If Chris Braswell Starts, Who Sits?

May 6th, 2024

How safe?

Joe gets this question from time to time and it’s an understandable question.

“Why is Joe Tryon-Shoyinka still a starter?”

The answer from Joe is always quite simple. “Investment.” The NFL is, first and foremost, a business. Like most businesses, an employee whom a company has a lot of time and money invested in will get more rope than someone making just above minimum wage and hired three weeks ago.

The Bucs have a lot of draft capital and Team Glazer loot sunk into JTS. And while the Bucs sent a clear message to JTS last week that is is time to fish or cut bait when the Bucs didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, the Bucs are giving him one last prove-it season.

And it also helps JTS’s cause that the Bucs have no one else better than him outside of the guy who lines up opposite of him, YaYa Diaby.

In typing for BSPN, Jenna Laine made an interesting case that second-round pick, edge rusher Chris Braswell could start for the Bucs this fall.

Unlike Yaya Diaby, a 2023 draftee who came in relatively inexperienced and had to rely more on his ability, Braswell has a lot of pass rush moves already in his arsenal. He also has experience dropping into coverage, which the Bucs ask of their outside linebackers. He had 10.5 tackles for a loss in his final year at Alabama, along with his eight sacks and three forced fumbles (he also had a pick-six against Mississippi State).

Of course last week outside linebackers coach George Edwards said Braswell already has a lot of tools in his toolbox and that just about everything the Bucs will ask him to do, he has experience with at Alabama.

Would the Bucs, if Braswell balls out this summer, actually get a starting job Week 1 over JTS? That would surprise Joe only because, again, if the Bucs are going to bench JTS they may as well just cut him. Not sure that’s going to happen.

(If JTS were cut, per Spotrac.com it would be a $3.5 million cap hit.)

What may happen is that if JTS doesn’t show any progress early on, he might see his snap count reduced significantly in place of Braswell.

We are basically three months from training camp. If Joe had to guess, Diaby, Braswell and JTS will be in a rotation. After say three games, the two who are getting the most production will get more snaps.

43 Responses to “If Chris Braswell Starts, Who Sits?”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … “Why is Joe Tryon-Shoyinka still a starter?” The answer from Joe is always quite simple. “Investment.”

    Sorry Joe, can’t buy that. Not saying that it never happens, but can’t see it happening on a Todd Bowles’ team. If you don’t put your best players on the field, you set yourself up to lose. If Braswell shows early-on that he makes more plays than JTS, Braswell will see much more field-time than JTS will. I think that’s why undrafted Christian Izien started last year as our Nickel over several more experienced DBs … he showed early-on that he could make plays.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘If Joe had to guess, Diaby, Braswell and JTS will be in a rotation. After say three games, the two who are getting the most production will get more snaps.’

    That analysis I agree with 100% Joe. But it seems to kinda contradict the previous analysis. Both Braswell & JTS (and Diaby) will most likely get lots of playing time in the preseason to show what they can do in Bowles’ defense. George Edwards will be able to tell by then who REALLY wants it.

  3. Permanently Moderated Says:

    It is highly unlikely JTS will finally develop in his 4th year. Just admit he was a bad pick and move on.

  4. Lou. Says:

    @Defense Rules — While “undrafted Christian Izien started last year as our Nickel over several more experienced DBs (because) he showed early-on he could make plays,” he kept playing because no one behind him was even mildly competent. Bucs fans are all for giving unheralded players a chance. But we are not fans of substandard play, no matter how nice the story. BTW the last draft shows that Bucs brass was not thrilled with the team’s nickel play either.

    As for JTS, the rope was long in part because of Bowles’ support. But Licht has a history of moving on quickly from mistakes. ASJ and Howard at TE spring to mind, along with a certain 1st round pick at corner. It won’t take a quarter of the season for the coaches — and the fans — to know who’s got it and who doesn’t.

  5. I remember 21 Says:


    “Not saying that it never happens, but can’t see it happening on a Todd Bowles’ team. If you don’t put your best players on the field, you set yourself up to lose.”

    Sir, what team have you been watching the last 2 years?!? bowles is historically slow to make personnel adjustments. It’s one of his many, many, many terrible qualities. Geodonkey @ G, Neal @ S, Diaby riding bench for half the season, DW45, etc, etc, etc. You can’t be serious with that comment.


    You would be shocked if Braswell started? If Braswell isn’t listed as the starter coming out of training camp, Houston we have a problem. JTS is a bust, clear as day. I don’t buy the investment theory anyhow. Just the other day you wrote about how around half of the first rounders don’t get their 5th year picked up. We’re not in a unique situation. And JTS was at the bottom of the first at that. It’s time to cut our losses. We already know what he brings to the table (nothing). Give Braswell the start with JTS to spell. If (for the first time in his career) he flashes THEN we can talk about him maybe possibly getting his starting job back.

  6. So. Ill. Bucs Says:

    Crackpot hot take time!

    With how the coaches were saying JTS does a lot of other things in the defense besides rush, could there be a possibility he sees snaps at middle linebacker? He already drops into coverage decently, plays the run decently, and is a lot faster than Britt.

  7. Lt. Dan Says:

    “If Chris Braswell Starts, Who Sits?” c’mon Joe. This is a rhetorical question, no? Look at the picture under the question. Ding ding!

  8. BucsFan Says:

    If Shaq Barrett was a starting Edge , would we not have an open spot for a starter?

  9. Beeej Says:

    What does JTS do better than Nelson?

  10. Eckwood Says:

    Satin Arm Sleeve Joe could care less if he sat
    And watched !! The guy truly doesn’t even know what
    His max effort is , he just doesn’t play the game that hard .
    But , he thinks he does !!

  11. teacherman1983 Says:

    We have a very special 5 man OLB group.

    We should have very fresh legs in the 4th quarter: when games are won.

    1. Diaby.
    2. JTS.
    3. Gregory.
    4. Nelson.
    5. Braswell.
    6. Gill.
    7. Watts.
    8. Ramirez.


    JTS has struggled because he’s going against massive offensive tackles.

    He’s only 250. OLB is a tough position in Bowles defense.

    You must be fast enough to drop and cover but also strong enough to set the edge and take on offensive tackles.

    JPP and Barrett were awesome in this defense because they are strong enough and take on offensive tackles but also fast enough to be an OLB.

    JTS needs “man-strength”

    He needs a few more years. He needs to squat a lot. And work on his shoulder strength.

    What killed Simeon Rice and JPP?

    Should injuries?

    JTS needs stronger shoulders and stronger legs. That’s it.

  12. Usfbuc Says:

    Sorry teacherman but there are no more years left for JTS. Even if he has a much better season they need to move on because it will just be contract year motivation.

  13. Dave Pear Says:

    JTS should be hosting cruise passengers in the Norwegian Jade grand ballroom by now.

  14. Joe Says:

    You would be shocked if Braswell started?

    Surprised, not shocked.

  15. SlyPirate Says:


    Has anyone ever heard of depth? Joe likely has but chooses to believe in it because conflict creates a story. For the rest of you, you need to level up. This should help …

    There are 53 people on a football team. There are 11 positions on offense, 11 positions on defense, and special teams with 6 designated starters.

    Each team has 28 designated starters and 25 additional players for depth. Teams that make it to the playoffs have both exceptional starters and exceptional depth. Look at the QB position for the 49ers or even the offensive line for the Bucs in 2020.

    FOOTBALL IS A TEAM SPORT. Licht is building a team with depth. Depth should be celebrated. Licht has plugged most of the holes. Over the next two years, you’ll start to see a lot of depth. You should embrace it, regardless of what the media would have you believe.

  16. Toad Bowels Says:

    Sorry Joe copied way too much. Start my last comment at “Teacherman listed these OLBs”

  17. BA’s Ref Pen Says:

    Don’t y’all worry. Bowles will have his secret chess piece JTS making so many behind the scenes, invisible to the layperson plays that nobody will ever know about.

  18. 1#bucsfan Says:

    You can never have to many pass rushers or DBs in this pass happy league. Put your most productive players on the field and rotate. Keep them fresh. Let’s go Bucs.

  19. BucsfaninOregon Says:

    Teachman: “JTS needs stronger shoulders and stronger legs. That’s it.”
    Well, that sure explains it all. Now if I could just find those frogs with stronger wings I could accomplish a lot.

  20. Joe Says:

    What does JTS do better than Nelson?

    See above (investment).

  21. kb Says:

    If JTS is a bust what is Logan Hall? Licht picked two turds.

  22. Hodad Says:

    He’s a cheap, young backup, no sense in cutting him Joe. They didn’t pick up his option, so he should be motivated to put some good tape out there this season. Good position for the Bucs to be in.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    According to Over-the-CAP, JTS would be paid $13.3 mil if Bucs offered him a 5th-year option for next year. Sounds like the Bucs decided JTS isn’t worth that much based on his productivity thus far.

  24. Buc1987 Says:


  25. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh I meant JTS!!!

  26. M1K3_Fanclub Says:

    I don’t get it. Why would you cut JTS unless it saves you money and you can find someone better. As a first round pick, he’s a disappointment, but that’s not a good reason to cut him. If he’s experienced depth who knows the defense and can make a few plays, why would you NOT keep him? Especially since Bowles preference is to platoon guys. I think some people just want to cut players out of spite, which isn’t smart.

  27. adam from ny Says:

    jts was demoted last year, so i’m not so sure he should be auto-promoted back into a top two slot…gotta earn it…

    and if he doesn’t, as the season wears on, he can slip into the number 5 slot with braswell, nelson and gregory all jumping ahead of him…

    and if cam gill gets his act together or watts becomes what they think he can be, jts could sink down even further, to nothing more than a fashion maven…

    gotta see how it plays out…

    don’t get me wrong, i’d love to see jts rockin’ and rollin’ out there

  28. drdneast Says:

    The Bucs finally got fed up with Noah Spence’s low production rate and cut him at the end of the third preseason I think. They played him a lot during the preseason yet her produced nothing against a bunch of future UPS truck drivers and gym coaches. If you see the same thing happening this preseason with JPS, you will know the end is near.

  29. Larrd Says:

    They should try Shoyinka inside. He won’t be a great run stuffer maybe but he’s tall and moves very well and could be effective in coverage.

  30. Bucfan1988 Says:

    The battle at OLB is gonna be fierce this offseason!!!

    Joe, don’t forget, Randy Gregory & Anthony Nelson are here for that rotation…..
    Even further, let’s see how Watts & Jose Rameriz fit in this year…

    Maybe one of these dudes is a shining star and we don’t know it yet??

    This will be the one battle to watch this summer!

  31. realistic-optimistic Says:

    If JTS manages 8 sacks this year, I can see Licht wanting him back on a modest deal as a rotation guy. But, every team in the league is looking for good, young edge rushers. If he manages 8 sacks some team will overpay for his services. At least we could net a comp pick in that scenario.

  32. adam from ny Says:

    jts is a loooong way away from 8 sacks…let’s see him sniff that number out and go from there…

    because 8 sacks is a solid number

  33. adam from ny Says:

    if you get 18 sacks from him and yaya, that’s good stuff…

    plus say 5 from vita and 7 from kancy…

    now your’e at 30…

    at that point you can def sniff out another 15 or more throughout the team…

    nelly – 4
    lavonte – 3
    the db’s – 4
    britt – 1
    braswell – 3
    gill -1
    watts – 1
    gregory – 2
    gholston – 2
    hall – 0 🙂

    that’s like a 50 burger right there

  34. Booger Says:

    “Teacherman1983” just throws around the word “Special” as if it’s meaningless. Wow. What low standards. How could you ever take serious, or respect anything else he says going forward, after that? You Can’t. “Special.” It’s a ridiculous statement. And, you didn’t even mention Lavonte David, either!? I mean, how many Pro-Bowls/ALL-PRO’s (etc), from this group… What’s their career stats look like… Has even 10% of ‘hardcore’ NFL Fans even ‘heard of’ HALF of these guys!? Brass hasn’t even played in a GAME Yet. And, so on. PLEASE. “Special!?”

  35. Booger Says:

    They can be good… But, “SPECIAL!?” Special. Come on, Man!

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I would be shocked if Braswell was handed the starting role. But…I do expect there will be a competition for it, and if he is good enough, he will win the role in preseason.

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Booger Says:
    May 6th, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    “Teacherman1983” just throws around the word “Special” as if it’s meaningless.”

    I really do not see anything wrong with what he said. He was stating his opinion. Nothing wrong with that.

    There is potential within the group…we’ll see who meets it.

  38. Booger Says:

    Potential is a far cry from being special. And, it is NOT an “opinion.” At least, NOT a correct one… When it is not backed by any facts. Now, he could’ve said that they have the “potential” to be special… But, that is not what he said. Or, I suppose, he could’ve meant “Special” in another way, meaning ‘off’ the field or mentally!? Tho, he meant on the field. I only asked, how could anyone ever take his future comments seriously, since it is so miserably biased & just obviously, NOT true. Not in the typical use of the word in this particular case. Its provable. By anyone. There is not one ‘honest’ person on the planet, who would ever say such about the group he listed. That’s just a fact. It’s a LIE from a total “Homer” and even, HE knows it. You know it & I know it.

  39. Eckwood Says:

    Larrd , he can’t man up with a running start he would get Destroyed inside ……. No on to Teacherman ,,, your not wrong but if he had a football heart he would be playing at 265 and have stronger shoulders and legs ……… I mean hell if he had Bakers fire he would be a 10 sack guy and increase his tackles by 15 a year …………. He doesn’t have a football heart and I doubt missing out on 13 mil and a new DE in the room will matter !! Hope it does though !!

  40. drdneast Says:

    Eckwood, since last year I have been saying “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane,” about JTS. I concur.

  41. Canabuc Says:

    From what I have read, Braswell is very strong.
    So despite his size he has speed and power. In long term he will be starter opposite Diaby.
    Physically Diaby is our hope replacement and Braswell is a stronger Shaq.
    They just need more experience.
    JTS is the most well versed in Bowles’ scheme so will stick around and if he does well will be re signed at a cheaper deal than his 5th year option.

    Gregory will probably also rotate in particularly on passing downs as a breather. Nelson is bigger and I could see rotationally playing the run downs more.

    Given the Florida heat you want your pass rushers fresh so as the offensive line wears down they will have the advantage.

    So this will be the main guys. One of Watts and Ramirez ( whoever is better on special teams) will be the 6th guy and will see very few snaps barring injury and the other will be on the PS.

  42. Mike Johnson Says:

    My guess is, JTS starts. Bowles likes him But…he’s already knowin he needs to see vast improvements from JTS. After about 2 or 3 games, JTS becomes a backup.

  43. garro Says:

    Judging from the rotational nature of our HC I seriously doubt anyone will be named as the one sitting by Bowles and company Joe.

    Last year…Did he announce that Diva or JTS were sitting? No. He said they were in the rotation or were being platooned.

    Go Bucs!