On Monday, we started our ideal off-season for how we can "Make the Bucs Great Again," by sharing the players who would be cap casualties if I was in control. After releasing those 4 players, I gained an extra $10.5 million in cap space, and now I have the Bucs at $59 million under the projected salary cap.
Today, we start spending that money.
In this portion of "Making the Bucs Great Again," we take a look at the Bucs own free agents and the contracts I would make with some of them.
All information on these free agents was acquired at spotrac.com.
UPDATE: According to overthecap.com, Jacquies Smith is an ERFA (meaning he will be much cheaper than the $2.5 million written below) and Jorvorskie Lane is a RFA, but I still believe the Bucs will let him walk. Of course, overthecap.com, still has Kaelin Clay as an ERFA for the Bucs, so take it with a grain of salt.
Bucs' Free Agents:
- Doug Martin - Resign - $7 million per year with the first 2 years guaranteed.
- Sterling Moore - Let Walk
- Henry Metlon - Let Walk
- Tony McDaniel - Let Walk
- Mike Jenkins - Let Walk
- Chris Conte - Resign - 1-year $1.5 million cap hit
- Keith Tandy - Resign - 3-year deal with $1 million 2016 cap hit
- Jorvorskie Lane - Let Walk
- Larry English - Let Walk
- DaQuan Bowers - Let Walk
- Bobby Rainey - Resign to a 1-year deal worth $770,000
The more I think about it, the more I feel Doug Martin will end up signing back with the Bucs. As long as the deal with Martin only has two to two and half years guaranteed at no more than $7 million, I'm ok with that. I love Keith Tandy, so his resigning was an easy one for me. I struggled with Chris Conte, and while I'm sure some of you are cursing me, Conte is a decent player, who at the very least could provide a cheaper experienced backup. I'd like to bring in some younger blood at DT along with McCoy, McDonald, and Akeem Spence. Sterling Moore was ok, and maybe the best the Bucs had in 2015 at CB in Love Smith's defense, but that doesn't mean anything. I'd let Moore walk and find an upgrade in free agency and possibly the draft to go with Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks.
- Jacquies Smith - 2nd Round Tender - About $2.5 million 2016 cap hit
- Danny Lansanah - Let Walk
- Bradley McDougald - Orginal Round Tender - $1.7 million 2016 cap hit
- Russell Shepard - Resign - 3-year deal with $1 million 2016 cap hit
I may consider an original round tender for Lansanah, but the fact is that he's just average. I think we can upgrade there. As for Jacquies Smith, if another team signs him to a contract, I'd probably choose to not match at all and take that team's 2nd round pick. Wouldn't you trade Jacquies Smith for a 2nd round pick? I'd like to bring both McDougald and Russell Shepard back on new deals.
- Jeremiah George - $510,000 2016 cap hit
- Andrew DePaola - $510,000 2016 cap hit
- TJ Fatinikun - $510,000 2016 cap hit
After addressing my own free agents in this way, I am left with $42 million under the cap heading into my own fictional free agency. Hey, this might not be the real thing (YET), but it is the beginning of what I would consider an ideal off-season to Make the Bucs Great Again."
Coming up next, I share who my top targets would be in free agency, and how much I would pay each of them.