2014 Free Agency Failures

3/14/14 P.J. Bay

2014 Cap Space w/ Revis: $24 Million


Donald Penn, -$7.42 million (

Darrelle Revis, -$16 million


Michael Johnson: $9 million

Alterraun Verner: $8 million

Anthony Collins: $7 million (est.)

Josh McCown: $4.75 million

Clinton McDonald: $3.5 million

Brandon Myers: $2 million

Jamon Meredith: $1 million (est.)

Danny Gorrer: $1 million (est.)

Evan Dietrich-Smith: $7.25 Million cap hit in 2014

Total Remaining: $11.25 Million (- Dietrich-Smith)

Qualm 1:

The first is quite simple, really, Revis > Verner; talent-wise, scheme-wise, in every facet of the defensive strategy, Revis is better. Sure he is expensive and Lovie runs a Tampa 2 scheme, but dropping a guy proficient in a multitude of functions for being expensive when you can afford it is never a good choice. While Verner is good, he does not have the man-coverage capabilities of Revis, articulately conveyed in this This will undoubtedly come back to hurt the bucs when they do blitz and don’t maintain a zone-blitzing scheme (Thinking of you, Atlanta). I get that he costs a lot of money – there’s a reason for that. I get that playing cover 2 reduces the need for a shutdown corner. That being said, Revis is still a STELLAR cover 2 corner and would have played to fit that system along with the beautiful flexibility to shutdown any number 1. Lets look at an actual analysis of this (chart at the bottom of the article).

Qualm 2: The key pickups in this free agency could have been made without releasing Revis. With $24 Million in cap space, the bucs had plenty of room to satisfy their biggest need, which was a pass rusher. Michael Johnson would be the same $9 million dollar cap hit that he currently is. Clinton McDonald isn’t a necessary addition but, a reasonable pickup. He would have his same cap hit - resulting in a remaining cap of $11.5 million. Cutting Penn and signing Collins would actually make that number increase to just below $12 Million if we assume that the same deals can be made.

So, lets look at the other additions we have yet to address:

Meyers- An interesting experiment but, not a great addition to this team. He’s on the cusp of being undersized for the position at 6’3" and lacks the ability to split out (into a Hernandez-ish slot type of role) w/ 4.78 speed. That being said, Wright fills that function well. Unless he brings some magic to run-blocking, I don’t see this as a successful addition.

Looks like a decent gabroni to crush booze with though.

Josh McCown: This is stupid. From most every point of view, this is stupid. Spare me the insufferable argument to overlook this man’s 12 prior seasons of experience for his 8 games played last season. In no way does this solve any short or long term solutions on this team. Oh, there’s more? We’re paying him $4.75 MILLION in year 1 and $5.25 MILLION in YEAR 2!!! So there's a chance we have this dude for two years as a backup qb (God help us) at $4-5 Million!?!? Ok, have faith, lets take a look at his stat-line.

Games Comp. Att. Comp% Yds. TD INT QBR RAT











Sorry, that was Josh Freeman. Here’s McCown’s:

Games Comp. Att. Comp. % Yds. TD INT QBR RAT











Good, I’m glad we can agree on that one.

Jamon Meredith: 7 yr. pro. Two with Tampa – the only team he has started with on a consistent basis. Good for depth I suppose.

Danny Gorrer: Depth/Special teams addition.

Evan Dietrich-Smith: 4-year deal. Not certain about OL pickups, to be honest. Hard to gauge, but he started for all of 2013 on the Packers. This was the first year he’s started all games, with him starting 6 and 3 games in 2012 and 2011, respectively. $7 mill. seems a little high for a guy who has only been a full-time starter in one season.

So, end of the day, I guess there is another conclusion that can be drawn. If you agree more cap space was needed to add more players, ok. That is a legitimate argument and could actually have proven to be an intelligent path. However, the subsequent acquisitions, particularly Josh McCown and Meyers, took the cap space that was saved from dropping Revis a total loss.

Revis – Verner = $8 Mill. (actual cap saved after replacing Revis)

McCown + Meyers = $6.75 Mill.

Net Savings = $1.25 Mill.

If you think dropping Revis to free up $1.25 million and add two unsubstantial players is smart, you’re wrong. Again, this argument could have been different if we spent the additional cap differently, but sadly that’s not the case. I think my argument is harder to make if you had used some of that $8 Mill. on Peanut or Sanders. Too soon for "FIRE LICHT" billboards? Hopefully Lovie’s coaching excellence can overcome this. #ItsAbucslife

**Edit: Sorry about the cap numbers. I know they're different from the averages of each deal and it annoys me to not have this completely solved. Alas, I'm lazy and pulled that whole section from this post by Sander:

Not sure how EDS factors into that so I didn't try. Thanks for the comments.

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