Free Agent D-Line, Schedule Questions

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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: I maintain seeing the Bucs And Ndamukong Suh are transferring forwards with out one another. If true, they need to look right into a veteran like Akiem Hicks or Jadeveon Clowney. Is there another potential free agent that the Bucs contemplate strongly if Suh isn’t coming again?

ANSWER: Ndamukong Suh has hinted he wish to come again and play for Todd Bowles once more this season. The difficulty is Suh’s age (35), which has affected his efficiency, and his price ticket. In his time with the Bucs, he’s signed three one-year offers value not less than $9 million. Whereas Suh did report six sacks once more for the second straight yr, he had his worst yr in accordance with Professional Soccer Focus. Suh earned a 49.4 grade from PFF final yr, and a 61.8 grade in 2020. So, that was a considerable downgrade. Suh’s highest-graded yr in Tampa Bay was 69.6, which was his lowest grade since 2011 (59.2). That was his second yr within the league with Detroit.

Bears DT Akiem Hicks

Bears DT Akiem Hicks – Photograph by: USA Right this moment

The Bucs will nearly definitely have to signal one other veteran defensive sort out this yr. Tampa Bay has additionally but to re-sign to veteran Steve McLendon, who’s 36. The workforce possible needs to go in a youthful route and there are nonetheless a bunch of respectable free agent defensive tackles out there. The longer the Bucs wait, the decrease the worth tag will likely be. I like the concept of bringing in Akiem Hicks, even at age 32. I feel he’s an incredible scheme match.

It could possibly be the identical situation at outdoors linebacker, the place the Bucs seem like transferring on from 33-year previous Jason Pierre-Paul. Joe Tyron-Shoyinka, final yr’s first-round choose, will take over because the starter. However Tampa Bay could possibly be in hassle if he or Shaq Barrett will get injured. Anthony Nelson is an bettering depth participant, however not a great starter for a number of video games. Cam Gill, who’s at present OLB4, is nothing greater than a chosen cross rusher.

Search for the Bucs to signal one other veteran edge rusher earlier than or throughout coaching camp. Former Bucs defender Carl Nassib, 29, is an possibility as a result of he is aware of the scheme. Jadeveon Clowney can be a lot pricier and would demand starter reps, so I don’t see that occuring. However possibly one other veteran like 33-year previous Justin Houston, who continues to be expert at attending to the quarterback, can be a greater possibility.

QUESTION: Will Todd Bowles be extra hands-off with co-defensive coordinators, and in that case, would that imply completely different calls being made within the final minute of a tie sport?

ANSWER: New head coach Todd Bowles will nonetheless be calling the defensive performs on the sidelines throughout video games. He’ll nonetheless be very hands-on on the subject of the protection. Co-defensive coordinators Kacy Rodgers (defensive entrance) and Larry Foote (defensive again finish) will likely be tasked with serving to Bowles sport plan and scout the workforce’s opponents throughout the week.

It is going to be fascinating to see how Bowles handles last-minute calls as the pinnacle coach, and if there can be any vital adjustments from Bruce Arians’ method. On the finish of the primary half at Atlanta in 2021, the Bucs acquired very aggressive close to their very own finish zone with lower than a minute left. Tom Brady threw a 3-yard pick-six on a display screen cross try and Leonard Fournette. As a substitute of being up 20-10 towards the Falcons, the Bucs’ lead was lower to 20-17.

Tampa Bay went on to win anyway, 30-17. However will Bowles play it a bit of extra conservative in cases like that? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient.

QUESTION: How will the Bucs protection change this yr with new starters at each stage?

ANSWER: Tampa Bay might have a number of completely different starters on protection this yr. We’ll need to see how issues shake out throughout coaching camp and the preseason. However the plan proper now appears to be beginning Sean Murphy-Bunting over Logan Ryan at nickel cornerback and Mike Edwards over Keanu Neal at robust security. The Bucs appear intent to need to give their fourth-year gamers each likelihood to earn a brand new contract by beginning them of their contract years. Tampa Bay has a second-round choose invested in Murphy-Bunting and a third-rounder invested in Edwards.

Bucs OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka

Bucs OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

With Devin White and Lavonte David persevering with to begin at linebacker, the one place that really might see a brand new starter is on the 3-technique defensive sort out spot. Logan Corridor, the workforce’s second-round choose, seems poised to begin there as Ndamukong Suh stays unsigned. It looks as if the Bucs have determined to maneuver on from the 35-year previous Suh for the explanations talked about above.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will begin reverse Shaq Barrett, and technically he’s a brand new starter. But Tryon-Shoyinka began six video games instead of the oft-injured Jason Pierre-Paul final yr, and he performed in all 17 video games throughout his rookie season. So, he’s additional alongside than Corridor, clearly. It’s potential that Corridor and Tryon-Shoyinka could possibly be the one new starters on protection in Week 1 if Murphy-Bunting and Edwards lock down their beginning jobs in August.

QUESTION: June 1 is important for groups financially from a wage cap standpoint. What can we anticipate for the Bucs in a number of weeks?

ANSWER: Nothing, actually. Since Tom Brady is again for an additional yr, there actually isn’t any significance to June 1 this yr. The Bucs positioned Ali Marpet on the retired record again in March, so there was no June 1 cap designation. Meaning all of his $7.15 million in lifeless cash hits this yr. Tampa Bay must cope with $35.104 million in Brady’s lifeless cap cash subsequent yr, however that’s one other dilemma for an additional day.

QUESTION: The NFL schedule comes out this week. What number of video games and who do you assume are the opponents of the prime-time video games?

ANSWER: That’s an incredible query. The Bucs have had 5 prime-time video games in every of the final two seasons with Tom Brady underneath middle. I’d strongly suspect that would be the case once more this yr, as 5 video games is the utmost prime-time publicity the league permits per workforce.

Bucs NT Vita Vea

Bucs NT Vita Vea – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

I’d suspect the Bucs will proceed to play the Saints in prime time. That’s been the case in every of the final two years with Tampa Bay getting – and shedding – a house Sunday evening sport to New Orleans. The Bucs-Cowboys sport in Dallas appears poised for prime time as properly. That must be a scores bonanza for both Sunday evening, Monday evening or Thursday evening. And I wouldn’t be stunned if the Bucs performed Dallas on Thanksgiving this yr in the event that they don’t begin season there on Monday Night time Soccer.

So, except for the Saints and Cowboys getting prime-time video games, I’d additionally assume that the Rams, Packers and Bengals would even be in play. Seeing Brady duel Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers once more can be must-see soccer. And Brady going head-to-head towards Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow would even be intriguing for a nationally televised viewers. If not the Bengals, then possibly the Ravens and Lamar Jackson or Kansas Metropolis and Patrick Mahomes. I think one among Bucs’ huge video games towards an AFC opponent can be in prime time this yr.

QUESTION: I used to be questioning when you might inform us what the Bucs paid their undrafted gamers – wage plus signing bonus.

ANSWER: All rookies have a first-year base wage of $705,000. That’s the league minimal wage. Every workforce has a pool of cash it may possibly spend on signing bonus cash for undrafted free brokers. That pool is $167,944 this yr, and groups don’t have to make use of all that cash in the event that they don’t need to.

Here’s a record of Tampa Bay’s 13 undrafted free brokers.

Western Kentucky WR Jerreth Sterns
Utah State WR Deven Thompkins
Texas Tech WR Kaylon Geiger
Wisconsin-River Falls TE Ben Beise
Montana OT Dylan Cook dinner
Ball State G Curtis Blackwell
Arkansas State OLB JoJo Ozougwu
Outdated Dominion OLB Jordan Younger
Rutgers ILB Olakunle Fatukasi
Memphis ILB J.J. Russell
North Carolina CB Kyler McMichael
South Dakota State CB Don Gardner
Clemson S Nolan Turner

The Bucs gave McMichael the biggest signing bonus of $30,000. The workforce additionally assured $100,000 of his base wage. Meaning Tampa Bay likes McMichael probably the most for now, and he’s acquired a barely higher likelihood of creating the roster. Turner acquired a $15,000 signing bonus, whereas Gardner acquired $10,000 and Beise acquired $5,000.

Whereas groups can’t give greater than the $167,944 value of bonus cash every year, a work-around has been found. It’s the assured cash. Groups can use assured cash to assist persuade an undrafted free agent to signal. It was laborious getting free brokers enthusiastic about signing with the Bucs this yr as a result of their roster is so stocked with expertise. There aren’t many spots on the depth chart out there. We’ll keep watch over McMichael, Turner, Beise, Sterns and Thompkins in Bucs rookie mini-camp, which begins this Friday.

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