The last couple days around the NFL have been absolutely insane. Money is flying off the books left and right and players are getting paid like we’ve never seen before.
This year though, it’s a bit different for the Buccaneers. They haven’t been overly active and up to this point have made a couple one-year deal signings in Kevin Minter and Deone Bucannon, while also signing Bradley Pinion — a punter — to a four-year deal.
General manager Jason Licht was making very smart business decisions not to overpay for players on the open market and for once, have a real chance at collecting compensatory draft picks in the 2020 NFL draft. However, with that being said, Tampa Bay missed an opportunity Tuesday evening.
The San Fransisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a deal that sends a 2020 second round pick to the Chiefs in exchange for pass rusher Dee Ford. Ford is rumored to have agreed to a five-year $87-million dollar extension that pays him an average salary of around $17.4-million.
Ford, 27, is entering the prime of his career as he comes off a 13-sack season with seven forced fumbles for the Chiefs.
When you look at the current cap space for Tampa Bay, you might wonder how they could have fit his salary on the books. Well, it would’ve been quite simple which begins with shaving some more cap space.
Veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is set to earn $13-million in 2019 with uncertainty moving forward. Due to his contract, he may have one year left with the team so that salary could have been cut — either by releasing him or trade. Another player like defensive end William Gholston and his salary could have also been cut to help obtain Ford’s services.
For a team who has been starving to get after the quarterback consistently for some time now, the Buccaneers could have used an elite pass rusher like Dee Ford .
Free agency has yet to officially begin (Wednesday 4 p.m. ET) and while we don’t know for sure if the Bucs were true players in the Ford sweepstakes, this is a move they let slip away.