“Injury Rate” And Jamel Dean

March 10th, 2023

As Bucs No. 2 cornerback Jamel Dean approaches free agency after never making a Pro Bowl or being in that conversation, and never playing a full season, Joe wonders how the Bucs will approach his value.

General manager Jason Licht talked about the Bucs needing to “value” shop in free agency last week because the team is under water with the 2023 salary cap. The free agency frenzy begins at noon on Monday.

The Bucs broke the bank last offseason with cornerback Carlton Davis, paying him nearly $15 million per year on a multi-year deal so he wouldn’t reach free agency. Davis missed four regular season games in 2022 (he, too, has never played a full season) and was good but not great.

Do the Bucs want to spend big money — or bigger-than-Davis money — on another cornerback? Would that represent the value to which Licht was referring? That’s unclear.

Not counting when Todd Bowles benched Dean on defense in January for the playoffs, Dean missed two games last season and seven through the previous three years. That’s solid durability but not great.

Joe heard slimy Saints general manager Mickey Loomis on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week talking about assessing “injury rate” with free agents and how critical that is when a team is looking to give a big contract.

Former Jets personnel director Pat Kirwan, a SiriusXM NFL Radio co-host, shared with Loomis his formula to consider a big-money free agent. It had a durability component to it and Dean would qualify on Kirwan’s scale, which included being 28 or younger. Dean turns 27 in October.

Joe loves watching Dean (when he’s not in zone coverage). He’s long, fast and talented, and he’s a superior example of standout defensive backs development under Todd Bowles.

But is Dean worth Davis money, cash the Bucs could use to buy an edge rusher? That’s what the Eagles spent on edge rusher Haason Reddick last offseason and he racked up 16 sacks and led the league in forced fumbles.

In one of Licht’s many interviews last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, he noted that he’s a trenches-first kind of guy. Perhaps that was a tipoff?

40 Responses to ““Injury Rate” And Jamel Dean”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with Licht on this one. Teams who own the trenches end up winning the game more times than not.

  2. Ben Harvey Says:

    I dont think Dean or Davis are elite. Unfortunately Tampa’s corners cant stay healthy but Dean has been the healthiest of the bunch. Dean should not be making what he will be getting in FA. Davis isnt worth 15 milly either. Its an unfortunate situation bc they are solid corners and every team needs that.

  3. Pewter Power Says:

    He won’t get big money is tampa, maybe he’s interested in a one year deal to try and up his value for next year but at 27 he’s kinda at his peak. It is like letting tyrek hill go, have to trust guys to step in his place and perform

  4. PewterStiffArm Says:

    If Jamel Dean signs with another team the first two days of free agency, good riddance. That means he is only interested in the money, which I can understand. But signing so fast indicates he is chasing something else besides a good franchise and a fantastic community. It will be hard to replace him since he has grown up to be a pretty solid defender.

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    Dean will get 14 or 15 mil probably with a contender.

  6. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Can’t blame some of the players for not testing free agency or wanting to be traded there are going to be some lean years ahead.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    Hmmmm….was Dean “benched” to lower his future value?

    IMO, the guy is a really solid CB.

  8. DayOnePaul Says:

    “If a DB can’t play the ball, he can’t play.”

    ~ Bruce Arians…2019

    He looks good in his uni, he runs fast, he’s long, nice college plight story.

    How many career interceptions?

  9. YucsBall Says:

    Dean was benched because he was injured. Bad turf toe I think.

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Our old but good players who can, want to go to a team contending for another ring, not the soon to be cellar dwelling NFC South Bucs.

  11. MadMax Says:

    Unfortunately, we’ll have to let him walk.

    draft CB Mekhi Garner…3rd or maybe 4th (i know we dont have a 4th, it will be a trade)

  12. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Is Dean worth what Davis is getting paid. YES & No. IMO I think Dean is a better CB than Davis so he should get paid as much as Davis but I think the Bucs overpaid for Davis big time.

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Max

    Every single Buc free agent will test the market.

    The Bucs don’t have a choice. We will be eating the crumbs off the floor after the other NFL teams eat at the free agent buffet…

    Legal tampering starts Monday and our GM has 5 more days to cut another $42M off of the salary cap.

  14. MadMax Says:

    ^ yeah, reality

  15. MadMax Says:

    Its all good…we’ll build through the drafts and crumbs….2 years, we’ll be back in the playoffs

  16. ModHairKen Says:

    Thank you for finally writing the facts about Dean: he’s always injured. He’s never completely healthy.

    And his coverage really isn’t that great. He came out of college with a lot of promise, and a broken arm, and he’s never turned into a pro bowl player.

    Why do people suggest paying guys after three or four years in the league at an elite level when they’re not elite?

    This team’s history of drafting DBs has been appalling. Lots of 2nd and 3rd round picks that have turned into Yeomans. The best was Winfield. He’s been very good. The rest have been average.

    Look, spending the money on Davis seem to make sense because there was going to be another run for a championship. We all note how that turned out. There’s no point in putting money into Dean. Let him go.

  17. Pryda...Sec 147 Says:

    See ya DEAN thanks for everything!!! This dude i feel will shrink and disappear once he gets paid…..

  18. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Let some other team pay big money, and the Bucs will get compensatory draft picks.

  19. Duane Says:

    I trust Jason Licht to make good decisions on this kind of evaluation. Sure, injury history and durability are key considerations, because a player has zero value when he’s sitting on the bench or at home with an injury that keeps him off the field.

    Whether a cornerback is worth more than an edge rusher, that’s a value judgment that again, Jason will have to make in consultation with Coach Bowles.

    The balancing act is that the better the defense’s front seven is, the less pressure there is on the back four. And vice versa. And of course every team’s front office knows that. Some handle the balancing act better than others. And of course actual performance, including injuries, is not absolutely predictable but is subject to natural variation.

  20. Duane Says:

    If I had a druther to see on developing our defense, is to make it better at take aways, which we clearly did not have enough of last season. Takeaways are not just a back four measure, but a measure of the entire defense.

  21. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Max

    I agree.

    Look at what the Eagles were able to do… Won a SB in 2018 – fired the coach and QBs. Drafted well. Got lucky with Jalen Hurts in round 2. Added a few high end free agents.

    They made it back to the SB in 2022…

    If they can do it so can we.

  22. catcard202 Says:

    Let Dean walk & get FA money elsewhere…Someone will through 15M/yr at him & that will end up giving the Bucs a 3rd rd Comp pick in 2024.

    Bucs moved up last yr to grab McCollum…So, one would think he’s the logical guy to step into Dean’s role. (While the FO grabs another CB or 2 in the draft)

  23. Tim Says:

    But is Dean worth Davis money?

    I would argue Davis isn’t worth Davis money.

  24. Buddha Says:

    Joe, take a look at Football Outsiders exhaustive study is AGL, which is Adjusted Games Lost due to injuries. These data show that injuries do matter, a lot. None of the the bottom six teams (most injuries) had a winning record and KC and Philadelphia were among the top 4 least injured teams. Dean is a really good player but he is fragile. Bowles never used injuries as an excuse but one could make a good case that they probably cost us a couple of games.

  25. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bye Dean, draft his replacement.

  26. Ed Says:

    Davis isn’t worth Davis money. It is unreal how overvalued players are because of their positions.

    Whenever you have game-changing players they bring up the average salaries and look what you get, average players making $12,000,000 – $15,000,000 when
    there are guys playing on their rookie contracts for $1,000,000- $2,000,000 at the same level guys like Davis play.

    For a top DB I want to see interceptions, pass breakups and frustrated WR’s because of their coverage. Dean is probably around the 15th best DB in the league. Davis isn’t even in his class.

  27. Brandon Says:

    Dean will be paid. He’s very good. Anybody that doesn’t like Dean doesn’t like good football players. No, he’s not a ballhawk, but his QB rating against is among the best in the league over the last three years. He is, easily, our best cover CB…. and it really isn’t all that close. Davis is good, but not Dean good. He should be our number one priority in free agency.

  28. gotbbucs Says:

    My gut tells me they aren’t even going to attempt to re-sign Dean. I’m not even sure if they’ll be able to sign Murphy-Bunting at this point.

    This is another draft where there will be year one starters being drafted all the way through the 3rd or 4th round. I like Dean as a press-man corner, problem is Bowles likes to default to off-man way too much.

  29. Beej Says:

    Eagles had something like nine starters on their rookie contracts, that’s the only way you can have a roster with that many good players. Now they’re going to cut half of them loose

  30. 80forBrady Says:

    Can Ronde Barber unretire and play CB now that he is in the HOF?

    He’s only 47 and with the TB-12 method and Brady’s business partner, strength and conditioning coach Alex Guerrero maybe ……..

    Asking for a friend…

  31. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Licht draft first in the tenches the last two years and you see what we got. Better stick to defensive backs, offensive lineman and maybe a linebacker a get an edge rusher/defensive end in free agency

  32. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bloweszo benches his best CB in the most important game of the season, but it’s ok because Dean can’t play zone. SMH.

    Fact – none of Bloweszo’s players can play zone. Why? Because they don’t know what they’re doing or who they’re supposed to switch with, when to lock on a guy versus releasing him, etc. Why? Because Bloweszo the genius doesn’t know how to teach people of inferior intellect to his own.

    That is some superior coiching!

    Unbelievable this guy has a job. But at least he’s our head coich.

  33. 80forBrady Says:

    I think this post says it all. Either Dean truly can’t play in big games OR the Defensive coaches are incompetent. In any event, how can a cap strapped team pay big money for a guy benched in the most important game of the season?

    “Goatfarmer Says:
    March 10th, 2023 at 12:15 pm
    Bloweszo benches his best CB in the most important game of the season, but it’s ok because Dean can’t play zone. SMH.”

  34. Obvious Says:

    Was Dean injured and couldn’t play? Turf toe?

  35. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    Some of you’ll sound like u should be working at Wal Mart as a greeter rather than making NFL personnel decisions
    Just saying

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    If Dean gets a $15M+ contract with another team and plays significant snaps next year – the Bucs would likely get a 3rd round comp pick in the 2024 draft. 4th at worst. Dean was drafted at the end of the 3rd round I believe…

    Better to draft well and coach em up than pay a good but not great CB $70M over the next 4 years compared to $6-8M for his replacement on a rookie contract.

    I hate the idea of losing Dean but the facts are we cannot afford him and the Bucs already made their “choice” when they signed Davis to a big extension last year….

  37. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Glazers, calling Todd Bowles into their office:

    Glazers: “I’m sorry, Todd…We’re getting too many complaints from Goatfarmer, he’s complained 74 times this week about you on JBF”.

    Coach Bowles: “But, but…Goatfarmer complains about EVERYTHING”.

    Glazers: “Sorry Todd, this Goatfarmer guy really knows his stuff, just ask him how smart he is, he’ll tell you!”

    That’s how Thee Goatfarmer whined his way into Bucs history by complaining Bowles out of a job.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    I didn’t think Dean would get #1 money since I don’t think he’s a #1, however the more I read national stories, I’m now thinking he is going to be paid like a #1. In that case the Bucs are out as they’re going to have a tough time paying two #1 corners, in particular when one of them isn’t a #1.

    Also, as Dungy said, you build your defense front to back. Meaning if you don’t have pass rushers, it doesn’t matter who is in your secondary, and pass rushers normally take time to develop. When you look at it that way, resigning Dean really doesn’t make much sense unless you think Hall and JTS are going to make a huge leap in production, and Shaq is going to be healthy, and you’re actually going to use White as a pass rusher and not just let him languish in coverage. Plus if you’re losing David, that’s another coverage guy gone… Ugh. Lots of holes on defense to address before you work your way back to having a couple of very expensive corners.

  39. bob in valrico Says:

    Looks like teams have figured out Davis is the easier target. He was targeted
    more and gave up 888 total yards compared to 620 for Dean with added YAC yards. Since 2020 Davis has missed 24 tackles ,SMB 20, and Dean only 8. IF we lose Dean then we will have lost the most consistent corner on the team, IMO.

  40. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    Give him 20 million like Carlton Davis !!!! He’s so good and one of the reasons the Yucs are in cap hell, but Dean isn’t worth that kinda coin and won’t be surprised because JL is the GM he will make the mistake again .. Go Yuks