It All Turned Out OK

February 21st, 2024

Days left in Bucs career?

Joe’s first reaction upon reading this was wanting to punch a hole in the wall of world headquarters.

But upon reflection, Joe calmed down and realized the Bucs won at the end of the day.

What is Joe referencing? It was a list from NFL stathead Arjun Menon, a former Jets numberscruncher. He listed the No. 5 overall draft picks going back to 2004.

There are a lot of good players, some really good players. Then there is Devin White.

It galls Joe that the Bucs would miss on a generational talent at the No. 5 overall pick. Long-time readers and long-time listeners of the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” may remember an episode from the spring of 2019 when Joe and Ira absolutely threw down at each other as Joe was adamant the Bucs draft edge rusher Josh Allen.

Ira equally had his heels dug in on White as Ira believes linebackers rule the land of NFL defenses.

It turns out Joe was right. But, so too was Ira.

On March 13 when the free agency dinner bell rings (after two days of legal tampering), White will be available for peanuts.

Who is going to break the bank for a guy whose numbers have sharply turned downward the past three seasons, who was called out by a respected Hall of Famer on social media for quitting, and who was benched with his team in the middle of a playoff push late in the season?

And that, friends is where we are with White.

Unless Lavonte David retires and the Bucs miss out on one or two of their other three big-named free agents, Joe cannot foresee White being back with the Bucs. If he is, it won’t be for anything remotely close to the Roquan Smith money he sought.

Still, the Bucs won the draft by selecting White. Joe is convinced that the Bucs would not have won the Super Bowl in 2020 without White.

When White returned from testing positive for The Sickness, White was on fire! He played like very few linebackers in history. He put up better postseason numbers than Ray Lewis, and that’s a fact!

Bucco Bruce Arians thought White played like Patrick Willis.

So no, the No. 5 overall selection for the Bucs in 2019 likely won’t see a second Bucs contract.

White is still a huge reason why he and his teammates from 2020 have a massive hunk of expensive metal in their possession, almost too big to wear as a ring.

And for that, Joe will be eternally grateful.

21 Responses to “It All Turned Out OK”

  1. SB Says:

    We could have had some guy named Luke or something. Devin White’s name should be ‘Diva White’. Nuff said. We need the next LVD!

  2. Joe Says:

    We could have had some guy named Luke or something


    Well, there are a lot of “something” drafted that year. No one named “Luke.”

    You know what position or team this mystery man plays for?

  3. Steven007 Says:

    SB is likely talking about keuchly for some reason… Wrong draft.

  4. SB Says:

    Steven is correct. Maybe out of context but I am comparing LVD to Keuchly whom Everyone assumed was a HOFer.
    Glad we god LVD in the 2nd.
    Anyways I have been posing it on all LB needy articles in the past week or so. Sorry to confuse you.

  5. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Eh honestly it’s water under the bridge. With his play in the superbowl we won it. I’m more p’d off about drafting OJ Howard right after Cam Brates wonderful season… When we could have had TJ freaking Watt and not have to worry about our pass rush for over a decade 🤦‍♂️

  6. SB Says:

    ‘got’………No edit button here.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What a shame….the guy can play…..he did certainly help us win.

  8. Ethan Says:

    Nice story. Tell us about your advocacy for the Bucs to draft Johny Manzell and Jameis Winston. Did Ira or anyone else oppose you?

  9. Joe Says:

    I’m more p’d off about drafting OJ Howard right after Cam Brates wonderful season…

    Joe can’t remember who it was, but there was some dude on this site who daily pounded his keyboard that O.J. Howard was the next Rob Gronkowski.

    Joe argued that was a luxury pick for the Bucs, they already had a Pro Bowl-level tight end (for the exact reasons you site) in Cam Brate.

    The Bucs had far, far more important needs than tight end (you know, like pass rusher or running back?).

    Joe remembers this guy going wild on Joe whenever Joe mentioned it was a luxury pick. He was like these Trask people. For some odd reason he was fully blinded by Howard.

    The longer we get from that dark day they drafted Howard, the more disgraceful and irresponsible that pick looks.

    Eh, it all worked out in the end. Both Brate and Howard got a ring with the Bucs. (And Brate lasted in the NFL just as long as Howard did.)

  10. Joe Says:

    Nice story. Tell us about your advocacy for the Bucs to draft Johny Manzell and Jameis Winston.

    Entertainment! And to this day Johnny Football was the most electric QB Joe has ever seen on the college level.

    Besides, Jameis can play. He’s proved that (and no, Joe doesn’t care about picks so long as you produce on offense — play some defense!). Give Joe a QB who throws for 5,000 yards and damn near leads the league in TD throws and there is a whole lot Joe will overlook.

    Funny how you conveniently forgot how Joe was dead set against Josh Freeman? Wonder why you failed to mention that? You don’t have an agenda now, do you? Perish the thought. 🙂

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    They measure every detail of a players physical being and athletic capabilities at the combine – but there’s no way to measure the heart, the will to succeed or the true depth of a player’s love for the game of football.

    Jason Licht has said in the past that when he ‘misses’ on a high draft pick – 90% of the time it’s due to conditions that occur above the player’s neck….

    It seems, unfortunately, that White will never be the dominant player that his ‘measurables’ and draft position indicated was possible….

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    One of the weirder career arcs I’ve seen

  13. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Devin hasn’t been the same since the weird circumstances surrounding his father’s death. He was always a little sensitive but his whole demeanor has changed since that event. He’s not a bad person so I hope he can get out of whatever funk he’s in. I’m not a professional but mental health struggles are real.

  14. TF Says:

    I agree that White was playing lights out and was THE defensive key to shutting down Mahomes in the SB. The team was running on all cylinders under Arians and the GOAT energy was in full force. But that was our system and White has proven he can’t be the man. He is an above average complimentary player because of his undiscipline, relying on his athleticism. Thanks for the ring and good luck. The man deserves the chance to chase money for his family. Much like a “used” car, the value is determined by what someone will pay for it. Not what the owner, banks, or anyone else says. Wish him luck. We have bigger needs.

  15. gotbbucs Says:

    Here’s White’s biggest hurdle and question he’ll need to answer in free agency. Why has almost every defensive player on the Bucs roster developed upwards under Bowles defensive staff, and White has somehow trended downwards for three consecutive years?
    Easily the most athletically gifted defensive player on this team. He’s just not developed any instincts for the game and continually wants to play outside the scheme.
    I knew he was raw when they drafted him, he was a RB his first year at LSU before they moved him to LB. I thought though that as he got more feel for the position, he could be incredible. Maybe a change of scenery and a fresh start will help, but he needs to learn some humility and take some coaching.

  16. TF Says:

    And Joe as far as your Winston take in your comment. Winston throwing 33 TDs and 5000 yards means literally nothing. EVERY game but 2 was an absolutely shoot out. We were behind 3/4 of that season. OF COURSE he would have some padded stats. The MOST important stat you didn’t mention was his THIRTY picks. Absolutely NOTHING redeeming about a 5,000 yard season with 30 picks and all the 4th Quarter garbage yards that year. It’s like a Matthew Stanford with the Lions season! Crab legs, Uber behavior, FSU behavior, EVERY sign was there in hindsight. Luckily it was kind of a dud draft and we didn’t miss out too badly by passing on other players at No 1. We might as well of took Mariota.

  17. D Cone Says:

    White wanted 20 million and was given 12. Looks like Bucs paid for and got 60% effort.

  18. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    Most of those players on that list are fantastic! Devon is not! No other inside linebackers, either. “I want to be the first $100 million linebacker” should have been our first clue.

  19. Scott Says:

    I hated that pick never draft a LB that high wtf

  20. cmurda Says:

    C Mac telling D White that he was the best in the game was the kiss of death.

  21. garro Says:

    It frustrates me to no end Joe!

    This dude could have been so much more and simply chose not to.

    I loved playing football Joe I even loved practice! I used to wonder what I could have done if I had the talent and the body to play pro ball. I was good but not NFL good by a long way.

    That’s why it frustrates me soo much! What a waste…

    Go Bucs!