Bucs Monday Mailbag: When Will Gronk Return?

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Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds solutions your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account every week within the Bucs Monday Mailbag. Submit your query to the Bucs Monday Mailbag every week through Twitter utilizing the hashtag #PRMailbag. Listed here are the questions we selected to reply for this week’s version.

QUESTION: The final report I noticed the Bucs had about $12 million in cap room. Are they saving it for Gronk? In that case, when’s the perfect wager on when he indicators? Earlier than coaching camp or in the course of it?

ANSWER: The Bucs are $10.67 million underneath the cap, in response to OverTheCap.com. That features Akiem Hicks’ $2.39 million cap hit for 2022 along with his one-year deal. And sure, a few of that cap area will getting used for tight finish Rob Gronkowski when he re-signs with the staff.

There’s an out of doors likelihood he may signal quickly and participate within the Bucs’ three-day obligatory mini-camp. The guess right here is that he doesn’t signal with the staff till proper earlier than coaching camp begins the final week of July. At age 33, Gronkowski wants the offseason to recharge and equipment up mentally for what may very well be his final season.

As a result of he isn’t underneath contract, there isn’t a assure that Gronkowski will again this yr. However one must assume he would have given common supervisor Jason Licht, head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Tom Brady the heads up some time again if that wasn’t the case. The Bucs waited till the fourth spherical to draft a good finish in Cade Otton. If Gronk was going to retire, the staff would have used a extra premium decide on a good finish or signed one in free company.

QUESTION: Assuming that Gronk resigns within the coming weeks, do you assume that this roster is now higher on paper than the one from final yr? Adjustments famous under:

QB: Identical

RB: Out – Ronald Jones II / In – Rachaad White

WR: Out – Antonio Brown / In – Russell Gage

TE: Out – O.J. Howard / In – Cade Otton

OL: Out – Ali Marpet & Alex Cappa / In – Shaq Mason & Luke Goedeke

DL: Out – Ndamukong Suh & Steve McClendon / In – Logan Corridor & Akiem Hicks

LB: Out – Kevin Minter

DB: Out – Jordan Whitehead / In – Logan Ryan, Keanu Neal & Zyon McCollum

ANSWER: Properly accomplished with the personnel checklist! It’s arduous to gauge rookies as a result of typically it takes a yr or two for them to develop. Corridor of Famer Warren Sapp had three sacks his rookie season and was hardly the QB Killa in 1995. Fellow Bucs Ring of Honor member Ronde Barber was terrible as a rookie in 1997. He was so unhealthy that the Bucs drafted one other cornerback, Brian Kelly, within the second spherical in 1998 to probably exchange him.

Bucs DT Akiem Hicks

Bucs DT Akiem Hicks – Picture by: USA At present

So, plenty of this premise relies on how effectively Logan Corridor, Luke Goedeke, Rachaad White and Cade Otton play this season. I believe there may be an opportunity that the 2022 Bucs may very well be higher. However given the issue of this yr’s schedule and dealing with eight playoff groups from a yr in the past, successful 13 video games once more may be a stretch.

That mentioned, I agree with the entire strikes common supervisor Jason Licht and his workers have made this offseason. From the re-signings and free agent additions to the 2022 draft class, Tampa Bay added some actually proficient gamers. I believe the place this yr’s staff may be higher is its depth. It’s not a lot Shaq Mason being higher than Alex Cappa at proper guard. Logan Ryan is healthier than backup cornerback/security Ross Cockrell. Keanu Neal is healthier than reserve security Andrew Adams. Akiem Hicks is healthier than Steve McLendon.

That was the noticeable key to the 2002 Bucs successful the Tremendous Bowl. Tampa Bay had loads of A-level expertise in Sapp, Barber, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Mike Alstott and Simeon Rice. It was changing some C-level expertise with B-level expertise that acquired the Bucs over the hump. Suppose Shelton Quarles changing Jamie Duncan at center linebacker. It was Greg Spires changing Marcus Jones at left defensive finish. It was Kerry Jenkins changing Randall McDaniel at left guard. I believe the Bucs have made a few of these sorts of replacements this offseason. Time will inform.

QUESTION: Give us one Buccaneer who will find yourself being a shock starter after coaching camp has settled.

ANSWER: That’s an actual robust query. I believe the one 4 beginning roles which might be may even be up for grabs are nickel cornerback, sturdy security, left guard and 3-technique defensive deal with. Sean Murphy-Bunting is coming into a contract yr and can get the primary shot at preserving his slot cornerback function. If he falters, it may very well be Logan Ryan who steps in and will get the job.

The identical state of affairs may occur at sturdy security with Mike Edwards. He’s in a contract yr and will likely be given the primary likelihood to exchange Jordan Whitehead. Keanu Neal is the protection internet – actually – if Edwards can’t measure up.

Would it not be a shock if second-round decide Luke Goedeke wins the beginning left guard job? Would it not be a shock if he didn’t? Aaron Stinnie is aware of the offense and has some NFL beginning expertise. I believe Goedeke finally will get the job. However will or not it’s in August – or later?

Logan Corridor was drafted to be the 3-technique defensive deal with and exchange Ndamukong Suh. It’s arduous for rookie defensive tackles to come back in and succeed proper off the bat. The staff needs Corridor to start out. If, for some purpose, he struggles early on, the Bucs may flip to new addition Akiem Hicks to start out and rotate Corridor into the combo for some expertise.

QUESTION: For us Bucs followers that don’t have time to observe children play on Saturday or wade in draft-speak, what can we realistically count on early on from our prime draft decide Logan Corridor?

ANSWER: Honest query. Defensive deal with Logan Corridor registered six of his seven sacks on the College of Houston final yr as a junior. He burst onto the scene as one of many higher inside go speeding defensive linemen in 2021. At 6-foot-6, 290 kilos (he performed at 270 final yr), the Bucs have referred to as Corridor a prototype for a 3-4 protection. Here’s what Bucs head coach Todd Bowles has needed to say about Corridor this offseason.

Bucs DT Logan Hall

Bucs DT Logan Corridor – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

“It’s very uncommon you will get a 6-foot-6 [defensive] lineman as of late. All of them transfer to the offensive line. If you will get a prototype, Calais Campbell-type, Will Gholston-type – a man that may bat down balls and remains to be athletic sufficient to do all of the stuff you want him to do – you need the size.”

Bowles went on to remark about Corridor’s athleticism. He ran a 4.88 within the 40-yard sprint on the NFL Scouting Mix, a 7.25 within the three-cone drill (ninetieth percentile) and a 4.44 within the 20-yard shuttle (88th percentile).

“Properly, we like his athleticism,” Bowles mentioned. “He’s studying tips on how to play along with his pads decrease – taking over double groups and understanding when to drop his knee and never simply bouncing up and speeding the passer. However he’s an excellent athlete. We haven’t had that sort of athlete inside shortly – since we’ve been right here. We simply sit up for him getting higher scheme-wise after which profiting from his athleticism.”

Whereas Bucs defensive finish Will Gholston may need been an enormous excessive when saying that Corridor is extra athletic than J.J. Watt in his prime, he did forecast six sacks for the rookie. That appears extra affordable.

QUESTION: You seen final week that Kyle Trask appeared to be taking extra dangers and Blaine Gabbert tended to be making secure throws. Was this coach’s instructions to the gamers, and fewer a sign of the QBs tendencies?

ANSWER: That’s an fascinating query as a result of there may very well be a number of solutions. Taking part in quarterback boils down to 2 issues. First, make sufficient performs to win the sport. Second, don’t make errors that can price your staff an opportunity to win. Veteran Blaine Gabbert has years of taking part in expertise within the NFL and has made his share of performs and errors. I believe each he and the teaching workers are in search of him to keep away from making errors with the soccer in follow.

That’s why Gabbert appears to be locked in on tight finish Cameron Brate, an skilled goal with good fingers, through the OTAs. Oftentimes, Brate is the correct learn for Gabbert as a result of he’s open and can catch the ball. Remember that the Bucs have been with out receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage, in addition to tight finish Rob Gronkowski this offseason. That’s why Brate has gotten the lion’s share of targets from Gabbert in follow.

As for Trask, he must show that he can do each – make performs and keep away from errors. He’s coming into his second yr and has barely performed. Follow is the place interceptions can and may occur. It’s the place quarterbacks can take a look at their arm power and velocity on sure throws to see if they will match passes into tight home windows. Trask has been ready to try this and use OTAs like a lab for experiments. That’s what each the coaches – and Trask himself – need and must see.

On the similar time, Trask is battling for the No. 2 QB job with Gabbert. So, he needs to be cautious and calculated with simply what number of probabilities he takes throughout follow. If Trask is on the market slinging 2-3 interceptions a day through the OTAs, the teaching workers is just not going to have the boldness in him to be the backup quarterback. So, Trask has to stroll a tightrope on this space – all whereas growing chemistry with receivers that Gabbert has been throwing to for years in follow. And likewise making an attempt to develop chemistry with rookies that he’s by no means thrown the ball to earlier than.

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