Bucs Keeping Nick Leverett

March 10th, 2023

Bucs LG Nick Leverett.

It seems the offensive line puzzle may be coming together.

With left tackle Donovan Smith gone, it is a mystery how the Bucs offensive line will look. Joe spoke with several Bucs types during the combine, both on and off the record, and basically was told they didn’t know how the line would look because players may be added in the draft and in free agency.

As a result, it was premature, Joe was told, to start plugging in guys at positions, other than Ryan Jensen at center, of course.

Well, it looks as if another piece of the puzzle has been decided. Jenna Laine of ESPN reports left guard Nick Leverett has been tagged by the Bucs as an “Exclusive Rights Free Agent. So he’s coming back.

What is an exclusive rights free agent? Pro Football Network explains that when a team does this to a player, “All they have to do is extend a qualifying offer to the player, and he will be unable to negotiate with other teams. A ‘qualifying offer’ is a one-year contract at the league minimum salary based on the player’s experience level. If an exclusive rights free agent is given a qualifying offer, he has no recourse other than to play for his current team. His only other option would be not to play football.”

So Leverett will be back. And Joe is going to guess Leverett will remain at left guard and Jensen at center.

Now the rest? Who knows. Shaq Mason, the Bucs’ right guard, was rumored to be a possible cap casualty. Does the signing of Leverett signal the Bucs will try to move Tristan Wirfs to left tackle and then have short-armed Luke Goedeke play right tackle?

39 Responses to “Bucs Keeping Nick Leverett”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    Decent depth guy, no reason to get rid of him, just hopefully they need to him to start. But he’s still young, has playing experience, is super cheap, that’s a valuable guy.

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    Good move. Leaverett and Hainsey should be battling for the starting LG gig.

  3. Marine Buc Says:

    Leverett needs to go visit Dr. Feelgood and gain about 15-20 pounds…

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Makes sense young (26) and cheap……that will be the ticket going forward.

  5. zzbucs Says:

    Most of new additions or resigns will be cheap…..

    This is exactly how it looks when you have to pay the bills for a very big party!!!!
    When Free Agency begins, we will only receive bad news, our FA´s playing somewhere else, and the best players available signing somewhere else to….

    Sun will be shinning again, don´t get depressed,

  6. Pryda sec 147 Says:

    Goedeke going to beast up this year bet… short arm lmao that’s such a bs thing

  7. Mike Says:

    Solid depth at Guard. Like his personality and always gives great effort.

  8. Pewter Power Says:

    short-armed Luke Goedeke? Is that why he struggled so much last year? Hopefully a full offseason of training and that little experience he had will help him develop into a quality starter. I don’t think Alex cappa started off that well either

  9. Letsbucinggo Says:

    No brainer played good, cheap and should get better and better

  10. Dooley Says:

    Leverett 100% earned it

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Glad he’s back. Hope he gets a better contract next year.

    I really don’t see how signing Leverett has any bearing, whatsoever, on where Wirfs plays next year. It seems pretty independent. or more likely a shot in the dark to generate comments. Well played, Jose, well played.

  12. sasquatch Says:

    This move is unsurprising and not really even news. Extending an offer to an exclusive rights free agent who started 10 games and played decently is a no brainer.

  13. Craig Says:

    A step in the right direction. Bucs need all of last years depth linemen back, some will be starters this season.

    Even a stud O-lineman from the draft is going to need a year or two to mature. Another Wirfs will not fall into their hands again.

  14. BUCman Says:

    Hainsey will most likely be a starting guard this year. Leverett gives them depth in the interior.

  15. Voice of Truth Says:

    Solid decision, the kid plays hard and to the whistle very down – with Jensen next to him could see a much better inside run game

  16. MadMax Says:

    Good move, we’re gonna need him.

  17. Bojim Says:

    Maybe his arms will get longer in camp this year.

  18. Goatfarmer Says:


    He’s not nearly as bad of a matador as Goedonkey who could make a house mouse look like El Toro.

  19. tommyboy Says:


  20. Bucs55 Says:

    Wirfs LT leverett LG Jensen C Hainsey RG Luke RT

    Let the young guys fight it out and continue to learn together

  21. MadMax Says:

    @Bojim, stop wishing your private appendage hopes onto others please

  22. ABucAway Says:

    Short armed Goedeke. Haha For some reason I’m picturing Chet from the movie Weird Science after being turned into a pile of crap. Remember he was waving those tiny arms around. Anyway, Nick did a decent job at LG relative to Chet. I think he will be better this year whether that’s as a started or backup. Either way, you can’t beat the price.

  23. Larrd Says:

    It is time to jettison Jensen. How much does he make? How mangled is his knee?

  24. AtlBuc Says:

    They should have used that tag on Dean

  25. Elita Vita Says:

    Ouch!!!!! Panthers just traded for the #1 pick in this yes draft!

  26. Elita Vita Says:

    Wow…. Talk about the Bucs not being invited to the party!…What’s next? Lamar to Atlanta???

  27. KC Buc Says:

    Wow Panthers going all in….not sure who that QB is going to throw the ball to without Moore. That’s just bad asset management, panthers don’t have enough of a foundation to build around a rookie QB to be throwing away 1st and 2nd rounders like that let alone a WR1

  28. Mike Johnson Says:

    Cheap teams usually have cheap losing records. Just sayin…….

  29. Walter Says:

    Back to the basement

  30. LakelandSteve Says:

    Young and cheap players equal long, losing seasons. Without saying it the Bucs have to go into rebuild mode because they are in cap hell this year.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    The guy is just a backup, chill out ladies.

  32. Crickett Baker Says:

    As long as Bowles is not a deciding factor in evaluating our new players from the draft, we should be ok there. I have faith in Licht and our scouting team, although I am somewhat surprised that JTS hasn’t panned out yet.

  33. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    Dang they didn’t trade or release Jenna Laine??? Sorry Joe, but she’s not a very good reporter!!! I guess since we aren’t going to relevant for years let monster teeth or St Pete’s good girl keep going. Its not like anyone listens to her anyways

  34. David Says:

    The line is not as far off as people think. Mason is a good RG. Jensen is back at center. This guy did pretty darn good at LG. He is obviously not a back up tackle though.
    They already have an all pro at RT. As much as I do not think they should move Wirfs, it’s easier to find an RT than it is an LT, so if they’re going to experiment, this is the year to do it.

    I fully expect them to sign cheap back ups and draft OL early and another one late. They need quantity and depth.

  35. garro Says:

    I see we are reading tea leaves again!
    Geez! He played well for us last year and this is a no brainer.

  36. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Mike Says:
    March 10th, 2023 at 2:59 pm
    Solid depth at Guard. Like his personality and always gives great effort.

    I wish we had more guys with his attitude, effort and energy.

  37. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Leaverette give us a good backup, for cheap!

  38. Mike S Says:

    I think they draft a T in this draft. Wirfs has earned the LT role. Go get a decent RT in the draft.

    If I’m drafting I’m going

    Lukas Van Ness – can’t miss at a position of need
    Cody Mauch – Versatile T with a mean streak (be tempted if Musgrave was available here)
    Daiyan Henly – Speed LB with great instincts vs the run – Bucs love these guys.
    Josh Whyle – Big rangy TE who breaks tackles. Instant upgrade great value at this pick if he’s there in round 5 (no 4th round pick).

    Maybe after this you address the secondary or just go BPA – Bucs secondary isn’t as bad as people advertise with Dean’s impending departure, but some depth is needed. I think McCollum takes a step up this season.

  39. steele Says:

    Leverett is a JAG backup who was awful last offseason and preseason. He improved enough to play during the season, credit to him for that. He is depth, and not much more. Nothing to get excited about one way or another.

    The OL should never have been in the shape it was in for Tom Brady’s final season, with JAGs in front of him.