SR’s Fab 5: BREAKING – Bucs To Pick Up White’s Fifth-Year Option

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FAB 1. Bucs Will Choose Up White’s Fifth-Yr Possibility

Tampa Bay has picked up the fifth-year choice of each first-round choose since Jason Licht grew to become normal supervisor in 2014. Now Pewter Report has realized that linebacker Devin White, the crew’s first-round choose in 2019, would be the subsequent Buccaneer to have his fifth-year choice picked up. Search for an announcement from the crew previous to Might 2, which is the deadline.

That doesn’t essentially imply that each participant that will get a fifth-year choice will get a contract extension, although. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, the first-round choose in 2016, III had his fifth-year choice picked up for 2020, however was launched in the course of the 2019 season.

Tight finish O.J. Howard, a first-rounder in 2017, simply performed on his fifth-year choice. He probably received’t be re-signed until it’s a less expensive, one-year deal.

Nostril deal with Vita Vea, Tampa Bay’s first-round choose in 2018, had his fifth-year choice for 2023 picked up final Might. However the Bucs and Vea simply got here to phrases on a long-term contract extension on January 9 as a substitute.

White is coming into the ultimate 12 months of his rookie deal, which pays him a base wage of $965,000 and a roster bonus of $3,727,611. The LSU product obtained a signing bonus of over $19 million. Including within the proration of that signing bonus cash will make his cap worth rise from simply over $8,170,222 million final 12 months to $9,527,759 in 2022.

In keeping with, White’s fifth-year choice quantity will likely be $11.374 million and would make him the league’s Twelfth-highest paid linebacker. The Bucs might have achieved certainly one of three issues with White heading into his contract 12 months.

Possibility No. 1 was to choose up White’s fifth-year choice. It’s a one-year, prove-it deal that comes with basically a $2 million pay increase. That’s a good danger for a two-time crew captain that’s revered by the gamers, the coaches and entrance workplace. White led the crew in tackles the previous two years and made the Professional Bowl this 12 months as an alternate. If White can’t change into constant in 2023, the Bucs can let him hit free company in 2024.

Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Devin White

Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Devin White – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay can be clever to pick out one other starting-caliber inside linebacker in one of many subsequent two drafts. Not solely as a safeguard in case White isn’t signed long-term, but additionally as a result of Tampa Bay might lose Lavonte David to retirement after this season or subsequent.

David turned 32 in January. Changing one inside linebacker will likely be onerous sufficient. Looking for two impactful linebackers on the similar time can be worrisome for Tampa Bay.

Possibility No. 2 would have been to not choose up the fifth-year choice, as recommended by Pewter Report contributor Joshua Queipo. This implies White can be a free agent in 2023. White has the motivation to interrupt the financial institution and change into a $100 million man, as he mentioned at his professional day in 2019.

Indianapolis’ Darius Leonard, a three-time All-Professional, is at present the highest-paid linebacker at $19.7 million per season. So it’s uncertain that White reaches $20 million per season, however shifting up into the Prime 5 at doubtlessly $15 million (or extra) per 12 months with a dynamic season is inside attain.

“Draft me, as a result of after I hit free company in 5 years, the value will go up,” White mentioned in 2019. “I’ll be in search of $100 million then.”

White is a splashy participant with tons of velocity and athleticism. Though he had simply 3.5 sacks and no interceptions this previous season, White had a career-high 9 sacks, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and a pressured fumble in serving to the Bucs win Tremendous Bowl in 2020. As a rookie, White had 4 pressured fumbles, three fumble recoveries, together with two for touchdowns, and an interception.

If he can get again to that sort of splash-play manufacturing, change into higher in protection and extra constant in run matches, tackling and shedding blocks, White may very well be the elite participant the Bucs drafted him to be with the fifth general choose. These are some large “ifs”, as a result of he’s solely proven flashes up to now.

Bucs ILB Devin White

Bucs ILB Devin White – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Possibility No. 3 would have been to increase White’s contract earlier than his fifth-year choice just like the crew did with Vea. The issue is that White doesn’t actually deserved a contract extension but. He’s merely not as constant because the Bucs want him to be. Locking up an inconsistent participant for a number of years isn’t a good suggestion. It’s a nasty thought when the value tag is north of $12 million per season, even when it might give Tampa Bay some extra fast cap flexibility within the interim.

Proper now, White is a extra athletic, splashier model of Kwon Alexander. The Bucs have been hoping for the subsequent David, Derrick Brooks or Hardy Nickerson once they spent the fifth general choose on White in 2019. Perhaps he finally ends up attending to that stage this 12 months or the subsequent. White simply turned 24, however consistency is the important thing.

The Bucs will choose up White’s fifth-option 12 months, and that’s the sensible play for now.

FAB 2. Bucs To Develop into First Workforce With 4 Black Head Coaches

February is Black Historical past Month and it’s an applicable time to acknowledge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Glazer household for his or her method to hiring minority coaches all through the years. In 1996, the Glazers have been one of many first NFL groups to rent a Black head coach in Tony Dungy.

Dungy was the primary Black head coach in Tampa Bay historical past, and was adopted by the hires of Raheem Morris (2009-11) and Lovie Smith (2014-15). The Bucs have been the primary – and are the one – NFL crew to rent not solely simply two minority head coaches, however three.

Fritz Pollard was the NFL’s first Black head coach in 1921, because the co-coach of the Akron Professionals. Oakland’s Artwork Shell grew to become the primary Black head coach within the trendy period of the NFL in 1989. Dungy grew to become the league’s fifth Black head coach, following Pollard, Shell, Minnesota’s Dennis Inexperienced (1992-2001) and Philadelphia’s Ray Rhodes (1995-98).

It seems that the trailblazing Bucs may even be the primary NFL crew to rent a fourth Black head coach. And accomplish that within the very close to future.

Bruce Arians turns 70 this 12 months and is nearing the tip of his illustrious NFL teaching profession. The Bucs are the primary – and solely – NFL crew to have a Black coach in every coordinator place beneath Arians’ watch.

Byron Leftwich is the offensive coordinator. Todd Bowles is the defensive coordinator. Harold Goodwin is the assistant head coach and run sport coordinator. And Keith Armstrong is the particular groups coordinator.

A type of 4 males will probably substitute Arians as Tampa Bay’s subsequent head coach. Arians has dedicated to teach this season and is beneath contract for the 2023 season, which is a crew choice 12 months. Meaning the Bucs can determine to choose up that choice 12 months and let Arians coach.

Or the crew can lengthen him past 2023 if it desires to. In fact, Arians may also retire if he desires to.

Every time he decides to hold it up, there’s a robust probability Bowles, Leftwich, Goodwin or Armstrong may very well be the inheritor obvious. Arians has set the Bucs up with a number of nice, certified successor choices. To Arians they’re high quality coaches who simply occur to be Black.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and DC Todd Bowles

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and DC Todd Bowles – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

“A participant goes to ask the coach, ‘How are you going to make me higher?’” Arians mentioned. “He doesn’t actually care if the reply comes from a male or feminine. Black, white, brown, yellow – simply ‘assist me be higher. One of the best academics I had have been all totally different races, all totally different ethnic teams, female and male. When you can train, you’ll be able to coach.

“To listen to voices in a workers assembly that aren’t the identical, don’t look alike, however all of them have enter – you get higher output. For the gamers, the identical factor. Not listening to the identical factor time and again, to listen to it from totally different folks, totally different ages – from 27 to 82 – and each form of ethnic group there’s. And female and male. So, I believe our gamers study from that. I do know I do. And it helps our workers.”

Bowles has already been a head coach. Within the Bucs’ eyes, that have is effective. He had a 24-40 document with the Jets from 2015-18. Tampa Bay made Bowles the league’s highest-paid defensive coordinator after his good sport plan helped the crew win Tremendous Bowl LV, 31-9. Bowles’ protection saved the Chiefs out of the tip zone.

Bowles interviewed for 4 head teaching positions this offseason. Except one thing has modified throughout the group over the previous 12 months, Pewter Report realized a 12 months in the past that Bowles can be Arians’ substitute if all 4 coordinators have been accessible to select from.

Leftwich lastly bought a head-coaching interview with each Chicago and Jacksonville this offseason. He almost grew to become the Jaguars head coach, however he needed GM Trent Baalke changed. Jacksonville didn’t budge, so it didn’t occur.

I’ve already proclaimed my adoration for Goodwin in a earlier SR’s Fab 5. He’s a real chief of males. And, sarcastically, Goodwin truly interviewed for the Bucs’ head teaching emptiness in 2016.

Normal supervisor Jason Licht needed to advertise offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to interchange Smith after the 2015 season. It was a transfer that I occurred to recommend after I known as for Smith’s firing. I applauded Licht’s resolution on the time. However earlier than the Bucs might make that transfer, the crew needed to conduct further interviews first.

Earlier than you assume it was only a meaningless interview, Licht’s intentions have been good. He knew Goodwin was worthy of being a head coach after attending to know him in Arizona in 2013. Selling Koetter made sense because the Bucs offense was taking off in 2015. Jameis Winston was coming off a promising rookie season and Doug Martin was a Professional Bowler that 12 months. Preserving Koetter for the sake of offensive continuity made sense on the time.

Whereas he wasn’t a favourite on the time, the expertise of interviewing for a head-coaching job with the Bucs on the time helped Goodwin. And if Bowles and/or Leftwich go away to take different head teaching alternatives earlier than Arians retires, Goodwin may very well be the subsequent in line. He’s my private favourite of the in-house candidates.

Bucs HC Bruce Arians, run game coordinator Harold Goodwin and OC Byron Leftwich

Bucs HC Bruce Arians, run sport coordinator Harold Goodwin and OC Byron Leftwich – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Armstrong is a superb communicator, however he’s a particular groups coach. Outdoors of Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, these form of hires haven’t actually led to a lot success within the NFL. Plus, Tampa Bay’s particular groups aren’t that nice, so I can’t see Armstrong being a reliable candidate to interchange Arians.

Arians has been a trailblazer together with his Black assistants, giving these worthy coaches higher alternatives to change into a head coach. Arians lastly bought his probability at age 60, however solely after successful the NFL Coach of the Yr in 2012 in Indianapolis as an interim head coach.

“I believe in all probability as a result of I didn’t get a shot till I used to be 60,” mentioned Arians. “And Chuck Pagano needed to get sick with leukemia for me to even change into a head coach. I used to be successful a Tremendous Bowl as offensive coordinator and didn’t even get a telephone name. So the shortage of alternative I believe has made me need to give extra alternatives to extra folks.”

The NFL has sadly and sadly did not progress on this space. There are simply two African-American head coaches within the league. It’s Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Smith, Houston’s new rent, changing Black head coach David Culley. The NFL at present has 5 minority head coaches in Tomlin, Smith, New York Jets’ Robert Saleh, who’s of Lebanese descent, Washington’s Ron Rivera and Miami’s new rent, Mike McDaniels, who’s biracial.

As USA Right now famous, 4 NFL franchises – the Bucs, Browns, Cardinals and Raiders – are answerable for 32 % of all minority head coaches and normal managers employed prior to now 30 years. The Falcons, Cowboys, Jaguars, Rams, Patriots, Saints and Titans have by no means employed an individual of coloration as a head coach or a normal supervisor.

Not sufficient progress is happening elsewhere, however in Tampa Bay it definitely has. And that progress will proceed after Arians is gone.

FAB 3. Arians Deserves To Be In Bucs Ring of Honor

We aren’t prepared for Bruce Arians to retire from teaching the Buccaneers simply but. However when Arians decides to name it a day, the Glazers ought to name him again to Tampa Bay for yet another sport.

So the soon-to-be 70-year outdated Arians may be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor, in fact.

The crew’s most up-to-date inductee into the Bucs Ring of Honor was long-time defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin final 12 months. The 81-year outdated Kiffin grew to become the 14th member inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Arians shouldn’t essentially be the subsequent inductee. He’s nonetheless teaching.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photograph by: USA Right now

The Glazers ought to put defensive finish Simeon Rice and center linebacker Hardy Nickerson into the Bucs Ring of Honor subsequent. Discovering room for working again James Wilder, which is a protracted shot, would even be an important thought.

There isn’t a definitive formulation for who will get within the Bucs Ring of Honor. That’s as much as the Glazers.

However it might look like the second head coach to ship a Tremendous Bowl to the Buccaneers franchise can be a shoo-in, particularly together with his document in Tampa Bay. As I wrote about in this week’s Bucs Monday Mailbag, with a 31-18 document in three seasons in Tampa Bay, Arians has the most effective successful proportion (.633) of any Bucs head coach. That’s a much better successful proportion than Tony Dungy (.563) and Jon Gruden (.509) produced in Tampa Bay.

Arians’ 5-1 document (.833) within the postseason is by far the most effective in crew historical past. Gruden went 3-2 within the postseason in Tampa Bay, whereas Dungy’s playoff document was 2-4. During the last two years, Arians has received extra postseason video games than Gruden and Dungy mixed. Arians led Tampa Bay to the most effective back-to-back seasons in franchise historical past with the Bucs going 11-5 in 2020 and 13-4 this previous season.

He would probably want to teach in Tampa Bay three extra seasons and common 9 wins per 12 months to surpass Dungy (54) and Gruden (57) in all-time common season wins. Two extra years with a median of 13 victories would tie Arians with Gruden for probably the most profession wins in Bucs historical past.

But even when Arians didn’t coach one other sport in Tampa Bay, he’s already achieved sufficient to get inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor together with his team-best successful proportion and Tremendous Bowl championship. And if he does coach a number of extra years, he might go down as the most effective coach in Tampa Bay historical past.

FAB 4. The Query No One Is Asking With Watson

Final week’s SR’s Fab 5 column explored the present authorized state of affairs and commerce situations relating to the Bucs buying Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. However there’s one factor that wasn’t addressed that nobody is absolutely speaking about. Watson is being sued civilly by 22 ladies for inappropriate touching and sexual assault.

Not two – 22.

Texans QB Deshaun Watson

Texans QB Deshaun Watson – Photograph by: USA Right now

Out of these 22 ladies, 10 have filed felony complaints in opposition to Watson that the Houston police are at present investigating. Watson’s deposition within the civil trials is starting proper now. The issue is that no matter he says from a protection standpoint will likely be used as proof ought to the police cost him criminally. That may very well be a dicey proposition for Watson. It will be excellent for Watson to study that he was not being charged criminally earlier than the civil trials proceeded. However that’s not occurring.

Even there isn’t a felony expenses, the civil trials might not conclude till this summer season or fall. Except Watson decides to settle financially together with his accusers and put this all behind him. Which leads us to the unaddressed level.

Would this actually be behind Watson – and the Bucs – if the crew traded for him?

A suspension by the league for Watson violating the code of conduct appears inevitable. If he’s not criminally charged and settles his civil fits he may very well be a 3 or four-game suspension on the minimal. It may very well be longer, given the truth that there is not only one accuser. That was the case with Ben Roethlisberger’s four-game suspension in 2010 and Jameis Winston’s three-game suspension in 2018. One lady was concerned in every incident.

That is 22 ladies.

This NFL will probably view this in a different way.

This means a sample of unacceptable conduct.

Might the Bucs belief Watson shifting ahead in the event that they traded for him?

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

These alleged sexual assaults passed off with almost two dozen ladies over a time frame. Can Watson be rehabilitated? Or does the subsequent crew have to fret about Watson’s supposed unlawful endeavors persevering with?

A fast search reveals that there are 5 therapeutic massage parlors inside a 10-mile radius of Raymond James Stadium. And prefer it or not, because of the quantity of strip golf equipment on and round Dale Mabry Freeway, Tampa is changing into referred to as Sin Metropolis South.

The Bucs could also be an important match for Watson the quarterback. However Tampa Bay might not be an important match for Watson the particular person.

I’m not saying the Bucs received’t commerce for Watson. However I’ve realized that, after the crew did its’ due diligence on him and his authorized conundrum, it’s unlikely.

FAB 5. SR’s Buc Pictures

• STROUD IS ABOARD THE BLAINE TRAIN: I’ve proven my tongue-in-cheek affection for Bucs backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert all 12 months lengthy on the Pewter Report Podcast. I’ve identified how Tampa Bay was undefeated in video games he’s performed in final 12 months, which I did with loads of sarcasm and humor.

However I’ve additionally written about how Gabbert won’t be the quarterback you or the Bucs ideally need, however he would be the QB the crew wants in 2022. Critically.

Now Tampa Bay Occasions’ Rick Stroud has come alongside to that line of considering and reporting. Why? As a result of if the Bucs can’t commerce for a top-tier quarterback, Gabbert turns into the best choice. That’s a indisputable fact that I, Stroud and others are accepting. Gabbert is 32, athletic, has a robust arm and has 4 years in Bruce Arians’ system.

Signing Gabbert and perhaps Jameis Winston, who performed in Arians’ system in 2019, or Teddy Bridgewater, whom the Bucs thought-about signing in the event that they couldn’t land Tom Brady in 2020, and letting them duke it out with Kyle Trask could also be the most effective that Tampa Bay can do in 2022. We’ll see. It’s not the best choice, however it is an choice and that’s the reason we’ve got to report it.

• MORRIS DESERVES ANOTHER SHOT AT A HEAD COACHING JOB: Congrats to Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris for successful a Tremendous Bowl ring in his first season in Los Angeles. Morris’ NFL profession started by successful a Tremendous Bowl in Tampa Bay in 2002 as Monte Kiffin’s high quality management coach working with Mike Tomlin. Now he’s bought two Tremendous Bowl rings and two stints as head coach beneath his belt.

Rams DC Raheem Morris

Rams DC Raheem Morris – Photograph by: USA Right now

At age 33, Morris changed Jon Gruden because the Bucs head coach in 2009 and helped the crew win 10 video games within the 2010 season. However the success was not sustainable as Tampa Bay began the 2011 season 4-1 earlier than dropping 11 straight video games, which led to his firing.

Morris landed in Washington (2012-13) the place he coached defensive backs earlier than a six-year stint in Atlanta. He switched sides and coached huge receivers earlier than changing into the Falcons defensive coordinator beneath Dan Quinn. When Quinn was fired midseason in 2020, Morris was named the interim head coach. Now at age 45, Morris seems prepared to steer a crew as soon as once more with the precious expertise he’s gained since his days with the Bucs. I hope he will get it.

“I simply assume it speaks for itself,” Rams coach Sean McVay informed’s Albert Breer. “When you’re in search of an important chief, an important motivator, an important particular person to have the ability to encourage and be capable of assist guys attain their highest potential, carry folks collectively, who additionally has an important really feel for the schematics of the sport, Raheem Morris is your man.”

• PR WILL BE LIVE IN INDY TO COVER THE COMBINE ON THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts 4 stay episodes every week. Pewter Report Podcasts sometimes air on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:00 pm EST. Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard and Matt Matera will likely be in Indianapolis overlaying the NFL Scouting Mix this week, together with the press conferences for Bucs normal supervisor Jason Licht and Bruce Arians on Tuesday, March 1.

Listed below are the Pewter Report Podcast episodes from this previous week.

Scott Reynolds and Kasey Hudson analyzed the newest Pewter Report 2022 Bucs 7-Spherical Mock Draft on Tuesday’s present.

Reynolds and Ledyard mentioned the Bucs’ greatest crew wants this offseason on Wednesday’s episode.

On Thursday, Ledyard and Matera answered questions in a Bucs Q&A present.

celsiusWatch the Pewter Report Podcasts stay on our PewterReportTV channel on and please subscribe (it’s free) and add your feedback. We archive all Pewter Report Podcasts. So you’ll be able to watch the recorded episodes in the event you missed them stay.

There isn’t a higher time to hearken to or watch a brand new Pewter Report Podcast – energized by CELSIUS – than Friday afternoon on the best way dwelling from work. Or early Saturday morning throughout your exercise or whereas working errands.

The recognition of the Pewter Report Podcast continues to develop. Along with listening to the Pewter Report Podcasts on you may as well subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking right here and on SoundCloud by clicking right here. And naturally the Pewter Report Podcast can be accessible on iTunes and YouTube. Be sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode.

• TEAMS DON’T RUN ON THE BUCS – THEY DON’T EVEN TRY: New Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips gave Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles some props in his preliminary press convention this week. Phillips recommended that the majority groups don’t even attempt to run on the Bucs protection as a result of Bowles’ scheme and the crew’s expertise is just too good to have success in opposition to.

Tampa Bay’s run protection ranked third final 12 months, permitting a median of 91.6 yards per sport. However in 2019 and 2020, Bowles’ first two years in Tampa Bay, the Bucs led the league in run protection.


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