I will be doing a series of articles that will be taking a methodical team by team approach to next year’s possible free agents. I will be starting with the team that has the least amount of salary cap space and ending with the team with the most. I will try to give a brief description of as many of the possible free agents as I can. I will also be looking for players that might be salary cap cuts in order for their teams to make room to sign some of these possible free agents. Any information anyone else can contribute on these players would be very much appreciated.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are projected to be $65,169,718 UNDER the cap (all salary info via Over The Cap) for 2017 with 52 players under contract. As of January 1, 2017, OTC has combined the leftover cap space from 2016 with each team’s projected cap space for 2017.
Dollar figures listed are player’s 2016 cap hits.
WR Vincent Jackson - $12,209,778
Vincent Jackson is 34 years of and was originally draft by the Chargers in the second round of the 2005 draft. Jackson signed a five-year, $55 million contract with the Bucs in 2012. Injuries and inconsistent play have greatly reduced Jackson’s playing time and production over the last two years. He was placed on injured reserve after suffering an ACL injury in October.
RT Gosder Cherilus - $4,500,000
Gosder Cherilus is 32 years old and was originally drafted by the Lions in the first round of the 2008 draft. Cherilus was signed by the Bucs in August of 2015. He played in 15 games in 2016 but only started 3. His PFF grade was a lowly 42.2.
S Chris Conte - $3,000,000
Chris Conte is 27 years old and was originally drafted by the Bears in the third round of the 2011 draft. The Bucs signed him in March of 2015. Conte had 69 tackles, 5 passes defended, and 2 interceptions in 2016. PFF had him rated as the 91st best safety in the NFL last season.
S Bradley McDougald - $2,553,000
Bradley McDougald is 26 years old and was originally picked up by the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was signed by the Bucs in November of 2013. McDougald had 91 tackles, 10 passes defended, and 2 touchdowns in 2016. PFF had him rated as the 42nd best safety in the NFL. There is really very little difference between the 42nd best and the 21st best.
43OLB Daryl Smith - $3,000,000
Daryl Smith is 34 years old and was originally drafted by the Jags in the second round of the 2004 draft. The Bucs signed Smith in March of 2016. He had 35 tackles , 1 interception and 1 pass defended in 2016.
CB Josh Robinson - $2,000,000
Josh Robinson is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Vikings in the third round of the 2012 draft. The Bucs signed him in March of 2016. Robinson had 11 tackles in 2016.
WR Russell Shepard - $1,671,000
Russell Shepard is 26 years of and was originally picked up by the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Shepard was claimed off of waivers by the Bucs in September of 2013. He had 23 receptions for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2016.
C Joe Hawley - $3,500,000
Joe Hawley is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Falcons in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. The Bucs signed Hawley on September of 2015. He started 15 games in 2016 and PFF had him rated as the 28th best center in the NFL.
TE Brandon Myers - $1,916,668
Brandon Myers is 31 years old and was originally drafted by the Raiders in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. Myers signed with the Bucs in March of 2014. Myers had 7 receptions for 59 yards and 1 touchdown in 2016.
WR Cecil Shorts - $971,875
Cecil Shorts is 29 years old and was originally drafted by the Jags in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. Shorts signed with the Bucs in September of 2016. Cecil had 11 receptions for 152 yards in 2016 and his year ended early with injuries to his ACL and MCL in December.
QB Mike Glennon - $1,830,375
Mike Glennon is 27 years old and was drafted by the Bucs in the third round of the 2013 draft. Glennon has a completion percentage over his first four years in the NFL of 59.4% and a quarterback rating of 84.6. He is 5-13 as a starting quarterback. That would actually be an improvement when you consider Kap and Gabbert were 7-25 over the last two seasons.
RB Antone Smith - $276,706
Antone Smith is 31 years old and was originally picked up by the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Smith signed with the Bucs in October of 2016 and was placed on injured reserve shortly after that. He has mainly played on special team during his career.
43DT John Hughes - $134,118
John Hughes is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2012 draft. Hughes signed with the Bucs for two short stints in 2016. He had 6 tackles.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers - $564,706
Jacquizz Rodger is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. Rodgers had 129 carries for 560 yards on the ground and 13 receptions for 98 yards through the air in 2016. Not bad for a guy that only started 5 games.
43DT Sealver Siliga - $392,941
Sealver Siliga is 26 years old and was originally picked up as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers in 2011. Siliga was claimed by the Bucs after being waived by the Seahawks last November. He had 10 tackles and 1 sack in 2016.
43DT Akeem Spence - $1,792,106
Akeem Spence is 25 years old and was drafted by the Bucs in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Spence had 19 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 2016.
43DE William Gholston - $1,771,136
William Gholston is 25 years old and was drafted by the Bucs in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Gholston had 49 tackles, 3 sacks and one forced fumble in 2016. He did not grade out well with PFF.