Well, This Is One Way To Save Money

February 18th, 2024

What could he fetch?

Unless the Bucs want to spend a first-round pick on this position, Joe isn’t confident the following proposed trade would be smart.

The Bucs must find creative ways to be able to use extra Team Glazer loot if they hope to bring back the Big Four free agents: Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans, Lavonte David and Antoine Winfield, Jr.

Mayfield and Evans could be looking at their last chances to wet their beaks in free agency. So they’ll demand serious cash (Mayfield might take less if his contract guarantees more money for longer years).

And of course, the Bucs will have to find cash for Winfield and Lavonte David, if he doesn’t retire.

The Bucs could extend Tristan Wirfs’ contract a year early and structure it to allow more cap flexibility. Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett’s contract is another one that could use a re-do to free up cash.

Jeremy Fowler of BSPN tossed out an interesting option. What about trading cornerback Carlton Davis? Fowler examined this idea.

Could Tampa look to trade corner Carlton Davis III, who’s due $14 million in base salary next season? He has missed 16 games over the past two years but is a cover corner who would have a market.

Well, a famous Raheem Morris quote springs to mind here: “I will tolerate you until I can replace you.” Is Zyon McCollum advanced enough to take over for Davis, who is almost always assigned to an opponent’s No. 1 receiver? Joe isn’t sure about that.

Yeah, Joe gets it that Davis always gets hurt, similar to Jamel Dean, who is downright brittle. Davis didn’t have a great 2023 season. That was on Bucs coach Todd Bowles to a degree because Bowles had Davis (and Dean) playing a lot of zone defense when these guys are man-to-man cover corners.

If Bowles decides to play more man this fall, watch Davis improve.

As for trading him? Yeah, that’s one way to clear some cap space — about $6 million if done prior to June 1. What this basically boils down to is, do the Bucs coaches think McCollum is ready to take that next step and be a quality starter?

62 Responses to “Well, This Is One Way To Save Money”

  1. Since76 Says:

    There it is losing valuable players to keep an average one. How to dismantle a talented roster 101.

  2. MJC Says:

    You need corners in this league or you will be eaten alive. It’s better to have too many than to few.

  3. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Send Carlton Hargreaves packing.. Addition by subtraction.

  4. Allbuccedup Says:

    Bucs won’t trade him Licht will want a lot more than hes worth. Look at OJ Howard they shopped him for two years and wanted too much now where is he?

  5. FrontFour Says:

    McCallum got toasted by Detroit after Dean went out in the playoffs. Shows promise but still looks like a backup to me.

  6. Ramon Says:

    I do! But man…AW3! at SS and McCollum and FS is just NASTY in theory craft. But then that leaves us 2 corners. Keep Davis OVER Dean. Sorry Dean…Most important ability is availability- Had you only not gotten hurt vs the Lions…I get it not your fault, but injuries “stalk” U for an unknown reason. Safeties check. CD3 CB one. Follows #1 WR and Plays MAN!!! Izen Slot, but who Wings the CB2 spot? Draft Gem…Licht has a list im sure. The LB’s need work. We need LBrs who are like regular LBr’s…He need a Middle Linebacker…someone like Brian Urlacher or Luke Keuchly- someone who can cover all the grass and Rush and just has an Xfactor. He can even Line up at the LOS and RUSH to mis it up in blitz. That would be my First round draft selection this year…HAS TO BE A HOME RUN JL!!! Second, would be a small school OT that Licht sees a Gaurd IN, why fix what aint broke am’i’rite??? 3rd…CB2- draft best cover CB available with your third pick…even move up a few spots to nab it if needed. The rest QUALITY Depth and Fill out the rest of the roster. EZ

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    Licht won’t trade away a player he drafted and then extended. He routinely lets guys leave and gets nothing out of them, hangs on to guys when it’s obvious they aren’t producing enough to warrant their contracts….Davis and Dean are grossly overpaid, Shaq is mediocre, White was a joke for $11 million last year, JTS shouldn’t be in the league. They should fire sell the defense, stack the offense and make Bowles prove his defensive genius. All those resources on defense for a lot of mediocre play in a mediocre division.

  8. Beeej Says:

    Great minds think alike. I’d already floated trading him straight up for Riddick (my assumption is the two cap hits roughly offset)

  9. August 1976 Buc Says:

    He is not on the field half of the time anyways, get someone that can stay on the field. The best ability is Availa-Bility See ya Carlton

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Davis is a $20.37M cap hit this year due to can kicking.

    There’s also 3 dummy years tacked onto the end of his contract (which expires after this year) totaling just over $8M…. more can kicking…..

    His dead cap hit if cut or traded is $14.06M – so the savings in doing either would only be about $6.7M.

    Davis didn’t have his best year in 2023 – but he’s still our best CB and you can’t get anywhere near his talent level (stone hands and all) for $6.7M…

    For a $6.7M difference – you basically have to keep Davis if you really want to compete for playoffs etc. I like Dean and McCollum but Dean gets hurt a LOT and there’s no getting out of Dean’s contract either….

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Davis and Dean have to realize they didn’t have very good seasons last year, right? If those 2 would take $3.5 mil pay cuts for 2024, the Bucs would have more cap space than by trading/cutting Davis.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    Keep Davis and restructure his deal.

    This team has too many holes to fill as it is. Free agent CBs are too expensive and drafting one at #26 is a crap shoot anyways…

    I don’t believe ZM is ready to be a full time starter.

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    CD is an overpaid, oft-injured CB and we can do better.

  14. JimBobBuc Says:

    When on the field and playing man, I like Dean and Davis. But they’re out too much and we’re paying big bucks to have these guys sitting injured.

    McCollum is available and that’s his strength, not getting hurt. However, McCollum remains a bad tackler. In the preseason he was horrible, his tackling was much better early in the season on special teams, then he regressed when playing in the backfield. I don’t want to depend on him at safety with his poor tackling.

    It will be interesting to see how Hayes plays next year. He was good on special teams and I think Bowels will try him at safety beside AW3.

  15. Onetrickpony Says:

    JTS = Just Talking Smack, and not much else

  16. BUCman Says:

    Carlton Davis’ contract is not overly expensive for a #1 corner. If you trade Davis to save a few bucks your options would be to: a) draft a rookie and trust him to be a starter on day one, b) sign a top free agent which would cost you way more than Davis’ contract, c) start McCollum who has not developed as hoped and is not a reliable corner. He gets beat nearly every play and is a liability. Davis is our starter. What we need is better depth than McCollum!

  17. Will Says:

    Dean was brittle in college so that hasn’t changed. But I’ll say since he got paid he seems even more fragile.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    A lot of excellent comments, but in the final analysis they all boil down to (1) keep Davis; or (2) don’t keep Davis. Like Pickgrin said, releasing him frees up about $6.7 mil. So the bottom line question becomes … ‘Can you replace Davis for $6.7 mil?’ because that’s all you freed up by releasing him.

    I don’t see Carlton as the future, but I also don’t see starting CBs pounding on the doors of 1 Buc Palace screaming ‘Please don’t pay me more than $6.7 mil’. And our Bucs don’t have very much Secondary depth in case folks hadn’t noticed, so depth players aren’t exactly lining up for a shot at starting.

    And as far as restructuring Shaq goes, IF you do that, he’ll remain even more highly paid for several more years. This past year: 4.5 sacks, 9 QB Hits & 3 TFLs in 16 games. That was for a salary CAP hit of $10.8 mil but a Dead CAP of $37.1 mil (yikes … the cost of past restructurings). This year his CAP Hit is $14.2 mil but his Dead CAP only comes down to $26.7 mil. Gee, hopefully we can get another 4.5 sacks out of him, and then if we restructure him we could hope for the same for several years to come. Have you all seen our pass rush lately?

  19. Ben Says:

    Does trading him to save $6 milly make sense? I think its roughly the same to cut him. Idk if they can find a replacement cost for thst price. I do agree the Bucs may entertain moving or cutting him though if they can get a cb in the 2nd round.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Will … Davis is even more fragile. In the past 5 years, Dean has played in 70 games; Davis has played in 63.

    Bucs have played 83 regular season games in those 5 years, so neither one has fantastic availability.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … BTW, if Bucs could get SMB back for a reasonable price, we should jump at it. Last year he played for the Titans on a 1-year, $3.5 mil contract. I’d offer him that in a heartbeat to play for us in 2024.

  22. Bucs Guy Says:

    Trade him for a draft pick you can use on his replacement. If McCollum is ready to replace CDIII, then you use the pick on his replacement. Saves you cap space, but it’s a risk because you are assuming whoever you pick will work out.

  23. gotbbucs Says:

    Whether they keep Davis or not, they still need to bring in more cornerbacks. Given Davis and Dean’s injury track record, this team needs a minimum of four starting caliber corners, preferably that can catch gimme interceptions in playoff games.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    Both are injured a lot but are still our best options.

    McCollum is not a starting corner. Maybe he’s a safety. Maybe. But no a corner. Sorry folks

  25. Bucsfan007 Says:

    Davis is the best CB we have. Why would you trade your best CB with no real depth behind him. McCollum has improved but has shown he’s not a full time starter yet. I know we all seen the Detroit game& with the schedule next year if you don’t have Davis it would be very tough! Also Davis is the #10 paid CB in the league, compared to the people above him he has missed less games than any of them in 2023 (Lattimore, Ramsey, Jaire Alexander, Xavien Howard, Trevon Diggs, JC Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, & Tre’Davious White) Bucs fans gotta be more grateful & understand we’re getting a good deal here. Plus Davis only gave up 53% of passes in Coverage this year which is outstanding!

    Joe or anybody else I would love your opinion on this take

  26. BillyBucco Says:

    I love how everyone wants to PAY THE MAN so Baker gets 35. PAY THE MAN so Mike gets 28.5. PAY THE MAN so Winfield gets 18. PAY THE MAN so LVD gets 6.
    Then when someone gives you an avenue to save a measly 6.8 Million, thats too little savings.
    Where do you think this money is coming from, a Monopoly Board. Yeah lets just sell our Hotels.
    There are going to be a TON of sacrifices, just to keep the SAME PLAYERS.
    I have a strange feeling fans are gonna HATE what Licht does regardless of what it is. At least half of you will.

  27. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Cap dumps usually dont get much value in trades. I think they have enough flexibility to avoid crap like that. They’re what, #10 or so in cap space?

  28. Bucfan561 Says:

    I wouldn’t trade the best corner we have.. had a up & down yr but I think the turf toe has a lot to do w/ it..

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Bad take.

    Here’s an interesting take: Can we resign Whitehead? His contract was voided.

  30. Dave Pear Says:

    You don’t trade him for nothing. Obviously Licht isn’t going to give him up for a stale cheese sandwich. And when you’re trying to win, you don’t get rid of good cover corners. Instead, you order Slowzo to play mostly man defense to take advantage of his players’ strengths, and also uncomplicated the defense in the process. His players have never understood their zone assignments because Todd is the only one who knows what they are.

  31. sasquatch Says:

    If they decide to sign back SeMuBu in free agency, they could afford to let Davis go a little less painfully. Bunting has the same durability issues as our top 2 corners, but he’s cheaper and grabs more interceptions. Plus Todd loves him, he knows the defense, and he’s a great locker room guy.

  32. Bucsfan207 Says:

    There’s been a couple of interesting takes! Overall I say we keep him! McCollum has improved for sure but he’s not ready to do the job we’ve paid Davis to do.we can’t afford to lose a player of his caliber without a viable replacement or depend on a rookie in the 1st round who probably insnt even better than McCollum. Plus we have no depth at all! Here’s some interesting stats I would like everybody to take a look at. Davis is the #10 CB paid in the league, the 9 others above him have mostly played less games then him in 2023 (Ramsey, Xavien Howard, Tre’Davious White, Lattimore, Trevon Diggs, JC Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Jaire Alexander) not too mention Davis had a 53% pass completions on him which is damn good! We’re getting a pretty good deal right here.

  33. It's Corn Says:

    You gotta have a willing partner… that’s a lot of salary for a team to absorb. I knew it was a mistake to pay those two corners so much. And then to not even use them for their strengths.

  34. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Jamel Dean is the Bucs best corner, not Davis

  35. Bucsfan207 Says:

    @tbbucs3 how can you say that when Dean has never been in the CB1 position? Most of his career he split time with Sean Murphy Bunting & has never had to stick the number 1 WR for long periods of time or follow them, most of the time Dean is on the boundary while Davis in on the island

  36. MadMax Says:

    Ive been saying it, draft Cooper Dejean…he’s CB/Safety and punt returner rolled up into one.

  37. Pewter Power Says:

    Not sure why media always thinks that way but there’s no one irreplaceable on this defense, I just want them to keep Winfield.

    Davis started as a rookie drafted in the second round. Of course he can be replaced with a second year player and zyon doesn’t have to be “ready” anyone can step in which they have to every year because him and Dean are always hurt. Just because he got the big contract doesn’t mean crap. Jpp was replaced by JTS he want all that impressive. If you can do it at edge rusher why not corner? They play too much zone anyway

  38. Mort Says:

    Yeaaaaah that’s a terrible idea.

  39. Joe in Michigan Says:

    MadMax: Cooper Dejean looks like he can play. If he runs well at the Combine he might be drafted ahead of where the Bucs pick.

  40. Ricki Says:

    Thats a great idea. Get rid of him and Dean. Useless players.

  41. Lakeland Steve Says:

    A lot of the problem was we have issues getting pressure with a 4 man rush. Bowles has to blitz to get pressure which exposes the secondary. However, given the fragile bodies of Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean, trading one of the two may be a shrewd move. Oil anything McCollum is a tougher version of those two. He may not cover quite as well but he is not a bad corner, plus he will come up and lay a lick on the receiver.

  42. Delusional Intelligence Says:

    Trading Davis would make sense if you were using those funds to secure the secondary. I’d be open to the idea if they used the money to sign back SMB, Edwards and Whitehead, who are all set to be FA’s.

  43. Beeej Says:

    We let Mike Edwards, a VERY decent safety, go because we didn’t have $3 million? Ryan Neal made $1.2 million, killed out entire secondary, forced Bowles to play zone (which we NOW know they’re ill-suited for) $1.8 million was the important?

  44. Beeej Says:

    “Delusional Intelligence Says:
    February 18th, 2024 at 4:48 pm
    Trading Davis would make sense if you were using those funds to secure the secondary. I’d be open to the idea if they used the money to sign back SMB, Edwards and Whitehead, who are all set to be FA’s.”


    THAT’s where my genius (which our K-mart mod program squashed this am) idea comes into play: Trade CD3 for Reddick–pass rush immediately gets better, requires less performance from the secondary

  45. Beeej Says:

    Squashed me again, I think it has to do with putting people’s proper names in there.

    Trade CD3 for that previously-mentioned lineman from the predatory birds in Pennsylvania—pass rush will immediately improve, making life for secondary easier

    That’s all I can say for now

  46. Beeej Says:

    I surrender, I have no method of putting my GENIUS idea into this forum

  47. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    -Carlton Davis
    -CB Khyree Jackson Height: 6-3 | Weight: 203 | 40YD: 4.4

  48. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Potential Depth Chart
    Carlton Davis | Zyon McCollum | Keenan Issac
    Jamel Dean | *Khyree Jackson

  49. EternalSon Says:

    Interesting take, Bobby M

    Go Bucs!!

  50. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Beeej: Although Edwards is better than Neal, I think he was below average, with the exception of an occasional interception. They probably can find someone better than both of those guys, I think McCollum was better in his limited time at Safety.

  51. Pickgrin Says:

    DR – I would much rather keep Davis, Dean and McCollum as our 3 main CBs and bring Whitehead back to fill the gaping hole at SS instead of dumping Davis for SMB and still having a hole at Safety.

    Edwards was very good in spot duty – but when he was a full time starter for a bit with the Bucs he didn’t play nearly as well….

  52. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Heck yeah. Dump that overpriced lawn chair. Carlton ‘toast’ Davis, don’t let that door hit you where the good lord split you on the way out. Good riddance my mang.

  53. Capt.Tim Says:

    Carlton Davis is a very good CB. Hes the best on our team
    Last year he believed all the bad press the team got.
    He, and many others on the team, were taking it easy, thinking that it was a tank year.
    Mayfield changed all that. He got the team believing.

    I dont know if I can be upset with a vet playing it safe, on a year where all we are playing for is a high draft pick.

    At the End of the season, Davis was playing so great defense.
    If We get our act together, sign our FAs, acquire the players to fix the holes is this team – then we will need Carlton Davis.

    We could really help him out- and get a damn Pass Rush!
    Gotta be a priority. Draft a guy, and sign a guy.

    Then Carlton Davis will will be back to his high level self.

  54. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … When I said Bucs should jump at the chance to get SMB back, I didn’t mean that he should replace Davis. I see us keeping both Davis & Dean for 2024, and almost surely adding a CB AND a Safety. I think McCollum could do OK at Safety, but I’d prefer a more experienced Safety to pair with Winfield (who I’m convinced we’ll re-sign).

    I’d be OK with getting Whitehead back, but I doubt that’ll happen. He signed a 1-year $5.2 mil contract with the Jets last season, and gave them 17 games. There’s a good article in the NY paper about who they expect the Jets will re-sign this year (they’re hurting for money too), and they don’t expect them to re-sign Whitehead. Their rationale?

    ‘Whitehead has been a consistent presence in the Jets’ defense over the last two seasons, starting all 34 possible games. Unfortunately, his inconsistencies as a tackler and in coverage have been a persistent problem.’

    BTW, Jets have several UFAs who the Bucs should look at (who they probably won’t re-sign). The title of that article was ‘Predicting the outcome for all 22 NY Jets free agents in 2024’ written by Justin Fried.

  55. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Is Davis truly our best corner when you factor in the time he misses? Is he truly worth $20m?

    I like Davis, but realistically, he is severely overpaid for his limited availability.

    I say trade him for a 3rd rounder. We got two #3s in compensatory picks as well. You can find good CBs in the 3rd and 4th rounds.

    Dean is the same issue…but we’d be lucky to get a 4th for him.

    Draft picks are much cheaper, and we’re going to have to replace them in the next couple years anyway at the rate they are getting injured.

    Shaq…worth keeping another year, but DO NOT extend him or restructure. Get his dead cap out of the way now…at least the biggest part.

    Let Devin White test the market. If he goes to another team, so be it. I like him, but it is a matter of money and value at this point.

    If we sign Mayfield, Evans and Winfield, our #1 priority is Center…hopefully in the first round.

    If Baker moves on? Go all in on drafting a QB.

  56. ElioT Says:

    Capt T – you’re totally wrong.

    Carlton was very outspoken about the disrespect the Bucs were getting.

    With that said, they overachieved expectations with very little thanks to Carlton.

  57. Pickgrin Says:

    Bonzai – Davis cap hit of $20.3M is because the Bucs previously restructured his deal and also added dummy years to gain (kick the can) about $14M worth of cap space.

    Davis is absolutely a top 15 CB – and his original deal was for an average of $14.8M per year. Which is well in line with the going rate for good CBs (a bit team friendly actually).

  58. Jmarkbuc Says:



  59. DoooshLaRue Says:

    ElioT Says:
    February 18th, 2024 at 8:59 pm
    Capt T – you’re totally wrong.

    Carlton was very outspoken about the disrespect the Bucs were getting.

    With that said, they overachieved expectations with very little thanks to Carlton.

    Yes, the “Captain” has been deluded for quite some time.
    It’s been obvious.

  60. Canabuc Says:

    Trade him to the Eagles who are terrible on the back end for Reddick!

  61. Capt.Tim Says:

    Funny what people here believe.
    So, Last preseason, when some random reporter asked Davis what be thought about the bad press, you really believe he was gonna answer
    “ yeah, Ive read it. Totally agree. We are gonna suck. Im planning on coasting this year.”
    Is that really what you think?
    You understand that all NFL players have handlers who are with them during all interviews and press conferences.

    How can anyone in todays world not know that?
    You expect these guy to tell you what they really think- then you didnt listen to Brady. Said he dreamed about telling the truth at a press conference.

    Players say what they are told to say. Period. Try not to be sadly naive.

    Douc*e. Still douc*e. Go away

  62. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Deff don’t get why Bowles doesn’t play to their strengths. Dean n davis when in man coverage tank near the top in man to man. Davis has down right shut out some of the top WRs literally took them out the game. Doesn’t mean they don’t get burnt bad from time to time but still I don’t get why Bowles plays them in Zone when they are terrible at it.