The Buccaneers are paying Ryan Jensen too much money for him to struggle as he did a year ago. After being a plug-and-play starter for the Baltimore Ravens the first three years of his career, he finally became their full-time starter in 2017. His success in Baltimore led the Buccaneers, in need of a center, giving Jensen a four-year deal worth a total of $42 million.
While the 27-year-old center has all $10 million of his contract guaranteed this year, his guaranteed money runs out after this season. Should he fail to live up to his contract, the Buccaneers will be free to move on.
A big reason for the Buccaneers’ run game woes was due to the interior of their offensive line. While Ali Marpet held down the fort at left guard, Jensen and Caleb Benenoch failed to prevent leaks from reaching the backfield.
If the Buccaneers want to keep Winston on his feet and want a running back to average over four yards per carry in 2019, then these holes in the trenches must be plugged, starting with Jensen. Tampa Bay needs Jensen to be the high quality center he was paid to be if the Buccaneers have hopes of putting together a formidable offense.