“I Got All My Fingers Crossed, Toes Crossed”

March 16th, 2024

Buccaneers legend Derrick Brooks.

A couple of former Buccaneers seem to be praying to the football gods for something Joe has little concern about.

Tampa Bay legend Derrick Brooks and Tampa Bay B-list celebrity Ian Beckles host a podcast that’s part of the Vinik Sports Group. It’s aptly titled Brooks and Beckles. In a recent episode, the two ex-Bucs shared their stress as it relates to Tampa Bay extending the contract of left tackle Tristan Wirfs.

Wirfs is set to play this season for a guaranteed $21 million, the fifth-year option — and the final year — of his rookie contract.

That’s life-changing money, but Beckles is concerned that Wirfs will hold out of spring practices and training camp if he doesn’t get a long-term deal before May.

Brooks seemed to be on the same page.

“Is it going to be done by OTAs? I got all my fingers crossed, toes crossed,” Brooks said of a new Wirfs contract. “It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s not [done before spring practices], but I do think they get a long-term [contract] established with Tristan and the Bucs hit the season going on all cylinders.”

Brooks didn’t say why he thinks there’s an urgency to locking up Wirfs with a new contract. Beckles, a Bucs guard for seven seasons, believes Wirfs won’t play again until he gets one. In Beckles’ mind, Wirfs clearly is the greatest offensive lineman in Bucs history and his play is so stellar that “he’s odd.”

Joe gets the urgency if the Bucs want to clear salary cap room this season by re-signing Wirfs and then chasing edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney (9 1/2 sacks last season) or Haason Reddick (11 sacks). But otherwise, what the harm in letting Wirfs play out his contract? The Bucs would have plenty of time to re-sign him or franchise tag him, if necessary. And Joe doesn’t believe Wirfs is the kind of guy to pout, skip practices and squeeze the team for a contract extension.

Sometimes there’s value in seeing a player stay healthy through his contract. Heck, the Bucs just made legendary Mike Evans play through his contract year and everything worked out just fine.

46 Responses to ““I Got All My Fingers Crossed, Toes Crossed””

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Love Wirfs.

    Paul Gruber was pretty phenomenal, back when the NFL was much tougher.

  2. T. McGee Says:

    It has to be hard for a player like Brooks to see what these dudes make now. DB55 was so fun to watch, talented and never took a play off. But I’m sure his career earnings don’t add up to what relatively mediocre players today pay in tax withholdings.

  3. Nano107 Says:

    Gas bag Beckles talking about Wirfs holding out not happening

  4. Rover Says:

    Im not panicking. But if this guy EVER wears another jersey, my lifelong fanship is gone! Go Bucs (With Wirfs)

  5. sweti_yeti Says:

    Better to get that deal done now before some other inferior OT resets the market. I also don’t want to wait until next year and have to slap the franchise on him. He would have had a new contract after year 3 if they weren’t so overextended on the cap.

  6. Buccos Says:

    Not worried. Talking heads

  7. OHBucFan Says:

    What did Beckles say about Baker signing the very day that Mayfield signed? I’ll hang up and listen?

  8. adam from ny Says:

    word on the streets:

    wirfs was last seen marching down dale mabry with a large christmas tree on his back, sopping wet, in a bathing suit, because he just jumped “up & out” of a swimming pool…

    and marching directly towards licht’s office with a snarl on his face, while mumbling & ranting loudly about some contractual situation

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Wirfs will re-sign and reset the T market. One reason they are being careful w Edge splurging just yet. Tristan and Winfield are the Priorities

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Good for Wirfs…this is a business not a rah rah high school team.

  11. HC Grover Says:

    Pro Football is looking more and more like Jai Alai to me.

  12. Mike C Says:

    And it circles back to pass rush hahaha I get it Joe, But Dang man you have a absolutely ONE TRACK MIND! A article about the best offensive lineman in Bucs history contract situation and somehow its about the pass rush smh, no problem with it, it is just comedic at this point lol.

  13. HC Grover Says:

    Bolivar for QB

  14. Duane in Sanford Says:

    It will get done sooner than later just for the fact that the team can use it to clear cap space.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Simeon4HOF … ‘Wirfs will re-sign and reset the T market. One reason they are being careful w Edge splurging just yet. Tristan and Winfield are the Priorities’.

    E-X-A-C-T-L-Y !!! Just in the past couple of weeks, JL has re-signed 11 of our guys from last year and signed 4 free agents to fill much-needed spots. I have zero idea how the other 31 teams are doing right now, but I’d lay money that JL leads the pack with those 15 signings/re-signings.

    It’s now time though to clean a few things up (ie, increase our available salary CAP position). We’re currently sitting at #30 in the NFL with only $3.6 mil of CAP space available, and we STILL have to account for 8 of those 15 signings in our CAP. We’re eating $36.0 mil of Dead CAP right now, PLUS we’re still accountable for Ryan Jensen’s $6.0 mil and Shaq Barrett’s $14.2 mil. Our biggest need right now is to free up some $$$ by (1) doing long-term deals for Tristan Wirfs & Antoine Winfield as Simeon4HOF noted; (2) clearing Russell Gage’s CAP Hit ($13.4 mil) off the books; (3) restructuring Godwin, Vea & Dean’s contracts.

    If JL accomplishes all that, we’ll be in pretty good shape … this year (2025 is still a mess). We’d free up enough to (1) pay those other 8 signings; (2) pay our draft class; (3) add a couple of free agents (maybe a DE/OLB and a beastly RB?); (4) and still have enough left over to meet contingencies (injuries, etc). We all just need to be patient, because there’s still a lot of time left before Game 1 and we’re not in a position to rush any of these remaining negotiations.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    A holdout will not happen.

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I could be wrong, but I’m not expecting a new deal for Wirfs until next year. We’ll see.

  18. Dave Pear Says:

    Paul Gruber would be in the HOF if he played for anyone else but the Buctards of Perkins and Wyche. And I submit, if Gruber was not injured and started in the 1999 Rams NFC Championship game, Bucs win and go to the Super Bowl.

    He was so robbed and jobbed by the dark ages of Buctardation.

  19. BucEmUp Says:

    I dont see hi..refusing to play, but I think they get something done

  20. gotbbucs Says:

    I doubt if he would hold out without a new contract, but I also wouldn’t blame him for doing so.
    A new long term deal for him would probably get him somewhere around $75 million guaranteed. He’s only guaranteed $21 million on this 5th year team option.
    He was standing right there when Jensen’s knee got shredded in a non-pad practice.

  21. Beejezus-belt Says:

    It will cost less to sign Wirfs long term now then it will next year after he turns into an all-pro left tackle. Just saying.

  22. Marine Buc Says:

    Here is my offer for Clowney – $1.2M salary plus $1M per sack incentive.

  23. Conner50 Says:

    If he gets an extension great if not he will get one right after his fifth year is over by Licht. Nothing to worry about at all, Licht is way too smart to let that man go or test the market period.

  24. SB~LV Says:

    Just a couple of ex Bucs lobbying for Tristan and putting the ole brotherhood squeeze on the front office

  25. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    I agree – A new contract for T. Wirfs will hopefully get done soon.

    I would love for the Bucs to go after Reddick or Clowney but I don’t believe the Bucs will do much more in free agency until after the draft.

    They are currently meeting with another FA CB named Thomas who played with Houston last year. He would be another experienced inexpensive depth piece.

  26. Rusty Shackleford Says:

    Ian Beckles has a two watt lightbulb for a brain.

  27. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Rusty

    You have the right to your opinion but I like Ian Beckles.

    I enjoy his podcast and most of his opinions are pretty solid.

  28. Lakeland Steve Says:

    If Wirfs new best buddy Baker Mayfield is at OTA’s then Wirfs will be there to, contract or no contract.

  29. HeavyE Says:

    Could have had J.Fields for a 4th or 6th rounder, but instead we have baker! Great Job J.Licht!!!!!

  30. Costa Rica John Says:

    There’s a lot of greed in these players wanting so much money. Most people could live their whole lives on a million dollars and people keep talking these players deserve more.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Costa Rica John, it’s a different level of existence than us, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

  32. Dave Pear Says:

    HeavyE – brain damage much?

  33. BillyBucco Says:

    21 million guaranteed is more than most Doctors net worth.
    Those guys actually save lives and we watch Wirfs for entertainment.

  34. MelvinJunior Says:

    OMGodddd. There are soooo many “concerns” to even go into here, with this season’s ‘salary cap’ being at the very bottom of that list. Sure, it would be AWESOME to get a little ‘breather’ there, with some extra needed help with the cap… BUT, the repercussions of NOT reaching a deal and doing so SOON, could be catastrophic & potentially FRANCHISE altering. You DON’T play around with, by just allowing first-ballot HOF’ers to “play-it-out,” etc. You Just GET-IT DONE. Period. Whatever It TAKES. And, Derrick Brooks KNOWS THIS… Just how important it IS. Just get-it DONE, JL/FO… There’s NO point in jacking/lolly-gagging around with it. Should be pretty dang simple. The price is ONLY going ‘up-up-UPPPP’ by the longer you wait… Maybe, that’s what Wirfs WANTS… To take his chances in a wide ‘open’ market after the season. Also, I think calling Beckles the “B-list” is being extremely generous with that, cause I’m not really sure he would even be considered as “D-List” level… I mean, I LOVE DBrooks (loved him at FSU), but I’m not so sure that he is, either!?

  35. Bucsfan Says:

    ME is not Tristan Wirfs so comparing their situations is a non sequitur. ME is approaching the end of his career and Tristan is squarely in the early middle of his career. When you have the best LT in football and can save money by signing him to a long term deal-then you just do it because it makes sense period. Don’t jack around with your most valuable asset JL-get the deal done.

  36. It's Corn Says:

    One problem the Bucs face is they have too many very good-great players no longer on rookie deals. Evans, Winfield, Mayfield, Godwin, Dean, Vea, formerly Shaq, even LVD, and then you want to add Wirfs to that? There will be no money left for anything.

    It’s why in the modern NFL you build a team around a Hall of Fame level QB… then you cycle all the other important positions with rookie contracts every so often. There’s no other way to really do it.

    We want to keep everyone, but you can’t really pay a high QB salary, two high WR salaries, and then pay the #1 safety in the league and the #1 tackle in the league what they deserve. Something has to give.

    They probably will pay Wirfs, I want to keep him for sure, but then you’ll have a lot of weak spots on the team that are not going to get filled with quality players unless you get super lucky in the draft and hit on every pick.

  37. Mike C Says:

    Say that again Bucsfan

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    HeavyE- that fat must be on your brain! Justin Fields? Lmao! DID YOU WATCH A BEARS GAME LAST YEAR?

    I think we will resign Wirfs to a long term deal. No time like the present. We do not want him to test free agency.
    Plus we can make the contract very cap friendly for this year.

  39. ReturnGrudenToRing Says:

    I think so little of Beckles I dont even need a grain of salt to dismiss anything he bloviates. He was at best a mediocre player and that might be stretching it. I have confidence JL is on the right track.

  40. Crickett Baker Says:

    Time sure changes things. I met Batman Woods a few years ago in Arkansas. He told me he made $18,000 per year when playing with the Bucs. That was hard to believe.

  41. David Says:

    If they lock him up now, I would imagine it’ll benefit them in the long run and short term with sal cap

  42. RiggedNFL Says:

    For once I agree with Joe. Play the contract out.

  43. Larrd Says:

    Words may be the best in the league but KC just won the Super Bowl with Donovan Smith at that position.

  44. Mike C Says:

    Larrd, a guy named Patrick is why they won

  45. heyjude Says:

    Really like Wirfs. The Bucs need to get the contract done before spring training.

  46. StormyInFl Says:

    Nobody thought a guy like Derrick Brooks would hold out, yet he did just that in 2001. With two years left on his deal, no less.

    Anyone who thinks Wirfs isn’t the kind of guy to do that might be awfully surprised. He risks long term financial guarantees playing on that 5th year option. He’s a guy who is gonna reset the T market, and he and his agent know it. No way they risk injury at this point – he suffers a career ending would cost him over 100mil