Budgeting And The Draft

April 25th, 2024

The $21 million Tristan Wirfs will earn this season should seem like a huge bargain in a matter of months.

Yes, Wirfs will have even more money to feed his 360-pound frame.

The Lions made Penei Sewell the NFL’s most expensive tackle yesterday with a new contract that drops $85 million guaranteed in his lap and will put his average salary over several years close to $28 million.

Consider that the starting point for Wirfs’ extension that he’s negotiating with Tampa Bay. Sewell is not the player Wirfs is.

So the big question is whether the windfall coming Wirfs’ way next season will impact Tampa Bay’s draft thoughts tonight, tomorrow and Saturday?

Teams like to have budgets restrictions for each side of the football and subdivided among position groups. If the Bucs know they’re paying Wirfs close to $30 million next year, maybe that means they prefer to develop and play center Robert Hainsey’s replacement this season.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht could think there’s little upside to starting Hainsey in his contract year because if he plays well, then he’ll be seeking veteran starter money in 2025 that the Bucs have no plans to pay.

The Bucs have a very young and inexpensive offensive line now, and Joe suspects Licht wants to keep it that way unless there’s a pending free agent next season that blows his mind.

13 Responses to “Budgeting And The Draft”

  1. BillyBucco Says:

    I really don’t think Hainsey is gonna break the bank. Especially if we draft a Center. He will compete for LG, but I like Opeta there. OT moved to guard is more plausible though with Wirfs making 30 and Goedeke already over half way through his rookie contract. We are gonna have to keep young at the other 4 positions to stay relative.
    That makes Mims and Guyton attractive to me.
    So many ways this draft can unfold, but I hope they don’t draft for 2025 NOW.
    Get guys that can start this year and worry about 2025 next year.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Makes sense. Same idea with WR if we draft one high this year. Will give us more flexibility on the CAP for that position group going forward. We were already way overpaying at CB and corrected for that with the Davis trade.

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    For this reason, I think the Bucs strongly consider WR in Round 1. Godwin is a FA and they just paid Evans. That’s a lot of money going to two WRs.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    the draft should solely be focused on the best players available for improving the team this year and down the road. Wirfs will get his long term fair market value soon enough

  5. Ricki Says:


  6. Louis Friend Says:

    Whoever wrote this is implying Licht might sit a player who could contribute to Bucs team in 2024 for the sake of a cheaper next contract? Nobody implied that. The implication was Licht would prefer to develop a player with a higher ceiling rather than to give the time to a guy with lower ceiling who, if he plays well, will command $7 million+. –Joe If that were true, why would that player ever want to re-sign with them? Deliberately tanking someone’s value puts the reputation of Licht in doubt. Who would respect or want to sign a second contract after someone did that to them?

    Not the best hypothetical to come across your blog, ‘Joe’.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Louis … Was thinking the same thing. Bucs didn’t sit Donnie Smith in 2022 even though they knew they probably wouldn’t re-sign him. Same thing with Cappa the year before, and probably many others before that.
    Bucs wanted to re-sign Cappa and Tom Brady even called him to stay.https://www.joebucsfan.com/2022/03/alex-cappa-said-no-to-the-goat/
    Smith was not in a contract year, or in a position where you’d develop a rookie with Tom Brady at QB. Big difference.–Joe

  8. Tucker Says:

    Does seem like you were implying that with this article no? Lol

  9. donuts Says:

    I would like to see Wirfs in the backfield as a FB in goalline, which has been a problem…think #72 Refridge Perry but much more flexible.

    Great pic, Joe.

  10. NCBucsFan Says:

    If Hainsey plays well in his contract year, let him sign with another team and get a comp pick. Some teams are better at accumulating compensatory picks than others, including the Bucs.
    It’s not a bad thing for a player in a contract year to play out that contract and play it well, because either Bucs re-sign him and get a good player or we can let him go and get a comp pick back (barring that Bucs don’t sign enough players to offset the pick).

  11. JimBobBuc Says:

    I love this photo of Wirfs running the ball! Coen needs to install a ” 700 lb Package” with Wirfs as an I back behind Vita as fullback! That would blow up the NFL media types!

  12. George R Says:

    That’s what I have been saying. There is a lot that goes into making that selection. St Brown just got 30 million. Don’t be surprise if Wr is the first pick. 50 million a year for Mike and Chris is unrealistic. And I don’t think they are going to sit Godwin.

  13. Pittbucfan Says:

    Paying OL QB money. Boy I don’t know. Wirfs is one of the best, if not the best, but boy that’s a tough one for me. Glad I don’t have to make those decisions.