Ryan Jensen restructures contract to help Bucs in case he never plays again

It's a move that goes to show how much love and respect there is between the two sides.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Los Angeles Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages

We're not yet to the beginning of the regular season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already suffered one of their biggest losses of the year.

Pro Bowl center Ryan Jense was placed on IR last week, ending his season before it could even begin. This now marks two straight seasons Jensen will have missed due to a knee injury he suffered during training camp last July.

Jensen returned to the Bucs in January for the Wild Card game against Dallas, but to do so he opted not to have surgery on his knee. That's a decision that both the Bucs and Jensen continue to pay for, and is one that might end his career in the NFL.

There's still hope that Jensen can either once again return for the playoffs or come back next season, but both sides are taking measures to brace for the worst possible outcome.

Ryan Jensen restructures contract to protect Bucs

In a move that truly shows how much love and respect there is between the two sides, Jensen restructured his contract with the Bucs to help the team out in the event he never plays again.

It's not much but it helps, especially given the salary cap situation over the next few seasons. The Bucs took their medicine this offseason, which included being $55 million over the cap and eating $35 million in dead cap space after Tom Brady retired.

Jensen has one more year left on his contract after this season, but there isn't a lot of confidence that he'll be able to play it. Splitting the dead money over two years means the Bucs won't be as restricted as they were this offseason.

Of course, the ideal situation is that Jensen returns to health and is back with the Bucs for a farewell season. His talents are needed on the offensive line, but he also deserves a proper send off after all he gave, and to not go out the way it looks like he might have to.

More Tampa Bay Buccaneers news and analysis