Buccaneers biggest free agency loss could actually help

Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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The Buccaneers may not have Alex Cappa to lean on at right guard any longer, but would paying him $10 million per year to stay actually help?

In short, the answer is no. The Buccaneers did not have the money to pay Alex Cappa $40 million over four years and they made the right decision to let him walk.

Cappa was very good in each of the past two seasons, but his performances did not line up with such a payday. The Bucs may take a small step back with whoever takes over as the starter, but this step back is more than worth it if it means saving $8 million.

The most likely replacement for Cappa is Aaron Stinnie, the former backup that stepped in for Cappa in the Super Bowl. Stinnie did well in his short stint, and those reps likely gave this front office the confidence to take a step back from Cappa for the much cheaper Stinnie.

Aaron Stinnie could be a good starter for the Buccaneers

There are no guarantees that the offseason goes this way, but rocking with a guy like Stinnie over an established veteran would have some massive positive ramifications for this offseason.

Stinnie saves the Bucs a mountain of financial freedom. Him starting would mitigate the cost of paying Ali Marpet during his retirement, and it also gives the Bucs some options with addressing the left guard role.

The coaching staff knows Stinnie and he has some starting experience. This would put the Bucs in a position where they could feel comfortable letting a rookie (or a guy like Robert Hainsey) start at left guard without there being a complete drop-off at both guards.

Having Donovan Smith, Ryan Jensen, and Tristan Wirfs bookend the line will help ease any new players into the starting roles, and it seems likely that the Buccaneers will be able to make this happen while not changing the cap situation in a negative way.

It would’ve been great for the Bucs to find a way to keep Alex Cappa for another season of Tom Brady, but this might actually end up working better for the Buccaneers in the end.

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