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FAB 1. The Bucs’ Free Company Plan At Quarterback
A fast look on the free agent quarterback panorama this yr will inform you all you should learn about Tampa Bay’s QB plans in 2021. Barring any surprises, the Bucs will doubtless attempt to re-sign backup quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin this offseason, because the crew plans so as to add one other yr on to Tom Brady’s contract to decrease his $28.375 million cap worth this yr.
Brady is ready to obtain a $10 million roster bonus along with his $15 million base wage, however he earned $3.375 million in incentives final yr, which is why his cap worth is $28.375 million as an alternative of $25 million. The Bucs must create some extra cap area to signal not solely Gabbert and Griffin, however starters like exterior linebacker Shaquil Barrett, tight finish Rob Gronkowski and defensive sort out Ndamukong Suh, who will value significantly more cash.
Gabbert signed for the veteran league minimal final yr price $1.05 million with a $137,000 signing bonus. He solely counted $887,500 in opposition to the cap in 2020. Griffin had a base wage of $945,000 but additionally earned $700,000 in per recreation roster bonus cash and wound up with a $1.645 million cap worth final yr.
The Bucs are eager about re-signing Gabbert and Griffin for 2 causes – affordability and expertise within the system. With extra skilled choices obtainable in free company, similar to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and Tyrod Taylor, amongst others, these veterans all include a lot increased value tags. And none of these gamers have any expertise taking part in in Bruce Arians’ system.
Why is expertise vital in Arians’ system vital? There are two essential causes this yr.
The primary is the truth that Brady underwent offseason knee surgical procedure and received’t be able to take the sphere once more till the summer time, which suggests he’ll doubtless miss OTAs and mini-camp – offering these happen this yr as COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. Bringing in a brand new quarterback that doesn’t have any chemistry or rapport with Tampa Bay’s receivers, tight ends and backs wouldn’t permit the Bucs offense to proceed to enhance on the price with which it may with educated QBs throwing the passes.
“I feel he’s in all probability trying [at] someplace round June, proper now, from what I hear,” Arians stated about Brady’s timetable to return to a apply setting. “His management – he doesn’t need to be on the market throwing it anymore. He may be there standing and coach the [mess] out of them. Wherever they meet and exercise – I’m hoping we have now an offseason for the youthful gamers. Tom doesn’t want it, however for the youthful gamers – first, second-, and third-year gamers – we’ve missed two years of participant growth with the place we’re at now. We don’t must miss one other one. For him he can be taught as a lot sitting in my golf cart as he can on the market throwing the ball. For me it’s only a matter of hopefully having these practices”
The second is that within the occasion that Brady have been to get harm within the 2021 season, a extra skilled backup like Gabbert, who has spent three years in Arians’ system courting again to the 2017 season in Arizona, may step in and carry out higher than a more moderen quarterback. Whereas Brady handed for 4,633 yards and a franchise-record 40 touchdowns in his first season in Arians’ offense, he’s additionally the best quarterback ever to play the sport and had 20 years price of NFL expertise to attract from. Anticipating a brand new quarterback to return in because the backup and have the identical quantity of success as Brady had could be far-fetched.
And if there isn’t an offseason or any preseason video games like final yr, having quarterbacks which have expertise in Arians’ system would maintain much more worth to Tampa Bay.
Gabbert and Griffin are each 31 with Gabbert getting into his eleventh yr within the league and Griffin getting into his eighth yr. Gabbert, a former first-round decide by Jacksonville over a decade in the past, has much more taking part in time than Griffin does, together with a greater talent set.
The Missouri product has performed in 60 profession video games with 48 begins and a 13-35 file, together with a 5-22 mark in Jacksonville in his first three seasons within the NFL. He’s accomplished 56.2 p.c of his passes for 9,206 yards with 50 touchdowns and 47 interceptions.
Griffin, who has largely been a third-string quarterback, has appeared in simply two video games in his total profession, finishing 2-of-4 passes for 18 yards within the Colts recreation in 2019. Gabbert was Brady’s backup final yr after lacking all the 2019 season attributable to shoulder surgical procedure from a preseason harm.
“We’ve a number of religion in Griff (Ryan Griffin), additionally, however Blaine is aware of this offense inside out,” Arians stated final coaching camp in anointing Gabbert as Brady’s backup. “He made some nice throws in the present day and he’s just about entrenched in it.”
Griffin didn’t get the advantage of a preseason to vary Arians’ thoughts, as he’s excelled within the month of August in previous years. In 2018, Griffin handed for 518 yards whereas finishing 68 p.c of his passes with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. In his first yr in Arians’ offense, Griffin accomplished 65.9 p.c of his passes for a league-high 743 yards with 4 touchdowns and two interceptions within the 2019 preseason.
Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how a lot Gabbert is looking for and what the Bucs are prepared to pay, as Marcus Mariota made $7.5 million in base wage final yr as Derek Carr’s backup, and is scheduled to earn $10.625 million if he stays in Las Vegas for the 2021 season. Browns backup Case Keenum made $6 million in Cleveland, whereas Chase Daniel made $4.3 million as a backup in Detroit. Nick Foles made $4 million final yr in Chicago as a part-time starter.
How a lot Gabbert will get if he’s re-signed will decide whether or not or not the Bucs can afford to maintain Griffin. This isn’t a really deep draft on the quarterback place, and with Brady doubtless taking part in in Tampa Bay for 2 extra years, it’s not important to line up his inheritor obvious proper now. But the Bucs is perhaps eager about having a youthful, cheaper quarterback on the 53-man roster when the common season rolls round and it’s not simply the Prime 51 salaries which can be counted in direction of the cap.
Alabama’s Mac Jones is getting first-round consideration, however would the Bucs spend the thirty second total decide on him if he fell that far? Bucs basic supervisor Jason Licht commented on the crew’s “wants” just a few weeks in the past.
“We felt like we had a really sturdy crew final yr and I feel final yr proved that a number of depth at key positions helped us get to our objective of successful the Tremendous Bowl. Proper now, as B.A. stated, we’re making an attempt to maintain the core collectively. Then, if we are able to preserve that core collectively, we are able to tackle different areas. We’ve to additionally tackle areas of future wants.
“We haven’t been in that place for a very long time since I’ve been right here, the place if we’re capable of preserve our core collectively, there isn’t any fast want that we’re going to be [addressing]. The picks that Bruce and I, and our employees, may both have an effect on future wants or simply be luxurious picks that would assist us. It leaves us ready to take actually good soccer gamers and never simply direct our consideration to at least one or two explicit positions.”
Would a quarterback like Jones be a luxurious decide at No. 32? Possible. Would Jones be thought-about a future want? Finally, sure.
There are additionally a few different quarterbacks that might match Arians’ system like Kyle Trask and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond that could possibly be mid-round picks that would make the roster because the third-string QB as an alternative of spending round $1 million or extra on Griffin.
Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how the quarterback place shapes up behind Brady this offseason, however the Bucs wish to have Griffin and Gabbert again – on the proper value.
FAB 2. Is Gabbert The Future At The Bucs’ QB Place?
That headline is sufficient to make a few of you cringe, I do know. However nobody is able to anoint Blaine Gabbert because the inheritor obvious to Tom Brady.
Not simply but.
Prefer it or not, Gabbert has loads of followers at One Buccaneer Place. Chief amongst them are basic supervisor Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians, who by the way in which is aware of a factor or two about quarterbacks. In any case, Arians is named “The Quarterback Whisperer.”
I’m not right here to promote you on Gabbert being Brady’s eventual alternative in Tampa Bay. I’m right here to elucidate why Licht and Arians are fairly excessive on Gabbert as a quarterback – one who the Bucs are focusing on to re-sign in free company if the worth is correct.
Let’s begin with Licht, who was a visitor on the Pewter Report Podcast proper after the Bucs’ Tremendous Bowl LV win on February 11. Licht heaped a bunch of reward on Gabbert throughout that look.
“Initially, I really like his power,” Licht stated. “I’ve actually gotten near Blaine this yr simply being on the sidelines. He’s a very good man however he’s one man, my scouts and I discuss this rather a lot, he’s only one man that I really like to look at throw daily in apply as a result of he has acquired a cannon. He’s very correct together with his throws as properly and he can simply actually whistle them in in tight home windows. If he had been pressured to play – he performed within the Detroit recreation – but when he had been pressured to play extra I feel that he would have actually opened lots of people’s eyes about how proficient he’s, particularly being in the identical system for a few years.”
Whereas the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Gabbert has excellent pocket passer measurement for Arians’ offense and the large arm able to throwing the deep ball, accuracy has not been Gabbert’s sturdy swimsuit. Gabbert solely has a profession 56.2 p.c completion proportion. To place that in perspective, Jameis Winston accomplished 60.7 p.c of his passes in Arians’ offense in 2019, whereas Brady accomplished 65.7 p.c of his passes final yr in Tampa Bay.
In 5 begins for Arians in Arizona in the course of the 2017 season, Gabbert accomplished 95-of-171 passes for 1,086 yards with six touchdowns and 6 interceptions. That’s a 55.6 p.c completion proportion.
Final yr whereas taking part in the second half of the Detroit recreation, Gabbert accomplished 9-of-15 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a 60 p.c completion proportion.
So can Gabbert be thought-about an correct quarterback? Not by most NFL starter requirements – except Licht is speaking about Gabbert’s completion proportion in apply, which is what he could imply.
To be honest, Gabbert was spectacular in Tampa Bay’s 47-7 demolition of the Lions in Detroit. However Gabbert had the posh of taking on for Brady after he threw 4 touchdowns within the first half and the sport was properly in hand. And Gabbert was going through the Lions and their terrible protection.
Nonetheless, Gabbert’s 25-yard landing go to Rob Gronkowski and his 22-yard scoring strike to Mike Evans have been spectacular and confirmed good zip and accuracy. Gabbert additionally confirmed off his wheels on a 16-yard scramble in the course of the recreation, and that’s an additional dimension that he brings to the quarterback place. In three years with San Francisco, Gabbert rushed for 363 yards and three touchdowns on 73 carries and a 5.0 common whereas showing in 15 video games with 13 begins.
“I’ve acquired all the arrogance on the earth in him,” Arians stated final yr when requested about Gabbert. The 2 grew to become acquainted in the course of the 2017 season when Gabbert stuffed in for injured starter Carson Palmer and began 5 video games.
“He performed very well for us in Arizona,” Arians stated. “After we referred to as on him, he beat two playoff groups that yr. It’s actually his third yr [in our offensive system] as a result of I haven’t gone wherever, however he’s a really, very strong man that may make each single throw.”
Gabbert helped beat Jacksonville, 27-24, that yr, along with Tennessee, 12-7, and was 2-3 as a alternative starter.
Arians believes the 31-year outdated Gabbert generally is a late bloomer now that he’s had some continuity in his profession.
“Early in his profession I feel he had 4 head coaches and 7 offensive coordinators in seven years,” Arians stated. “That’s not an excellent recipe for achievement for a quarterback. He is aware of the place the ball goes each time and why it’s going there.”
After his stint with Arizona in 2017, Gabbert moved on to Tennessee for the 2018 season earlier than becoming a member of the Bucs when Arians got here to Tampa Bay in 2019. Gabbert went 2-1 as a starter and accomplished 60.4 p.c of his passes for 626 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Statistically talking, Arians could also be proper, as Gabbert has performed significantly better soccer later in his profession. Not having a preseason final yr and injuring his shoulder within the 2019 preseason stymied his growth in Arians’ offense, however the Bucs like how he’s progressed in apply.
Brad Johnson was on his third NFL crew and was 34 years outdated when he helped the Bucs win their first Tremendous Bowl in 2002. Wealthy Gannon, the quarterback Johnson and the Bucs beat in Tremendous Bowl XXXVII, was on his fifth crew and was age 37 when he received the NFL MVP with the Raiders in 2002.
Gabbert will solely be 34 years outdated when Brady doubtless retires in two extra years. If he’s re-signed this offseason, Gabbert can have had 5 years in Arians’ offense to develop and enhance. And having two extra years to look at and be taught beneath Brady can solely assist, too.
Whereas the Bucs must see extra from Gabbert to decide to him being the eventual starter in Tampa Bay – and the crew would doubtless need some competitors for the beginning job – don’t rule it out.
“I’m not going to rule something out proper now,” Licht stated when requested if he thinks Gabbert may probably succeed Brady beneath middle.
Arians did wonders for Palmer’s flailing profession in 2013 in Arizona. He simply may have the ability to do the identical for Gabbert in Tampa Bay.
FAB 3. Securing Succop Ought to Be A Huge Precedence For The Bucs
Listed below are a few issues to consider on the subject of kicker Ryan Succop, who’s slated to be a free agent subsequent week except he’s re-signed by the Buccaneers.
Succop had the most effective yr of any kicker in Tampa Bay, setting a brand new file for factors scored in a season with 136, and connecting on 28-of-31 subject objectives (90.3 p.c) and 52-of-57 additional factors (91.2 p.c). Succop had a complete of three kicks blocked this yr attributable to poor safety up entrance, so these percentages needs to be even increased.
He additionally was excellent on all of his subject objectives within the postseason final yr, going 9-of-9, and was 12-of-13 on additional factors (92.3 p.c).
In opposition to Washington, Succop was 4-of-4 on subject objective makes an attempt in a 31-23 win, and was 3-of-3 the subsequent week at New Orleans in a 30-20 win. Succop saved his two longest postseason kicks for Tampa Bay’s ultimate two video games, drilling a 46-yard subject objective at Inexperienced Bay to push the rating to 31-26, and connecting on a season-long 52-yard subject objective in Tremendous Bowl LV in his lone try.
By the way in which, Succop has by no means missed a subject objective within the postseason in his 12-year profession, going 13-of-13.
Is it any coincidence that the Bucs simply occurred to win the Tremendous Bowl after lastly fixing their points at kicker – a place that has plagued Tampa Bay for a decade?
Is it any coincidence that quarterback Tom Brady has solely had three kickers in his storied 21-year NFL profession in Adam Vinatieri, Stephen Gostkowski and Succop?
I don’t must promote Succop’s re-signing to the Buccaneers. Common supervisor Jason Licht tried the whole lot from drafting two kickers in Roberto Aguayo and Matt Homosexual, to signing two high-profile veterans in Nick People and Chandler Catanzaro after which signing some high quality, in-season replacements in Pat Murray and Cairo Santos after they didn’t work out. Licht additionally traded for a kicker in Kyle Brindza.
It might have been straightforward to stay with Homosexual for a second season, however Licht signed Succop in September earlier than the beginning of the 2020 marketing campaign and rolled the cube on the veteran who was coming off an harm that value him a lot of the 2019 season in Tennessee. In some methods, signing Succop was second in significance solely to touchdown Brady in free company due to how dependable he was.
Now that Succop, who has linked on 86 p.c of his subject objectives in 5 of the final seven seasons, has confirmed himself, it’s time for him to stay with Tampa Bay and end his profession with the Buccaneers. At age 34 and bouncing again from a leg harm in 2019, Succop confirmed no indicators of slowing down final yr.
The query for Licht and director of soccer administration Mike Greenberg is how a lot is Succop price?
Chicago simply signed Santos, who was with the Bucs for the second half of the 2018 season, to a five-year, $16-million contract extension. The final two years of that deal are voidable per Brad Biggs, so it’s actually a three-year deal price $9 million with a most worth of $11 million.
Baltimore’s Justin Tucker is the most effective within the NFL and a sure-fire Corridor of Famer. He’s additionally the league’s highest-paid kicker with a mean of $5 million per yr. Subsequent is New York Giants kicker Graham Gano, who’s 34 and makes a mean of$ $4.66 million.
There are 10 kickers within the NFL that common $4 million per yr or extra, and Succop, who was the league’s twenty first highest paid kicker final yr, deserves to make at the very least $4 million given his profitable historical past within the league. Succop signed a one-year, prove-it contract for the veteran minimal final yr, making $1,050,000 and solely counting $750,000 this yr.
The sensation right here is that Succop deserves to be paid among the many Prime 10 kickers within the league, so which means $4 million or extra. Paying him greater than Santos could be tripling Succop’s wage from a yr in the past, however that may not be sufficient as he’s clearly probably the most enticing free agent kicker in the marketplace that features Detroit’s Matt Prater, Cleveland’s Cody Parkey, New England’s People and Tennessee’s Gostkowski this yr.
The Bucs’ main consideration is concentrated on extending Brady’s contract and re-signing exterior linebacker Shaquil Barrett earlier than the beginning of free company on Monday. However making an attempt to retain Succop must be subsequent on the listing together with re-signing defensive sort out Ndamukong Suh and tight finish Rob Gronkowski.
FAB 4. The Stinnie Scenario
The Buccaneers didn’t supply a restricted free agent tender contract to protect Aaron Stinnie, however that doesn’t imply that Tampa Bay doesn’t need him again. Stinnie, who stuffed in admirably for Alex Cappa at proper guard in playoff wins at New Orleans, Inexperienced Bay and within the Tremendous Bowl in opposition to Kansas Metropolis, is a restricted free agent in 2021.
The issue is that that the bottom restricted free agent tender quantity is $2.133 million. Whereas the Bucs would have the best of first refusal, which suggests they might match any supply he would get in restricted free company, if Tampa Bay didn’t match that provide the Bucs would get nothing in return for his departure. The restricted free agent tender supply that comes with second-round draft decide compensation is $3.384 million.
That’s approach too wealthy for such an unproven participant. Previous to Stinnie’s three-game stint as a starter within the postseason, he solely noticed time at left guard within the second half of the Bucs’ 47-7 blowout win at Detroit. Tampa Bay would like to see a bigger pattern measurement for Stinnie earlier than making such a big monetary dedication – even for one yr.
And particularly this yr with so lots of the crew’s prime gamers slated at no cost company and the Bucs and all the league having to function at a wage cap shortfall – from $198 million right down to $182.5 million. Think about the truth that the wage cap often will increase by $10 million annually and this yr’s cap downturn isn’t simply $16.5 million – it’s truly $26.5 million.
Resulting from taking part in time incentives, Cappa’s base wage will increase from $750,000 in 2020 to $2.183 million this season, which is the ultimate yr of his contract. Cappa’s cap hit in 2021 is definitely $2,381,426, so investing one other $2 million for an inexperienced reserve like Stinnie is a stretch. Stinnie made $750,000 final yr and I feel the Bucs would love to present him a pay bump someplace between $1 million – $1.5 million on a one-year, prove-it deal and produce him again to compete with Cappa for the beginning proper guard spot this season.
However proper now with the Bucs paying three offensive linemen – left sort out Donovan Smith ($14.25 million), left guard Ali Marpet ($10.25 million) and middle Ryan Jensen ($10 million) – $10 million or extra, Tampa Bay can’t afford to have over $4 million invested at proper guard between Stinnie and Cappa from a monetary standpoint.
FAB 5. SR’s Buc Pictures
• TOP 10 PLAYS OF THE BUCS’ 2020 SEASON: The Buccaneers’ superior social media crew is at it once more with an excellent video montage of all of Tampa Bay’s Prime 10 performs from the Tremendous Bowl LV season. I forgot about a few of these wonderful performs till watching the highlights. You’ll want to test it out.
Prime 🔟 performs of the 2020 season 👇
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 3, 2021
• DICKERSON COULD BE A FIT FOR THE BUCS EARLY IN THE DRAFT: I had the Bucs drafting Alabama middle Landon Dickerson within the second spherical of the draft in my Bucs Battle Plan this week. Check out the flexibility he brings to the NFL.
• BUCS BATTLE PLAN EDITIONS OF THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts 4 dwell episodes every week within the offseason – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at our authentic 4:00 p.m. ET time slot. This week we’ve acquired 5 Pewter Report Podcasts with NFL free company on the horizon and 5 Bucs Battle Plans to debate.
Subsequent week’s Pewter Report Podcasts return to prime time as we break down the entire Bucs’ free agent strikes. Be a part of us Monday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET in the course of the begin of NFL free company.
Listed below are the 4 newest editions of the Pewter Report Podcast to look at in case you missed an episode.
Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard and Scott Reynolds broke down Reynolds’ Bucs Battle Plan on Monday’s Pewter Report Podcast.
Scott Reynolds and Mark Cook dinner mentioned Cook dinner’s Bucs Battle Plan on Tuesday’s Pewter Report Podcast
Jon Ledyard and Scott Reynolds analyzed Ledyard’s Bucs Battle Plan on Wednesday’s Pewter Report Podcast.
PewterReport.com’s Jon Ledyard and Matt Matera mentioned Jaydon Mickens’ arrest and Matera’s Bucs Battle Plan on Thursday’s Pewter Report Podcast.
Watch the Pewter Report Podcasts dwell on our PewterReportTV channel on YouTube.com and please subscribe (it’s free) and add your feedback. All of our Pewter Report Podcasts will probably be archived there so you may return and watch the recorded episodes in case you missed it dwell.
The audio variations of the Pewter Report Podcasts will may be discovered on iTunes and Soundcloud. There is no such thing as a higher time to take heed to or watch a brand new Pewter Report Podcast – energized by CELSIUS – than Friday afternoon on the way in which dwelling from work, or early Saturday morning throughout your exercise or whereas working errands.
The recognition of the Pewter Report Podcast continues to develop. Along with listening to the Pewter Report Podcasts on PewterReport.com it’s also possible to subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking right here and on SoundCloud by clicking right here. And naturally the Pewter Report Podcast can also be obtainable on iTunes and YouTube. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode.
• DAVID WILL RETIRE AS A BUCCANEER: Congrats to linebacker Lavonte David and the Bucs group for coming to phrases on a two-year contract extension price $25 million with $20 million assured. That signifies that the 31-year outdated David will doubtless retire as a Buccaneer and spend his total profession in purple and pewter. David joins Ray Lewis in some choose historic firm – see the Twitter publish from CBS Sports activities beneath.
Solely two gamers in NFL historical past have 1,000+ tackles, 20 sacks, and 10 INT by way of their first eight seasons.
— CBS Sports activities HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 7, 2021
• WILLIAMS IS AS SMART AS THEY COME: North Carolina working again Javonte Williams, who was featured in PewterReport.com’s preliminary 2021 Bucs’ 7-Spherical Mock Draft, is one heck of a rusher, however I didn’t understand how good he was. Try the most recent tweet from PFF’s Austin Gayle.
UNC RB Javonte Williams (5’10”, 220)
– Graduated with a 4.6 GPA and was valedictorian of his class
– Performed LB till his senior yr of highschool
– Now 20 years outdated (Born April 2000)
– Averaged 0.48 missed tackles/try in 2020 (1st within the NCAA)pic.twitter.com/HJgnRnjTzZ
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 10, 2021