With the signing of Devin White, the Buccaneers have a little clearer picture of where they stand with the Salary Cap heading into training camp. After signing Devin White for 4-years $29,315,814 guaranteed and getting $5,330,148 for the 2019 season., the Buccaneers find themselves somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.59 million but will be adding at least another half a million dollars when they make a decision on which kicker they’ll be keeping. Since there isn’t any possible way they keep both kickers, we can safely put the available salary cap at $3.5million.
Without taking into account any of Jason Pierre-Paul‘s salary, the question becomes what should the Buccaneers do with the money left over after putting together a training camp ready team?
There are always holes that need to be filled whether you’re the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the New England Patriots. Some players don’t always pan out in training camp, players get injured, or players just aren’t living up to expectations. Even if the coaching staff decides to give them another chance, the fans without a doubt will start calling for those players to be replaced. It never fails, a team has money, and fans look for ways to spend it, it’s just the nature of the beast.
Hopefully, the team isn’t dumb enough to simply spend money just to spend it, and luckily, with Arians at the helm, it isn’t very likely. The Buccaneers can always use depth on the offensive line, but there isn’t a must-fill spot. They can always use some competition at various positions, but again, they’re not must fill holes.
The two huge deciding factors in exactly how much salary cap space the Bucs will end up with, are the moves they make after the completion of training camp, and what they decided to do with JPP after his next evaluation by team doctors. Depending on the cuts they make after training camp, we could see a little money added to the salary cap, but not enough that the team can just go on a spending spree filling holes left and right.
The decision on JPP however, could be quite the game-changer when it comes to the salary cap. Depending on how the contract is written, and the decision made after he meets with team doctors again, it’s possible we could see the salary cap stay right where it is, but it’s also possible that we could see an extra $13 million added. While a move to the NFI list for the year would certainly free up some money, it would also mean that JPP will not be playing this year, and it would leave the Bucs with a huge hole to fill.
The smart move at this point will be for the Bucs to simply store that extra salary cap away for a rainy day, at least until training camp is over, and the decision on JPP is made. If we happen to get hit with the injury bug halfway through the season, we’re going to be glad we held on to that money, as a starting-caliber defensive tackle is a lot harder and far more expensive to find than a 3rd string offensive lineman.