While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t had the best season, there have been multiple calls for general manager Jason Licht’s head. This could be due to free agency, the NFL Draft, or because he like jumping into a pool after each win. I’m not sure anymore. Either way, there are a few things he has done well in his tenure as Bucs GM. Therefore, I decided to look at the best and worst contracts for the Buccaneers.
There were a few rules I put in place. No rookie contracts would be included, due to the NFL rookie scale. That includes all drafted and undrafted players. Sorry, Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. Also, I decided to look at mainly starters. Sorry Andrew DePaola and Adarius Glanton.
The best contract on the Buccaneers roster would have to be Gerald McCoy’s seven-year, $95.2 million contract extension in 2014. Since that time, he has put up 20.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss. And while he has missed a few games with injury, he has played through several as well. After the 2016 and 2017 seasons, he will have no guaranteed money left. That leaves flexibility if he falls off or we would like to trade him. That’s highly unlikely but not impossible, see: Richard Seymour.
The next best contract would be Demar Dotson's. After Jeremy Trueblood left in 2013, Dotson has performed admirably at the right tackle position. His average of $4.5 million over the next four years allows the Buccaneers to keep the right side of the offensive line together inexpensively. After this season, he will have very little guaranteed money thanks to contract adjustments and two minimal roster bonuses. This also allows the Buccaneers to be flexible.
The next contract may not seem important but during the season, he has knocked the football out of stadium. I’m talking about punter Bryan Anger. His punting has allowed the Buccaneers to flip the field multiple times this season.
The last person joined us in the middle of the season. He has had a career season filling in for an injured player. Thank goodness for Jacquizz Rodgers and his $564,706 cap number. He has averaged 4.5 yard per carry and already has more yards this season than any previous season. He’s currently injured but to possibly have him in tandem with Doug Martin until the end of the season would be awesome.
There are always two sides to every coin. Sadly, this one breaks the camel’s back. J.R. Sweezy signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Buccaneers this offseason. While he played for the Seattle Seahawks previously, his seasons were always up and down. This year, Sweezy has been on PUP and it’s unlikely he will come off it. To pay a player $9.5 million dollars to wear street clothes is a bad deal. The good thing is he only has $2.5 million guaranteed left and can be released if he doesn’t improve.
The next player on the list was once a Pro Bowl player. Sadly, he got paid and his production fell off a cliff. Alterraun Verner’s four-year, $25.5 million-dollar contract is one of the worst since Licht signed on in 2014. He played like an average cornerback his first two seasons and has now been delegated to 4th on the depth chart. Paying someone $6.75 million dollars to tutor is a bad deal.
The last four players all have contracts expiring at the end of the season. Each one has played sparingly this season. They are:
Vincent Jackson – $12,209,778 – $2,432,000 Guaranteed
He played well during most of his contract but fell off this year eventually landing on IR and leaving the Buccaneers with only one outside threat.
Gosder Cherilus – $4,500,000 – $1,500,000 Guaranteed
Has become the Buccaneers swing tackle, stunting the growth of Leonard Wester and has overthrown Jeremy Trueblood for the Holding King. Also, has a similar cap number to Demar Dotson.
Chris Conte – $3,000,000 – $2,500,000 Guaranteed
Has regularly missed assignments throughout his time with the Bucs and cost them a few games. Only one interception this season, too.
Daryl Smith – $3,000,000 – $2,000,000 Guaranteed
While he was signed to teach the linebackers Mike Smith’s defense, he has only played in half the snaps this season. You can almost guarantee he is blitzing if playing on 3rd down.
Well there you have it. The best and worst contracts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A good thing is that four of the worst contracts are up at the end of the season and the other two can be released with only $2.5 million in dead money. For the best contracts, we have two players locked in until at least 2019. Rodgers has helped this season but if Sims comes back, Sims is likely to regain that #2 running back spot. However, Anger may be in for a decent contract extension at the end of the season.