Buccaneers battle plan for a future without Jameis Winston

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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jameis winston
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Bucs Free Agents to be re-signed

*The salary numbers will only take into account all re-signed players average annual salary to make cap calculations easier.*

Unrestricted Free Agents

2020 Starting Salary Cap: $91.7 million (Cap number according to Spotrac)

OLB Shaquil Barrett– 5 years $90 million($18 mil per year)
This one is easy, the Bucs CANNOT afford to let Shaq Barrett test free agency. If he is not inked to a deal prior to franchise tag deadline he must be tagged. He is simply too valuable of a commodity to this team.

The Bucs got him on a cheap deal to supply 19.5 sacks. If you break down the film Shaq’s season is no fluke. The moves, counter-moves, speed rush, bend, etc. are all the real deal. The one negative to his game is that he struggles with double teams but that’s a size thing more than a skill thing. The Bucs can afford to pay a premium for Barrett’s services so it’s a win-win.

To keep things simple the first 3 years are guaranteed for a total of $55.5 million. With the other 2 years supplying Shaq with $37 million.

OLB Jason Pierre-Paul-3 years, $30 million ($10 mil per year)
JPP…what is there to say? When the Bucs restructured your deal, Bucs fans everywhere thought we got away with highway robbery because you weren’t going to be able to play. Now the Bucs have opened themselves to a possible bidding war for your services.

You just keep showing the world what kind of ironman and leader you are. Because of that the Bucs in this scenario are going to reward you handsomely with a 3 year deal with 2 years fully guaranteed so you can help mentor and lead this young team to playoff contention. The $10 million might be slightly on the lower side, but for JPP getting a 3 year deal is a win given his age, recent injury history, etc.

QB Blaine Gabbert. 2 years, $3.5 million ($1.75 mil per year)
Bruce Arians just has a man-crush on the former first-round pick, and if the latest press conference from Arians told you anything it’s that he might have considered Gabbert replacing Jameis during the high INT games. The Bucs can bring him back on a two-year deal with one year guaranteed.

ILB Kevin Minter. 2 years, $2 million ($1 mil per year)
Minter has stepped up big time for White when he was out and found a role on special teams once White returned from his injuries. Minter would be a nice stop-gap depth piece at the LB position.

OT Demar Dotson. 1 year, $3 million
Old man Dot played well enough this year to secure a spot to battle for the starting right tackle job and be a back up swing tackle if needed in 2020.

OL Earl Watford. 1 year, $1 million
Solid depth piece. Bucs don’t have to break the bank either. He also has the ability to play center which is a place where the Bucs need depth.

CB Ryan Smith. 3 years, $6.6 million ($2.2 mil per year)
If only Ryan could play corner, but boy does he make his presence felt in special teams. A team may try to outbid for his services but his cornerback play leaves less than desired. In Tampa Arians and Licht have shown Smith they will give him chances at corner and allow him to be the star (and hopefully captain) of the special teams.

Restricted Free Agents

Antony Auclair. 1 year, $1.2 million
The restricted free agent tag would cost the Bucs $1.9-$2.1 million to retain Auclair depending on where you look. Auclair isn’t worth that and in a shallow market he can accept a 1 year modest deal. The team has invested a couple years in Auclair so this is the year to see if his potential can come to fruition.

Exclusive Rights Free agents

TE Tanner Hudson & Michael Liedke
It would be a smart bet that both players return to battle for jobs in camp this offseason. Not including their contracts because they may/may not be retained and even if they were their salaries wouldn’t be significant enough to count towards the cap number.

Late signees for one-year deals to enter camp:
Rakeem Nunez-Roches & Andrew Adams

Again, their salaries would not be significant enough to affect the cap at this time.

Cap leftover: $53.55 million