Every move in the NFL gets judged and scrutinized, and when you’re the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Tom Brady on the roster they even get conspiracy theories sprouting up all around them.
The trade for offensive lineman Shaq Mason from the New England Patriots has been well received and considering the Bucs only gave up a 2022 fifth-round pick in the NFL Draft to bring him on board, it looks even better.
NFL.com writer Marc Sessler recently published his own grades for all the trades that have gone down in the league this offseason, and he agrees that general manager Jason Licht did some good work on this deal.
Although, he mainly focuses on questioning the job performance of Bill Belichick in his writing.
“What are we doing here?” Sessler asks in his column. “The Patriots, long seen as ultra-savvy, appear to have willingly punked themselves while helping Tom Brady’s Tampa legacy. The trusty Mason immediately bolsters a front five that waved goodbye to guards Alex Cappa and Ali Marpet. To be fair, this was partially a salary dump for New England, but shopping Mason — the fourth-best guard in football last season, per Pro Football Focus’ grading — is a head-scratcher.”
It’s no surprise by the summary here that the Buccaneers get a letter grade of A+ while the Patriots are saddled with a D-, salary dump or not.
Offensive line depth isn’t easy to find or build these days, yet despite the departures of Ali Marpet to retirement and Alex Cappa to the Cincinnati Bengals, Licht and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look very good and deeper than most, with months still left to make further deals and the NFL Draft just weeks away.
GRADE THE TRADE: Buccaneers send 2022 5th Round pick to the New England Patriots for OL, Shaq Mason
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