It’s All About The Benjamins

July 21st, 2023

Low salaries = losses?

It’s been proven in the NFL that money doesn’t always buy happiness (unless you are an owner).

Spending the most doesn’t equate to winning. Sometimes it happens (hello, 2020 Bucs). Often it doesn’t.

But handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp thinks the lack of offseason spending is a pretty good barometer of how a team will play come the regular season.

If you believe Sharp’s conclusion, then you know one reason why Sharp believes the Bucs will be in the basement of the NFC South this fall. This is what Sharp typed in his Warren Sharp’s 2023 Football Preview.

I respect going all out when you have a window. Credit to the Bucs for doing just that. But now it’s the inevitable recoil.

In 2021, they spent the most cash in the NFL.

In 2022, they spent the 6th-most cash, including the 3rd-most on offense.

In 2023, they are spending the 25th-most cash including the 30th on offense.

They have $75M in dead cap, the 4th most in history.

Wait, there’s more. Baker Mayfield is reviled by Sharp. The statheads across the land freak out when they type or speak of Mayfield. They are convinced heading into the season that Mayfield is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL.

For sure this is a make-or-break year for Mayfield’s career as a starter. This is one reason Joe is fine with the low-risk gamble of signing him.

If Mayfield breaks out, the Bucs have their quarterback for the near future.

If Mayfield stinks up the joint, the Bucs draft a quarterback. That’s all. No more difficult to figure out than that.

14 Responses to “It’s All About The Benjamins”

  1. Hodad Says:

    No chance Trask turns out to be the guy?

  2. garro Says:

    Sad stuff from the stat geek. Yay!

    Go Bucs!

  3. Buc4evr Says:

    We saw it coming. This will be a year in hell due to the Cap situation, but the Bucs play in a weak division and have a good schedule so who knows? If Traskfield plays at even a mediocre level the Bucs have a chance to win the division.

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    I dunno – I guess I’m just fixated on the run game. Give Baker or Trask a solid run game and who knows? These guys are both talented enough (obviously) to be NFL quarterbacks. Redo Mike Evans contract and sign Kareem Hunt. Running back room “instant upgrade recipe”. But then there is the third aspect of the game…why is Keith Armstrong still a coach. #piningforRichBisaccia.

  5. SufferingSince76 Says:

    I’m going to keep reminding a lot of you guys that you wanted to get out of cap hell. Well, this is what it looks like, so deal with it. I, personally, don’t think it’s going to be nearly as bad as many predict.

  6. Dooley Says:

    Can’t have champagne taste when you’re scraping for beer money

  7. Mike C Says:

    Rays do ok with a low payroll, maybe the Bucs can too this year.

  8. buccanstopit Says:

    If Mayfield stinks up the joint, the Bucs draft a quarterback. That’s all. No more difficult to figure out than that.

    ORRRRRRRRRR, Trask becomes the next Kurt Warner, Purdy, etc

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    buccanstopit … Nailed it.

    Baker plays well, QB problem solved. Baker plays poorly, Trask gets a shot.
    Trask plays well, QB problem solved. Trask plays poorly, draft a QB.

    It’s football, not rocket surgery.

    Let’s root for one of these guys to work out. Who cares which one. It expedites the “reload”.

  10. Voice of Truth Says:

    The marketing theme for 2024 – “we flushed the Bowles”

    25th overall, 30th on O – sounds right in line with everyone’s prediction for records and stats too

    Puts us at pick #7 overall next year after finishing 5-12 or 6-11

    75 MILLION in Dead Cap hit – it is what it is – I just wish there weren’t so many 1pm blazing hot kickoff times but that’s what the losers get…

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘If Mayfield breaks out, the Bucs have their quarterback for the near future.’

    Not so fast Joe. Let’s say that Bake ‘breaks out’ and leads us to a 10-7 season (most JBFers would be ecstatic over a winning season this year). What’s gonna happen NEXT?

    1 – Bucs will be drafting somewhere around #21 or #22 (Chargers finished 10-7 & drafted #21; Ravens finished 10-7 & drafted #22). What do you think that our chances are of drafting a quality young QB that late in the 1st Rnd?

    2 – Baker Mayfield’s agent will feel that he just won the lottery (similar to Geno Smith last year with Seattle?). Smith ended up signing a 3-year, $75 mil contract with $40 mil guaranteed. Baker will want at least that, and probably closer to $30 mil a year for at least 3 years. And if we don’t pay him, someone else with a failed QB situation will.

    Our problem is that everyone seems to believe that our salary CAP situation will be appreciably better next year than it was this year. Wrong! It’ll be worse because almost all of our BIG contracts were already restructured this year; we’ve got very little wiggle room left. And unfortunately we’ve got a number of high $$$ contracts (Wirfs, Winfield, White, Gaines, Neal, etc) that will need to be worked … PLUS Mayfield or whoever takes his place. Such a deal … lose-lose as opposed to win-win.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    “They are convinced heading into the season that Mayfield is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL.”

    So he’ll make a great Buccaneer then. 🙂

  13. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    This year will be like deja vu all over again complete with the orange cream sickles jerseys. I cant wait. Let’s get this here party started already!

  14. FortMyersDave Says:

    @ Voice of Truth, you are spot on about the dead cap and how it definitely limiting expectations due to being handcuffed in free agency. The other 2 teams which also have big dead cap issues are the Rams ($73 million) and Packers ($57 million) and each of these teams have over/under win expectations of around 6.5. I guess the Bucs and Rams can honestly say they are paying the piper for a Lombardi trophy and the Packers were all in with Rodgers and are now biting the bullet for life w/o him. I agree with your assessment and perhaps 5 dash 12 might even get them picking 4th or 5th, maybe high enough to get a qb which will likely be something the new head coach will want if Bowles and Mayfield do go 5-12 and finish 3rd or 4th in the division.

    My question to the Joe’s; the Saints are pretty far down the list for dead money ($23 million), so it seems like they have been kicking the can down the road even longer than the Bucs have! They always seem to be up against it concerning salary cap and reorganize (like the Bucs and Rams did) year after year yet they never pay the piper, like the Bucs are this year, how do they manage this? Can an NFL franchise just continually kick the can down the road and use the yearly increases in the cap to open up windows to do this, because it seems like the Saints do this on a yearly basis? I suspect if the Carr experiment flops in the Big Easy, we may see a dead money number which will make the Bucs and Rams number this year look minuscule.