Cuts and Trades
QB Ryan Griffin. Cap Savings: $1.65 million
Sorry Griff, you were great to watch in the preseason and Bucs fans everywhere are happy you finally got your first snaps in a regular season game. Arians will most likely have three QB’s on the 53 man roster next season, but BA had ample opportunities to play you, but in his press conference insinuated had Gabbert been healthy he would have been the #2 quarterback. This year all signs point to a drafted QB to be the #3 option to sit and learn.
LB Kendell Beckwith. Cap savings: 758K
Beckwith had a promising beginning to his career, but a very unfortunate injury derailed his playing future. Cutting Beckwith saves cap space and since his career is most likely over it is time to move on.
CB M.J. Stewart. Cap Savings: $720K
Depending on when the Bucs cut Stewart there is a different cap savings structure. Taking the mean value of the pre-post June 1 cut date just seemed like the best way to represent how much cap can be saved. He doesn’t fit in with the other young CB’s and continually lost his nickel job despite ample opportunities. Sadly, another 2nd round pick from Jason Licht bites the dust in Tampa.
1). Bucs send O.J. Howard to the Seattle Seahawks. Bucs send 5th round selection and get a 2nd round selection in return from Seattle. Cap Savings: $1.97 million.
Win-Win for both sides. Russell Wilson needs weapons and the Bucs can choose to move forward with Brate and veterans who can block for the time being. This offense is too WR centered for OJ to get his share of the pie. He didn’t help his cause on the field with key drops and poor blocking technique at times. The potential is still there and the Bucs can still get solid value for the former first-rounder.
2). Bucs trade 6th round pick for QB Andy Dalton and a 2021 conditional 7th round pick. 1 year, $17.5 million. Condition for the 7th is that if Andy Dalton starts half of the games then the Bucs do not receive the 7th round pick.
Now, for the moment everyone has been waiting for… the starting quarterback of your Tampa Bay Buccaneers is… Andy Dalton?
Andy Dalton is not and will not be anything special, but what has Andy Dalton done before? Go to the playoffs with an average roster and a solid defense. That is the recipe to get this team to the playoffs.
Put Dalton with the right coaches around him, solid receivers (Evans, Godwin, and Brate), an improved offensive line, and a focus on the run game, and this team can make a playoff push. Dalton is the type of QB who can get you to the playoffs and as many teams have shown us the past couple of seasons: all you need is a chance at the dance.
To sustain solid cap control and winning, Arians has to draft a QB and in this battle plan and that is addressed later. If the drafted QB can progress in a year or two he will take over the reins. Dalton is a solid guy to mentor the future of the franchise.
Gabbert will also return to help make sure the rookie isn’t rushed. The Bucs could risk letting Dalton go to market before signing, but by throwing a 6th to Cincy this can allow the Bucs to get a relatively cheap QB contract for a solid 1-year rental. And heck, if Dalton blows up and does well there is still the franchise tag for the following season if the drafted QB needs another year.
Salary Cap Remaining: $4.128 million
Although this number is a little low, the Bucs can restructure Mike Evans’ or Ali Marpet‘s deal to create around $5 mil in cap space each (based on previous reports during the 2019 season). A perfect amount to sign draft picks and have a little wiggle room for low price free agents during the season.
If the Bucs want to go crazy or have a little more room they can restructure both. So the Bucs will have $9-10+ million to spare in this battle plan. Also, adjustments can be made to cut/exclude a depth piece or two in order to up the pre-draft cap room to $7-8 mil depending on the direction the front office chooses to go to create more room.