Buccaneers continue all-in bet; then what?

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The news that the Buccaneers have agreed to terms with receiver Antonio Brown is a bit of a surprise on the surface, given that coach Bruce Arians had said he’s not interested. Taking a closer look at their current approach to constructing a roster, it’s really not surprising.

“It’s a one-year team,” one executive with another team observed. “If you don’t win, you have no equity.”

Actually, there’s not much equity if they do win. While a Super Bowl appearance or trophy would buy time for G.M. Jason Licht and whoever succeeds Bruce Arians as coach (if it’s someone from the current staff), the Bucs will be starting over in many respects, especially on offense.

The Bucs made that all-in bet when they signed Tom Brady. They’ve simply thrown more stuff onto the pile of chips by trading for tight end Rob Gronkowski, signing running back LeSean McCoy, signing running back Leonard Fournette, and now adding Brown.

It’s not gonna happen,” Arians said in March regarding the prospect of signing Brown. “There’s no room, you know? Probably not enough money. It’s just not gonna happen. It’s just not a fit here. . . . I just know him, and it’s not a fit in our locker room.”

It may not fit the locker room, but it fits the approach. Go for it today, and worry about next year when next year (or the year after) arrives, and eventually Brady will be gone and the Bucs will be left trying to piece together a contending team, unless they can lure another aging franchise quarterback to join the cause and continue to make one big bet after another.

“It’s just a transient team,” the executive observed.

Of course, the Buccaneers know this. And they’re fine with it. Even if 2021 or 2022 become very bad years for the Bucs, they’ll always have 2020 — and they may cap it by winning a Super Bowl in their own stadium.

73 responses to “Buccaneers continue all-in bet; then what?

  1. Haha haha the NFL is a transient league. You go all in anytime you have a shot at winning it all. If you don’t you’re an idiot. The Chiefs are doing the same thing with their window.

  2. Duh. Every team is a transient team in the age of salary caps and free agency. Half of the teams in the playoffs the year before return back to the playoffs. Win now is how to go. Rebuild happen in a hurry in the NFL anyways.

  3. What a faulty premise. Tom has stated he’s playing probably another 2 years. Other than him, Suh, and JPP, the entire team is either young or in their prime.

  4. Why would the Bucs think this time will be different.

    We’ll see how it goes when they lose a few and Mr Big Chest feels he’s not getting enough looks. Meltdown City.

  5. Awwww someone sounds big mad. Then what? I’ll tell you then what. Win the super bowl. Then try to win it again next yr. What else is there? Oh you mean to tell me I’m supposed to be excited about preparing for the draft hoping my team gets players half as good as the accumulation of stars the Bucs have now? Oh excuse us for wanting to be the go-to spot across the league now. You can have your “thinking about the future, rebuild, draft.” Bucs are going for immortality. If they win one, go to two or win both then that’s a hell of a ride. This is kinda what we live for isn’t it?

  6. guess you ignored the fact that brady signed for more than 1 year

    please stop creating drama where it doesn’t need to be

  7. QB: Tom Brady
    RB: Ronald Jones
    WR: Mike Evans
    WR: Chris Godwin
    WR: Antonio Brown
    TE: Rob Gronkowski

    Good luck covering that.


  8. You should go look at some of Tampa’s recent drafts. Licht has actually done a good job. More importantly, if they win a ring, who cares? This league is too volatile to worry about next year, let alone 2 or 3 from now.

  9. Bummed that he is deciding so fast…..wanted to have the Seahawks push hard & drive up the price for TB or Baltimore. Must be a good offer! How, with TB having less than 700K in CAP Space?

  10. This is a terrible signing for the Bucs. They were much better off with Evans and Godwin. Brown is going to be a disaster, as he’s been for the last 3 years.

  11. Isn’t the point of the game is to win it all? Besides, it’s not like they traded away their future draft picks or will be in cap hell. They’re doing fine. Just go for it.

  12. great talent, big head case, Brady will keep him in place until he can’t keep him in place

  13. Bummed that he is deciding so fast…..wanted to have the Seahawks push hard & drive up the price for TB or Baltimore. Must be a good offer! How, with TB having less than 700K in CAP Space?

    Marpet just restructured a couple days ago and gave them about 5m

  14. They have all their draft picks next year, except no 6th and 2 7ths. They have the 11th most cap room. Seriously, what are you talking about?

  15. It won’t be the first time it happens, because he’s going to try really hard to show he isn’t a head case, but by the third game he doesn’t get 5 targets, he’s going to lose it.

  16. Well last I checked you play to win a superbowl. There no guarantee and more often than not teams miss trying to build from the ground up.

  17. OL Ali Marpet restructured a couple days ago, saving $4M this year. Saw this coming I bet.
    And kept him out of SEA; important to consider, IMO.

  18. The Bucs won a super bowl with Brad Johnson, and that was mostly because of their defense that Tony Dungy built. If the Bucs can continue to add and maintain depth to their defense, they will at least play in another conference championship. A super bowl win is never a guarantee.

  19. josh plum says:

    October 23, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    They will be rebuilding for the next five years by 2022

    So they will be in the same position as about 15 or so teams but they will have had a chance to win a superbowl so seems like a good deal. This seems like the same ridiculousness when fans said the Pats should have kept Brady over Jimmy G because of age and all the superbowls he would win them and yet just this last offseason they were clamoring how 49ers should move on from Jimmy G. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in a bush.

  20. Just like other teams who put all bets in one season, why not the Bucs? At least Brady now has support from a team. At his age, Brady deserves a treat frolicking with really good players lessening his burdens instead of carrying the team on his old shoulders. I hope they or the Pats win the SB. Maybe Brady will retire if he gets the 7th bling. If he retires the young ones will have rivalries and will shine. Brady still gets the sun and cast his shadow. Football is still about TB12.

  21. My Giants won 2 rings in 5 years and have been a disaster since. We still have a few terrible years to go. Yes it was worth it and I’d do it all over again. The NFL is about winning. Would you trade 1 super bowl for 10 years of mediocrity? Absolutely.

  22. josh plum says:
    October 23, 2020 at 8:32 pm
    They will be rebuilding for the next five years by 2022

    5 2 Rate This


    Absolutely. So will the Chiefs. People either get the cap, markets, salary allocation and what continuity means to this sport, or they don’t.

    Florida teams use the income tax concept to build all star teams and it just doesn’t work.

    When a team thinks it’s a Madden video game, the football gods respond in kind.

    This is Schaudenfreude city to me. Disgusting, entitled and arrogant after selfish, awful behavior by numerous players who are on that team, including the blowhard coach.

  23. This stupid anonymous executive should be found and fired immediately. He has no clue how winnin’s done. Luckily for Tampa, Brady does. Btw, in case you missed it, Brady told Arians he’s playing 4 more years after this one…BOOM

  24. tyreehelmetcatch says:
    October 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm
    My Giants won 2 rings in 5 years and have been a disaster since. We still have a few terrible years to go. Yes it was worth it and I’d do it all over again. The NFL is about winning. Would you trade 1 super bowl for 10 years of mediocrity? Absolutely.

    5 1 Rate This


    I think you mean Brady choked in both. Your team was about to
    fire Coughlin after the 2007 season and your team simply got hot with a miracle catch. Congrats.

    And, honestly, sb 46 was worse in terms of the Brady chokejob level scoring 0 pts in the second half.

    BB spent the last decade trying to rein in a huge ego, and it thankfulky worked whe e drafted JimmyG and worked daily with him to scare Brady.

    Brady wants to show he can do what Gomer Manning did. He’s always trying to sarisfy the ego and it all started with Giselle.

    A 6th rd pick who would have been nothing without BB.

  25. I’ll sat it again, ever since Vontaze Burfict knocked Antonio Brown in Jan 2016, Antonio Brown has never been the same. This guy is suffering from CTE, and the league is being malice by allowing him to play.

  26. The Marlins have more championships in the last 40 years than the Braves.
    You go all in when you have the chance.

  27. Um even 1 superbowl or SB appearance is enough. They could literally win 3 games a year for 10 years, but if they win 1 in the next 2 years with TB then its worth it.

    This is one of those all in situations you drive straight ahead and dont worry about what happens later. Its 2020 Superbowl, nobody cares about 2022, 2023, or anything else.

  28. How can you call it a transient team when the core of that team is actually pretty young, yes the may lose Brady and Gronk, but they will still have Evans, and Godwin and Howard and Brate and Rojo and most of the offensive line, in the defense only JPP and Sugh are kind of old.

  29. Last year someone I know said Brady was going to a terrible team with no OLine, no running game and a bad D. Now they’re gonna be rebuilding? Which is it? The Bucs are 4-2 and just getting warmed up, while the Saints look terrible. As does the Pats offense. More excuse coming, I’m sure.

  30. There is a couple of things at work here. For one, Brady likes Brown play. If Brady was not in favor of signing Brown, it would have not been done. It also signal the Bucs are ‘all in’ trying to win the Super Bowl this year. Heads could roll if the Bucs don’t!

  31. Who cares if AB signed with them

    Their offensive weapons were never in question. The question was the offensive line. If they hold up then they’ll be fine. If they don’t Brady can’t do much for them. No matter how good he is.

    A win against the Packers doesn’t mean they’re winning anything. Just a few days before that the Bears shut them down and had everyone saying they’re overrated Way too early to start buying Super Bowl tickets for every team right now

  32. Just stop. I already have a feeling what will happen. All this overnight attention, drama and glitz about the Bucs is just that.. we will watch them “possibly” make it to a conference game, possibly a SB. But whatever team that is there with them (underdog) will for sure have a better game and win. I don’t think AB would even have the rust kicked off for any playoff game anyways, too many good defences right now. Colts. Others. But the brought him him out of clear insecurity of current receiver corps. Gonks a bust and should have stayed retired, but felt to join Tom Brady’s little Tampa Bay Tea Party. But trust me, don’t get into the hype, this team starts at the head coach. If Arians is okay with bringing in this guy’s culture cancer… just wait. You’ll see by week 17 where the Bucs sit in the league.

    I’m over Tom Brady. Tom Brady’s over Tom Brady. Loosing track of downs in the way we loose our keys. Ha

  33. Good for the Bucs. I’m a Bills fan but it’s always fun to see a team “go for it.” What’s the worst that’s going to happen? It’s sports, have fun. AB is not a great dude but the NfL is about winning. Go win.

  34. The flaws of TB in 2019 were their DBs and Oline. Their LBs were the best in the league last year. DL was pretty good too.
    The Oline is superior to the prior couple years and the DBs are unproven to date. The purpose of the AB acquisition was to keep him away from the competition.
    The plan now is to run up the score, let the front 7 disrupt the passing game, and stop the run.

  35. The Bears (and the refs) shut them down. And that was a banged up Bucs offense starting rookie Tyler Johnson and giving a big role to another rookie Keshawn Vaughn. They were missing Godwin, Miller, Justin Watson and OJ Howard, and Evans was playing on an injured ankle a few days after their last game because it was Thursday night football. Hardly indicative of what this team can and should be on offense. They still should’ve won that game, but an absurd number of penalties and calls didn’t go their way, like the roughing the passer, the offsides when it was a false start on 3rd and long, and the fumble that was borderline incomplete pass that turned a halftime lead into a halftime deficit.

    Long-term, it’s hard to read much into that game. Brown adds depth in a year where depth is going to be crucial to get to the end of the year.

  36. In the NFL it’s always been what have you done for me lately. Yesterday doesn’t matter. Today is what is most important. No fan wants to hear their team is in a rebuilding year. When you have a legitimate shot at a championship you go all in and take it.

  37. Simple. For some reason this season, Godwin and Evans are dinged up. Not fully healthy.

    You have who was, before meltdowns, likely a 1st Ballot HOF’er who we think physically (probabaly not mentally/emotionally) has juice in the tank, that you can sign for peanuts?

    Of course you sign him.

    I’m sad my Ravens didn’t consider pairing him with his cousin, Marquise. If you’re going to sign a bootleg veteran (Dez Bryant), you could have signed AB way earlier probably and had a better physical talent.

    You always go all in for a superbowl if it doesn’t mortgage your future. I dont think that means the Bucs are a transient team. But they are trying to build a “dream” team.

    We’ll see if it works. Its exciting. I think its good for the league.

  38. If signing a 43-year-old QB is not going all in, I don’t know what is. Without Brady, they wouldn’t get the kind of free agency weapons either. You stockpile whenever you have the opportunity.

    Even a team built from the ground up may not be in a position to compete, just look at the Bears until they nixed their dafted QB. This league is too nonlinear to rely purely on home grown talents. You see a window, you go for it.

  39. Sounds like what we already knew brady wanted to be on a team where he calls the shots not the coach. it’s all about him and his legacy/brand he has that now in tompa bay.

  40. Hahahaha.. they are NOT winning the Super Bowl. This experiment is going to end up a train wreck and the chemistry of the team and the salary cap situation will be a mess for many years to come..

  41. Last team to sign a bunch of aging stars and win a superbowl was the Redskins coached by George Allen. Bruce Arians is no George Allen and this will end in disaster for the Bucs. Mr. Big Chest will starting chirping about not getting enough touches about 4 games into this, and will probably violate the Covid protocol and Gronk will end up with a nagging injury in a few more weeks and miss several games while Brady and Arians will start taking shots at each other when Brady throws 3 picks in an upcoming game. Should be fun to watch though.

  42. I just don’t see the benefit of adding this guy. Is the playing time and impact he will have on the field worth the potential locker room issues? They aren’t getting AB 2018, they are getting AB after being kicked off two teams and not playing in a year. Wouldn’t have been better to invest a little more and go after a younger player on a team ready to sell? You know, get a player who isn’t a total headcase that has actually played football in the past year? Honestly, does a championship team do this? Bring in this type of player?

  43. The coach clearly doesn’t want him, and I doubt the GM wants him, otherwise they could have done something earlier. It sounds like someone else is calling the shots, and we all know how that works out, when a player makes demands and the team caves. Doesn’t matter how well respected that player is, or how many superbowls he’s won. He shouldn’t be building the team.

  44. Awesome predictions. If Brady throws Ints and everyone else is either hurt, gets Covid or is a malcontent, They won’t win the SBowl and be a trainwreck. Why even play the games? Sour grapes.

  45. every team is a one year team. good gms and coaches put together a contender most years. the greatest gem and coach puts together a contender every year for 20 years and a champion every third year.

  46. tedmurph says:
    October 24, 2020 at 10:29 am
    Awesome predictions. If Brady throws Ints and everyone else is either hurt, gets Covid or is a malcontent, They won’t win the SBowl and be a trainwreck. Why even play the games? Sour grapes.

    2 1 Rate This


    Brady is so fsr gone he had this guy around his wife and daughter last year while isolating himself from his own, real teammates. Brady’s antics are a disgrace at the end of his career as are Gronk’s. Football gods are watching. You Famboys will be crushed in the end with your fantasy score sheets and video game controllers strewn all over that basement.

  47. “This league is too nonlinear to rely purely on home grown talents. You see a window, you go for it”

    Trading for Hopkins when he was available would have been going “all in”. This smacks more of desperation than of a team adding the final piece to win.

  48. Football gods? I’m an atheist. Brady led the offense that was 6th in the NFL to the AFCE title and the playoffs last yr. After winning the SBowl. Now that he’s left, the chickens are home to roost. Due to poor drafting and FA signings, the Pats offense is a joke. Meanwhile, Tampa will win their division and the sky is the limit. Some people just can’t admit when they’re wrong.

  49. psubeerman21 says:
    “Trading for Hopkins when he was available would have been going “all in”. This smacks more of desperation than of a team adding the final piece to win.”

    – – – – –

    Every player comes with a price. AB is dirt cheap. Do the math. If he misbehaves, you dump him.

  50. Just purely from a football standpoint, people can clearly see Brady and AB had a good connection, even for just one game. Brady’s game is relied on receivers getting separation and running to the right spots and Brady throws it to the open man. AB is one of the best route running receiver in the league. AB is the luxury Brady never had in NE, aside from the couple years with Moss, and if he can get that kind of weapon at a cheap price, why not? The contract is structured with incentives so if he misbehaves you dump him. He’s basically a half season rental, a luxury Airbnb at a deep discount.

  51. Right. You’re not going “all in”, as the original story says. You’re kicking the tires of a broken player for peanuts. Not “all in”.

  52. Antonio Brown has been very vocal in the past about wanting to play with Brady. Odell Beckham was another one. Need I mention Randy Moss? I am more concerned with the Bucs’ offensive line and inconsistent secondary. The last time Brady had this much receiving talent, his defense lost him the super bowl.

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