Grading Jamel Dean Re-Signing

March 20th, 2023

Bucs CB Jamel Dean.

Regular readers of this here site and listeners to the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” knows how one of the Joes felt about this.

One Joe was so happy the Bucs re-signed cornerback Jamel Dean he wanted to get wildly intoxicated on the Las Vegas strip while vegging there. Alas, Joe was flying out the next day.

(Nothing worse than waking up late with a suffocating hangover and frantically packing and hustling to the airport to make your flight. No thanks.)

Over at BSPN, Seth Walder, a guy who never met a number he didn’t like, decided to grade the Jamel Dean signing. Overall, Walder liked it but apparently not as much.

Grade: B-

At a position where player performance can vary wildly from year to year, Dean has been awfully consistent. He has allowed 0.8 or 0.9 yards per coverage snap in each of the past three seasons, better than the 1.2 average for outside corners, per NFL Next Gen Stats. And he’s only 26 years old. Put those factors together, and it’s easy to see why Dean was one of the most prized free agents of this offseason.

I’m good with the price based on what we know right now, as an average of $16 million per year pays Dean as a solid corner but not a super elite one. And it is a little less than what J.C. Jackson got a year ago, even though the salary cap is higher now.

My only question is the Bucs’ direction as a franchise. Right now, they have some talented players but also a tough salary-cap situation and — crucially — no quarterback. There’s a pretty good case for a teardown, and signing Dean runs contrary to that line of thought, especially given the high compensation pick likely headed Tampa Bay’s way if it had let him walk. But at least Dean is on the younger side, and the division is so weak that I can understand the impulse to compete.

Joe doesn’t understand why people get so aroused over these compensatory picks. What are the chances the Bucs, with a third-day draft pick (maybe) in compensation for Dean, would find a corner to develop in a year or two as good as Dean?

Walder, Joe believes, is missing the big picture. He’s not wrong that maybe the Bucs should be much more concerned about the future (and drafting a top-shelf quarterback) than the present (maybe winning nine games). But the big picture is the Bucs have no pass rush, unless you believe Joe Tryon-Shoyinka magically will triple his sack total this fall and/or Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett returns at 30 as good or better than before he blew out his Achilles.

Without competent corners and a pass rush, we’re back to the Mike Smith days when cornerbacks blow out their hamstrings chasing receivers with the ball 30 yards or more downfield.

That was a period of Bucs history that was a complete and total nightmare. Joe doesn’t think Bucs fans want or deserve a repeat.

12 Responses to “Grading Jamel Dean Re-Signing”

  1. Buccos Says:

    Amen brother! Please no return to the basement. Or did we make a deal with the devil to get that 2nd ring?

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    I give the signing an A.

    Jason is a lot smarter than the Internet stooges, and he’ll accept a losing season anyway because he knows it’s Bloweszo’s last year as a losing head coach, then he’ll change him out and work with the new guy to reload, or retool, or whatever you want to call what the consistently good teams do.

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    The thing that bugs me most about that take is that he says it’s a $16m/year deal – it’s not, it’s $13m/year. If you’re going to grade a move, you need to at least have basic stuff, like the yearly salary, correct.

    In anycase, with Dean, he’s offbase. I understand the idea of a complete teardown and rebuild, but the Bucs don’t need a complete teardown. They just needed to clean up the cap, try to get some value out of vets (for example, I’d have traded Jensen if I could get at least a 3rd out of it), and lock up their young core guys while giving Trask the ball for 17 games and seeing what happens. If he’s the guy, fantastic, you got a QB. If he’s not the guy, fantastic, you got a top pick in 2024 and you take a QB. But Dean is a guy who will be here for a while, and his contract is gonna look cheap in a couple years.

  4. Derek Says:

    It’s $13m/year

  5. steele Says:

    I agree with Walder’s last paragraph. The direction of the team, or lack of, drives the decisions. Obviously they are trying to do the tightrope and still compete (“p-p-playoffs?”) while way in the back of their minds, maybe the Glazers and Licht are “beginning” to think about post-Bowles, although they are not yanking it away from him yet. Keeping arguably the more “solid” parts of a “solid” but overrated and inconsistent secondary, that’s a tough one. Landing Gaines upfront makes me feel better about it.

  6. Obvious Says:

    Well said Rod, it’s NOT a tank, it should be a tooth and nail fight with “Trask” winner lose. We MUST HAVE a “Franchise QB” to be relevant in the NFL.

    And the retreads are a continuous recycling of another Lost Decade. A new repeat in Loserville forever… That’s Enough of that crap! We need a REAL DIRECTION! We Are Not Relevant without OUR OWN franchise QB that we draft and he grows up RIGHT HERE in Tampa Bay Florida.

    It’s a waste of time otherwise. They DISRESPECT US so much in the NFL that the ENTIRE COMMUNITY has NO COMMENT on US. Literally…..

    And you know what, They are right to Not even bother speaking of a team and organization whom doesn’t take competing in the modern NFL seriously. If we don’t take ourselves seriously about winning every year then why should they?

    And step NUMBER 1 : You MUST HAVE a Legitimate Franchise QB. There is NO SHORT CUT, there is no other way.

    There’s a HUGE difference between 3 time losers like ALL of the failed journeymen and the ALL TIME WINNER, Tom Brady… YOU’VE GOT TO GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEADS! We were BEYOND LUCKY when Tom Brady came here to ALL OF SPORTS, ALL TIME LOSERS… GET IT? These other guys are NOT Tom Brady!

    None of them will Ever take us to the promised land year in and year out. They (and I mean ESPECIALLY Mayfield) are no more than Second String journeymen…

    There is NO OTHER WAY.

  7. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    @Joe – You should read Walden’s report card for the rest of the Bucs signings ! He’s full out crazy and repetitive in talking about Trading Mike Evans, Godwin , Vita Vea ect. Every grade is a C- … He is either a Bucs hater or just doesn’t do his homework.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    None of us know at this point what the Bucs ‘big picture’ plan for the future looks. For all we know, Carlton & his $16 mil salary MAY be released next year (we do have an option for an out after 2023), leaving us with Jamel as the senior CB. Maybe THAT drove Dean’s 4-year signing at $13 mil as much as anything. As I recall, it seems that we did re-sign Davis under some pressure when TB12 un-retired & came back into the fold?

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s not just the comp pick, Joe….it’s the $13 million plus the pick……
    At that price or more, it would likely be at least a 4th round pick…..use that to trade up and you can probably find a replacement and save money in the process.

    I’m OK with it but we have too much cap invested in 2 corners…..

  10. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    So wouldn’t that money have been better spent on an upgrade at edge rusher?

  11. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    So easy for people to say “time for a tear down!” This is one of the most talented Bucs rosters in history. Now…it’s been a rough history. But still! When you have good players, a good idea is to try to find a way to win with them. And, sorry trying to win 10 games is really fun

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs would have likely gotten a 3rd round comp pick for Dean. 4th at worst.

    I’m glad the Bucs re-signed him for an obvious discount instead….