“Mistake” Mysteries And The Bucs

May 27th, 2024

So listeners to the Ira Kaufman Podcast back in late February learned all about how the Bucs considered Jordan Whitehead leaving in free agency to be a “mistake” by the Tampa Bay front office.

This was before Whitehead re-signed with the team in March.

So Joe sure was surprised recently when some media folks seemed to be awakened by this news. Joe even had more than a few people, including media, reach out to say, ‘Hey, you guys reported that a long time ago.”

No big deal. Not everything sticks during the frenzy of news during the NFL Scouting Combine. But this revived Whitehead chatter made Joe think it’s good time to reveal another “mistake” the Bucs made in free agency after Whitehead.

First, Joe thinks “mistake” is a harsh word in this situation.

Things are not clear cut. If Ryan Neal played well last season, there would be no Whitehead “mistake,” Joe believes. Also, some “mistakes” are really just calculated gambles.

Joe will share here that one “mistake” folks at One Buc Palace were feeling a year ago was the loss of defensive tackle Rakeem “Nacho” Nuñez-Roches in free agency. The Bucs wanted to re-sign him but didn’t anticipate the Giants pouncing on Nacho instantly with good money. “Nacho” got a three-deal and was gone.

The Bucs recovered from the sting and signed DT Greg Gaines to a one-year contract. He was brought back for 2024.

Nacho played good ball for the Bucs, a very solid, durable veteran who made 11 starts during the Super Bowl season and was a Jason Licht guy since 2018. Todd Bowles often praised Nacho’s locker room presence. They wanted him back but he got away.

But Joe doesn’t consider it a mistake, though it’s certainly possible it’ll be labeled that way one day during a future interview, especially if Gaines has a bad 2024 season.

13 Responses to ““Mistake” Mysteries And The Bucs”

  1. BillyBucco Says:

    Nacho was a good backup but a backup regardless.
    I wouldn’t label losing a depth piece as a mistake.
    I doubt the DT room will “Suffer” as they are one of the better rooms on the team. I understand they signed Earnest Brown and do want/need additional bodies but Nacho never identified as GREAT IMO.
    If we hadn’t just spent 2 of the last 3 first picks on DT, this would be a much bigger “MISTAKE” and one that wouldn’t have happened.

  2. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    When teams play with Monopoly money and have bigger bank than you these things happen. The loss of both Nacho and Whitehead definitely hurt our defense. Nacho was a solid player who showed up every game. Neal definitely showed how much losing Whitehead was a mistake. If more great players could cut back just a little bit on their “I want mo money” schtick it would allow the team to sign more “solid” foundational players that help them be great.

  3. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    These kinds of things happen more than anyone thinks…
    Case in point, Tom Brady was a back up quarterback in Michigan.
    Some people are just really good at talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
    And many people consider talking the talk most important. Evidently.

  4. Oneilbuc Says:

    He was a good hype man though !!

  5. Jake been there since the beginning Says:

    I only have one thing to say: Bucs Against Them All. Here we are proud of our team, we have two Superbowl championships and trying to sneak in another one. Not every team rolls at with 6. So Let’s Go Bucs!!!! No Approval needed to get another Ring!!

  6. Dave Pear Says:

    Nacho could pressure the QB. Would love to have seen him combined with Ka cry and or Diaby.

  7. Dude Says:

    I liked the energy Nacho usually brought to the table and thought he was pretty good rotational piece for us. Role players outnumber the household names, and they’re just as important to the overall goal of the team as the big contract/name guys.

  8. Capt.Tim Says:

    Gaines is a really good DT.
    Hes an upgrade, Imo.

  9. Zoocomics Says:

    Frankly, I don’t know what back up DT’s are worth, he signed with the Giants for 3 yr/$12M, $7.5M guaranteed. Is that good for the season he had in NY last season? 16/17 games played, .5 sacks, he didn’t exactly light it up in NY.

    Gaines on the hand, we got for $3.5M last season, didn’t have as many tackles last season as Nacho, he played 12 more snaps than Nacho did, but he did manage a full sack, 4 more QB hits than Nacho, he’s younger. Both had zero QB pressures outside of the sack they got credit for. Overall career wise, in half the time, Gaines has 3x more sacks the Nacho.

    Don’t know how much it’s worth or the impact of the intangibles that Nacho brought to the Bucs, i.e. his energy, the leadership.

  10. JimBobBuc Says:

    Nacho and Gaines are both solid backups. Gaines is outstanding at the goal line getting lower than the OL, even lower than Kelce in the Philly sneak. Mike Greene flashed a couple times, maybe he’ll develop and get some more snaps.

  11. garro Says:

    I liked Nacho and thought he played well here.

    He was not of the caliber of Whitehead though.

    Go Bucs!

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    Loved Nacho’s grit and enthusiasm. It was contagious on the sidelines.

  13. teacherman1983 Says:

    Losing Suh and JPP and Whitehead was too much!

    We should have kept Suh and Whitehead.

    JPP’s shoulder and legs were gone.

    Suh and Whitehead are TOUGH.

    We lacked toughness without them. And with Edwards as our safety.