real talent for raising the play of those around them.

    They’re paid quite differently too. Mahomes has a $450 mil, 10-year contract that eats up a big chunk of KC’s salary CAP, while Hurts is still on his rookie contract making $1.6 mil a year.

    Looks like there’s more than 1 way to build a competitive TEAM. Hopefully the Bucs find a way to achieve that goal … building a competitive TEAM … in short order.

  36. Joe Swanson Says:

    Bowles is not a motivator he is not a good head coach it doesn’t matter what personal moves this team makes as long as hes head coach this team will continue going downhill that is just the way it is.

  37. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    Cam Jordan has every reason to hate the Bucs…

    Mark Dominic & Co chose 1 armed DE Adrian Clayborn over him…I’d hate us too…Yet another draft day blunder…

  38. mark2001 Says:

    I get we don’t want to go back. But if we really feel that way, why would we stick with Bowles, who has not proven to anyone that he is a decent HC? Seems to me we have decided to look like a rebuild, whether we really are poor enough from a personnel standpoint, by retaining him.

  39. mark2001 Says:

    Yes 76… to look as bad as we did for so many years required a series of blunders to make that possible.

  40. mark2001 Says:

    Here is the bottom line. Do we look to sign a FA QB to push Trask or take the position if his is better, so that we can have a chance to prove Jordan wrong and have a shot at winning the division? Or do we roll the dice on Trask; and If he fails, we are sinking to the bottom of the division. I think many have talked about bringing a decent FA qb in, not so much because they will be the Franchise QB of the future. Who knows on that. But to keep from having a freefall and risking sinking like a rock, if Trask isn’t it.

  41. NEfan Says:

    They should have thought of this before they appointed Turd Bowles born loser as the HC. Anyone that wouldn’t take Amani Copper over Evan’s today is a fool. Copper is far more versatile. The coaching was horrible and the players played with no heart of sense of urgency. Sorry you shat the bed at all levels, you get what you deserve.

  42. AbucAway Says:

    I can’t imagine any player wanting to be a part of tanking. Just on an individual level that wouldn’t look good for their stats when it comes contract time. The players best interests are to play hard, no matter what signals are coming in from the front office. “They don’t want to go back” says they want the best chance to succeed not only at the individual level but also the team level. Yes there are always a few bad apples that come to the office for a check, but by and large, this team isn’t aiming for mediocrity.
    With the team seemingly in cap hell, and numerous players hitting the market, it’s going to be tough for the office to make this work.
    But again, the individuals that make up the front office have their own stats to look at. They aren’t going to tank either. Fuggitaboutit.
    That said, and this my own opinion based upon his past experience and this last year’s season: Todd Bowles is not the guy

  43. AbucAway Says:

    .. cont (because this website is a clunker. Sheesh)

    Unlike many here, I actually his sideline demeanor. Those coaches that get all animated and hooting and hollering need to learn to keep their emotions I’m check. There is a time for everything and the sideline is a time for clarity of thought and nothing more. Emotions are tool to use for action. The players need that, not the HC. Again, imo. With that said, Todd made some bad calls that aren’t just about the calls on a per item basis, no, the decisions are a reflection of his big picture thinking. The pieces don’t fit together for him at the HC level. They certainly do as a DC. We see it. The team sees it. But not as a HC. It would be like taking me out of my environment (sales) and putting me as a CEO. Yes, in sales I need to see the big company picture and be a major contributor to it, but to lead all aspects is just not what I’m capable of. I’ve hit my ceiling and I’m content with that knowledge and have worked it to my advantage (at times).
    They Don’t Want To Go Back but under the current leadership’s philosophy and decision making, I just don’t see how they don’t.

  44. AbucAway Says:

    And the teams solution (DR) is going to be found in an OC that can work with Todd, quickly gain his (and the players trust) and finding the pieces needed within the limitations of what the front office can finagle. This is where it starts, imo. The OC

  45. mark2001 Says:

    Yes DR. And that is why a top 10 pick with a new HC, would have looked much more promising than a 19th pick with Bowles at HC. At least in my mind. But now, unless Trask lights it up, we will likely be looking at a rebuild, sinking until we can find a franchise QB. Sad that choice was made. But it was. Not saying anything against Brady. Superbowl gold. If we had Jameis a few more years, we would have probably been just good enough/bad enough, to be in the same situation. With no Superbowl. I don’t seeing this organization taking the kind of moves to avoid the process, at this point in time.

  46. gotbbucs Says:

    Everything hinges on the OC hire and who that person brings in as an offensive staff.

  47. Joshua porter Says:

    If you can’t get a qb then u have to rebuild and cut all that u can and get as many draft pics as possible. That way the turn around is a year or two not 10 like last time.

  48. Russell Currey Says:

    The Bucs are now irrelevant again.

  49. Wild Bill Says:

    What goes up usually comes down. The Bucs including Brady came back down. History suggests that rebuilds usually take years. Bucs were mediocre this year and will likely be mediocre for the next 3 or 4 years. Time to stop loading up on over the hill big name vets and rebuild from the bottom up. You can’t buy a super bowl team unless you have a strong core of healthy talented athletic younger players whose lower incomes allow the team to “buy” a few highly talented experienced vets. The Bucs this past season was over loaded with expensive often injured past their prime vets. Clean house and rebuild and look ahead at least 3 or 4 years to be legitimate contenders. It would be be fun watching young blood develope with a sprinkling of solid vets to set the example. The Bucs need an influx of young head bangers to lead the way.

  50. Doc Z Says:

    The Bucs will become the Jets for the next 10 years or until the coach is changed.

  51. Purplepirate Says:

    “Cam Jordan shooting off at the mouth today saying the bucs will be back to losers now that Tom Brady is gone..I can’t stand that guy!”

    He’s not wrong. I suspect that’s what really bothers you.

  52. brooks Says:

    4-13 at best