On January 7, 2007, Pro Bowlers Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber sat beside each other in frustration as the Giants lost a playoff game to the Philadelphia Eagles. The season ended suddenly for inarguably two of the better players in the game. Tiki Barber retired, and though Shockey returned for the following season, he suffered a broken leg and was not available for the Giants victory in Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008. Quite frankly the “Backfield by Committee” of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw and tight end play of Kevin Boss filled in nicely for the big shoes of Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey.
The Bucs are pretty deep—Licht and Greenberg have their magic Excel Spreadsheet. Fans should stop worrying. Not because both men are infallible, but because they have a capable set of advisors including superb position coaches, Director of Player Personnel, John Spytek, and Director of College Scouting, Mike Biehl. Additionally, Bruce Arians may have worn out the entire scouting department finding players and building depth the last two years, but Arians isn’t going to continue to do so. He realizes what he has, offense, defense, and special teams.
You do need depth to win in this league. Arians will take care of management and let them worry about labor. I’ll speak to specifics. The ‘Franchise Tag’ for a wide receiver is $16,430,000—or roughly the 2020 salary of these players:
Andrew Adams – – $1,010,000
Antony Auclair – – $1,250,000
Antoinio Brown – – $1,666,667
Ross Cockrell – – $910,000
Joe Haeg – – $2,300,000
Steve McLendon – – $3,000,000
Rakeem Nunez-Roches – – $1,500,000
Patrick O’Connor – – $615,000
Ryan Smith – – $1,750,000
Aaron Stinnie – – $615,000
Ryan Succop – – $1,050,000
Josh Wells – – $935,000
To be fair, most of those players may not impact the locker room or impact the chemistry of the team like Chris Godwin. And to be clear, I’m not singling out Godwin. The point is, the Scouting Department has to go out and find them. And while the players mentioned may not be as essential as Chris Godwin, it’s easier to find one (1) of him than the (12) of them. Which is why the Bucs didn’t drop the $7,000,000 on Breshad Perriman last season. You can find solutions. Speaking of Perriman, let’s take a look at the past three seasons:
2018 – Adam Humphries, 76 receptions, 816 yards, 10.7 yards per reception, 5 TDs
2019 – Breshad Perriman, 36 receptions, 645 yards, 17.9 yards per catch, and 6 TDs
2020 – Chris Godwin, 65 receptions, 840 yards, 12.9 per reception, 7 TDs
Of course, there’s a lot more to consider than Mike Greenberg’s magic geek Spreadsheet. And this could apply to Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, or any free agent. I pick Godwin because real numbers can assess his cost/value. And this is relevant to Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey. Even great players can be replaced if you have good coaches and good scouts. The Bucs have both. This is why Licht and Greenberg will not capsize the ship by capsizing the cap. Go Bucs!!