Todd Bowles Suggests Bucs Can Still Be A Player In Free Agency

March 1st, 2023
Todd Bowles

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The Bucs have nothing in their checking account — and the rent is due and so is a car payment.

That’s why you learned yesterday the news that Playoff Lenny will be released. That’s why world-famous columnist Ira Kaufman reported over a week ago that left tackle Donovan Smith will be released. The Bucs have to whittle and shave many salaries in the coming days.

So with free agency kicking off in 12 days, it seems crazy to think the Bucs will chase after any free agents.

Think again, Bucs coach Todd Bowles said yesterday at the combine in downtown Indianapolis.

Bowles was asked if the Bucs plan to sit out free agency because they are tens of millions over the salary cap. Don’t bet on that, Bowles replied.

“No, it doesn’t,” Bowles said of the Bucs going shopping in two weeks. “We’re going to be smart about it. We understand we’re over the cap coming into this. We have a plan and we have a long-term plan that we’re going to go by.

“We don’t want to sacrifice one year for paying someone as opposed to sacrificing the future, but we’ll go out and we’ll be smart about it. If the guy has a long-term plan or can hang out and play with us, we’ll take a look at him.

“It’s also a desirable place because we do have talent around him and people may want to come and do one-year, prove-it deals. We’ll see what happens in the next two or three weeks and we’ll go forward, but we have a plan of what we want to do.”

Offering “prove-it” one-year deals seems very smart. A prove-it deal means a guy wants to showcase himself in order to be paid down the road. Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett arrived on a deal like that in 2019. He exploded for a team record 19 1/2 sacks that season.

And if the Bucs bring in a prove-it player, with the salary cap clearing up considerably next season, it’s not crazy to think the Bucs could keep the guy if he blows up successfully.

Like many fans, Joe falls into the trap of believing free agency is about the first couple of days after the free agency dinner bell rings. But the value signings often come in the second and third waves of free agents.

26 Responses to “Todd Bowles Suggests Bucs Can Still Be A Player In Free Agency”

  1. Marine Buc Says:

    The Bucs can’t afford any quality higher priced free agents.

    But they can dig through the clearance rack and maybe find a few pairs of mismatched socks and a sweater with a few missing buttons…

  2. Jack Clark Says:

    I wish we gave Todd Bowels a one year prove it deal for ruining our Super Bowl winning no risk it no biscuit offense!

    RIP no risk it no biscuit

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have our own FAs to consider

  4. DBS Says:

    Yes . All our experts will say they can’t do this and can’t do that. And of course as usual the Bucs front office will pull the rug out from under them. Because they don’t have any idea who the Bucs want to keep, who wants to leave or what the team really will do nor the players involved.

  5. SB Says:

    Now that Leonard Fournette has asked for his release, I am going to start researching 2nd and 3rd RBs.

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DBS

    The key to manipulating the salary cap is being able to restructure current contracts…

    This is why the Bucs are in a bind.

    A team like the Saints have 12-13 different contracts to restructure.

    The Bucs only have a handful to restructure – like 4 or 5…

    They maxed out the credit card to buy the Super Bowl trophy.

  7. Rick Says:

    very possible… you can manipulate the cap as needed and every player added won’t increase the cap since they are replacing salaries of other players in the top 53… that said I’m more worried about losing our own players like Dean.

  8. covertwo22 Says:

    Well, they’re going to have to sign some free agents and look for deals. Some FA they currently have won’t be back and they’ll need to fill their spots.
    I’m under the opinion that most if not all of the secondary FA on the team will not be re-signed, and they can fill their spots with cheaper FA. It’s not ideal, but reality for this season.

  9. Fishhawkbuc Says:

    2023 will be the year of the tank. We will then sang a top 5 pick for the “next great thing” at QB. Trask will fail miserably this year.

  10. D-Rok Says:

    The underlying problem with the philosophy Bowles just outlined, and by proxy, Licht, is that value signings and 1-year deals do NOT attract quality players.

    Players are looking for security and stability in a team, and when a team sends out vibes they aren’t going to sign any long-term deals in FA, it will dissuade some players from coming here.

    I realize Bowles is saying “we don’t have a choice” given our cap situation, but that same message could prevent quality signings.

    Being in cap h3ll is rough, man, and it takes years for a team to dig themselves out of that foxhole.

  11. MadMax Says:

    @SB, Devon Achane (pronounced like Atrain, that rings well doesnt it)


  12. Steven007 Says:

    Marine, I completely agree. It’s highly unlikely we see the team signing any players in the first few frenzied days of free agency. Those are the crazy deals for teams with lots of cash. But we will certainly sign our fair share, down the line a bit of course. We’ve had a decent amount of success doing so. Not even counting the obvious guys like Shaq.

  13. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Lame duck coach.

  14. big_buc$ Says:

    56 Million over the cap. Please just go ahead and take the hits now that way in 2024 you will have cap to sign good FA if Tampa goes the route of going all in for 1 year. I doubt they will do that again but given Licht’s draft history I can’t bank Bowles and Licht will hit on the first 3 to 4 picks to get impactful players this year. Just need to get younger across entire team.

  15. Redeemer Says:

    Who would want to come here on a prove it deal? That’s what contending teams offer to vets and reclamation projects. Bowles has it just the opposite as usual. I’m sure they’ll scrounge around and sign a couple guys, after the market dries up. But to think anyone of note is going to come here to showcase their talent, is nonsense. This will be a bad team. I wouldn’t want to come here to rehab my career. If he means more Julio Jones and Kyle Rudolph type deals, whatever. I for one can’t wait to get next year over with and reload

  16. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Some love to complain

  17. Goatfarmer Says:

    Give the clown his red nose, frilly white collar and some make up. Bloweszo keeps opening his mouth, and tragicomedy keeps spewing forth.

    I have always thought he was a smart man, maybe too smart, with a huge dose of arrogance mixed in.

    Maybe he is simply an idjut.

    Simple Toad.

  18. Robbery727 Says:

    Its do able if they contact the Rays front office for advise on how to resurrect players careers with thier amazing coaching staff….. As soon as we get one

  19. MadMax Says:

    Well, Jalen Carter will drop down the draft boards a bit…an arrest warrant issued for reckless driving and racing from that accident where Lecroy died. Not good.

    But I wont lie, if there at pick 19, we better do it.

  20. MadMax Says:

    Willock was the player, my bad

  21. Beej Says:

    Shaq was an inexpensive free agent, they’re probably more out there

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    Why is it my heart keeps telling me, we will be bringing up the rear this coming season?

  23. Sauron's eye Says:

    We can afford a vet who wants to work for the league minimum.

  24. Mike S Says:

    And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

  25. Ed Says:

    Bucs are an over-the-hill team. They need to move on from the veterans that cannot be counted on to stay healthy and go younger. Its the way of the game, especially with running backs, DB’s, WR’s and edge rushers. The athleticism needs to be at a high level in those positions and 30+ guys unless they are guys like LVD are no longer needed in this rebuilding situation.

    They will be cutting a lot of former starters over the next few weeks.

  26. Voice of Truth Says:

    Let’s keep the can kicking of the cap to a minimum please team Glazer

    The likelihood of a winning team this year is 1 in 5 according to history – don’t waste anymore future capital on this years group

    The new regime is going to need all that cap space and draft picks