The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have just cleared some cap room with the restructuring of Jason Pierre-Pauls contract. Pierre-Paul will be a free agent after the season. So some fans are now clamoring for the Buccaneers to make a big move. The move they want is for the team to trade for Jalen Ramsey. I don’t agree they should and believe the team won’t.
Next years estimated cap space should have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hovering around $78 million in space. At first glance, it seems like a large amount but this will get consumed rather quickly.
First and foremost, Jameis Winston will be resigned. He will command over $25 million a year. Most likely around the $28 million dollar mark. Suddenly the team is already down to $50 million in space.
Second, this team CAN NOT let Shaquil Barrett hit free agency. If the first three weeks are any indication of what he will continue to bring to this team then there is no way he should ever be able to test those waters. It will be much like when Michael Bennett was allowed to walk away from this team. Barrett will require a hefty paycheck to stay with the team. For example, Kwon Alexander received a four year $54 million dollar contract. That’s an average of $13.5 million a year. Barrett, if the first three games become a full season trend, will get paid close to if not over $15 million. Just like that the cap room is at $35 million.
Starter Carl Nassib will receive a new contract and stand out back up Kevin Minter will be retained. Others will get a hard look as well. Restricted free agents like BoBo Wilson, Anthony Auclair, and Tanner Hudson will be kept on the roster for next season. To keep all the players in this catagory the team will spend around $10 million. Cap room now rests at $25 million.
A draft class typically runs a team around nine million dollars. Pushing the cap down to $16 million.
Jalen Ramsey in 2020 will be owed $13.7 million dollars next season on the fifth year of his rookie contract. That drops the cap to $2.3 million. The team will not be able to sign other free agents to fill roster spots with that amount.
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2020 Season and a Hold Out
Given the current atmosphere in the NFL and with the players I fully expect Ramsey to hold out next season until he has a new lucrative contract. This season he showed up to camp in a Brinks truck, sending a clear message to the rest of the NFL he will be getting paid. If he showed up to camp like that with two seasons left on his contract I would anticipate that next season he forces a team to pay up and in a big way. He will demand over $16 million and get it. Just not from the Buccaneers.
Trading for Jalen Ramsey is going to cost a team a large amount of draft capital. Rumor once was the Jaguars were asking for a first-round pick and possibly more. This was prior to the team stating they would not trade him. If my prediction about Ramsey holding out is right then any team that trades for him is only “renting” him for the remainder of this season and next. For that reason, the only option for a team to retain him will be over $16 million a year or the franchise tag. Something I do not feel the Buccaneers can afford without compromising the depth on the team. Additionally, the loss of multiple picks compromises a teams ability to win consistently in the future. To be a great team you must build through the draft.
Attitude and Distraction
Ramsey has been a very polarizing player since his rookie season. From fighting with Steve Smith, being ejected from a game for fighting, complaining about usage and crying about losing, his rookie season had some strange moments. The following seasons saw some of the same antics. Publicly calling out his own staff and more fighting on the field. He has broken team rules and failed to show up for voluntary camps. Additionally, the GQ article and radio interviews have continued to show his immaturity and lack of professionalism. Currently, the Jaguars say Ramsey is not with the team. Pending the birth of a second child and a back injury, they do not know when he will return.
These antics will not cease once he is on a new team. This is clearly who he is. In fact, his antics are mirroring Antonio Brown’s. That is a distraction the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not need.
Ramsey will cost too much and cause too many problems/distractions. This team SHOULD NOT and WILL NOT trade for him.
Disagree with me? Would love to hear your take as well. Follow us @FPC_Buccaneers and @BucSalty!