About the author

Profile photo of Zach Shapiro

Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com

Related Articles


  1. 1


    I like the signing.

  2. 2


    If you can play, you can play. But the Bucs got a lot of vertically challenged CBs (5). Banks is the only one over 6 feet. Like Robinson, Verner, and Grimes, most are 5’10”. What happened to the need for length to cover the tall WRs and TEs in today’s NFL? Just an observation!

    1. 2.1


      Well macabee- I know its a challenge but look at the overall signing Tampa Bay has made a great Impact on how the teams we will play this season. I can’t wait to see the draft choices tampa will be getting remember fans Tampa and the other clubs have been following these players that ever since they were playing college and some not. They spent millions. So I think Tampa may change their 1st rd pick espically if a team wants to jump to pick no#9 example LA Rams. They need a future QB, So droping down to #15 Tampa could go after the kid from Houston Wm Jackson III would be a great fit. Plus pick up a 2nd or 3rd rd pick. What do you think

      1. 2.1.1


        I think that could very well happen. I think after FA, the draft is wide open. I don’t have a favorite so whoever and wherever they pick, it’s going to help. I know you meant future CB and William Jackson is a good one. When you have a lot of needs, extra draft picks always helps!

  3. 3


    Scott Reynolds might be spot on with his latest Mock Draft thinking? This signing makes sense as to the defensive scheme of quickness and toughness; the need for height at all positions is no longer necessary. No telling who and what position we draft at Spot 9. Go Bucs!

  4. 4


    The one complaint we hear about Vernon Hargreaves is his height (and 4.5 40.) Seems a little strange that with exception of Banks all our CB’s are under 6’0. There are some pretty big receivers in the NFC south.

  5. 5


    I remember Robinson from his playing days at UCF and he wasn’t very good. I also remember him running very fast at the combine and he rose up draft boards. Thus far in the NFL he hasn’t played well which is why the Vikings didn’t keep him. I know the plan wasn’t to spend big in FA and I agree with that this year based on who was available, but aside from re-signing Martin I don’t think the Bucs did well in FA. I know it takes two to tango but that only addresses why some guys didn’t want to sign here. Reggie Nelson, Eric Weddle, Rishard Matthews, Charles Johnson, Andre Smith and Brent Grimes are all guys that could have helped us for a reasonable price and we only ended up with one of them. I guess there’s still time to get Nelson or Smith but hopefully the draft goes better.

    1. 5.1


      Pink, we usually see eye to eye on most things but I disagree with you on this post. I think the Bucs did a decent job in FA. We only went down in 1 position(Guard), Which to be honest, would have been impossible to upgrade at in FA. There wasn’t a FA that was as good as or better then Mankins. We resigned some key players. We signed a DE and Corner that were better than any player we had on this team at those positions. You cant fix every position in FA. We picked our 2 worst positions and upgraded them. Granted they are not superstars but they were a huge upgrade at a reasonable price. As for the players you listed above, a lot of older player don’t want to play for a rebuilding team. they only want to play for a contender and we just aren’t one right now. That’s why Weddle, and Johnson didn’t want to play for us. Andre Smith isn’t an upgrade, prob why he is still a FA right now. I can’t wait to see this years draft. because of these FA pick ups we can draft any position.

      1. 5.1.1


        No worries on disagreeing, I think everyone has disagreed with everyone else on here at some point or another. I responded to the other responses to my post in the order they were posted and yours came in most recently. I’ve pretty much covered every point the others made which had some overlap with yours so I don’t have much to add here, but I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring your post.

    2. 5.2


      Pink….I think your right. We will see by the end of next season. Most likely still looking at filling the same positions then also.

  6. 6


    PinkStob, Eric Weddle isn’t signing with any team unless he figures them to be a player for the Super Bowl tourney.
    Charles Johnson had one sack last year. Robert Ayres had 9.5. Yes, I know Johnson was often injured, but they are both on down side of their career.
    I don’t think this guy was signed to be anything other than the nickel corner but I could be wrong.
    Whatever he does, it’s got to be better than Mike Jenkins, so look at it like that.
    Jason Licht likes what he has in the returning WR’s so don’t look for any major signings for that position.
    Picking up Andre Smith would be like paying more money for another Demar Dotson.
    So far I give the Bucs a B in FA.

    1. 6.1


      Hey drdnest, I totally agree. Ayers actually has the best numbers of all the FA DE’s. I totally agree with your Jenkins statement. I think he was TERRIBLE and anyone would be better in my book. Let’s at least give him a try.

    2. 6.2


      For Eric Weddle the Ravens aren’t players for the Super Bowl with that defense and receiving core. Now maybe Weddle thinks they’re closer to a Super Bowl than we are but I think the Ravens are in rebuilding mode and have been since they won the Super Bowl and paid their QB that contract.
      For Johnson and Ayers I’m going by their complete body of work (including college), not just last year. It’s like the #1 rule in investing in the stock market: buy low, sell high. Signing Johnson would have been buying low based on his career production whereas signing Ayers is buying high based on his career production.
      Rishard Matthews wouldn’t have been a major signing. All the guys I named would have come relatively cheap.
      Andre Smith can run and pass block while Dotson can only pass block.

      1. 6.2.1


        I have to agree with @pink on that one….there was a lot of “assuming” going on that Weddle wanted to play for a contender…clearly that was a load of bunk….the Ravens are terrible.

  7. 7


    I disagree pinkstob, I think that the Bucs did very well in FA considering they did not want to overspend. I was one who wanted O. Vernon, but I think I read that he only had about 6 or 7 sacks last season and he got like 85 million!! Way too much. Same goes for Weddle at like 6.5 mil per year, plus, he didn’t want to come here. The Bucs were not interested in Nelson, although I like him too as a fill-in S, so he doesn’t count either. A. Smith is still out there because he has not played well the past 2 years. We can still get him later if we like, we do need a new RT in my opinion, although I like R. Schraeder much better and he will probably cost more. We signed Ayers, rated by most sites as the 3rd best DE in FA, that is good value for a starter. Grimes is old but hopefully has 1 or 2 years left. We have a group of safties to pick starters from. And as for Robinson, he is just depth. We have Verner and Grimes to be the starters. Then it will be a good battle between Banks, Barimah, and now Robinson to be the nickle and the backups. At least he has some NFL experience.

    1. 7.1


      I hear what you’re saying but my only counter is to your statement that “they did not want to overspend”. Had they not signed Sweezy for so much more than he’s worth then that viewpoint would hold and I wouldn’t have said anything at all. To me, if you give Sweezy that kind of money to play a LG, a position he’s never played when he hasn’t played well at RG, we could have signed some of the guys I named above for cheaper contracts.

      1. 7.1.1


        I do think we way over paid for Sweezy. For 100,000 more a year we could have gotten Boone. He is a 2x pro bowler and top 10 at his position.

  8. 8


    the new fa sign grims an ayers are the best cb an de on the team now,come on pinkstob.

    1. 8.1


      Ayers is not better than J. Smith.

  9. 9


    For me the question is whether or not these free agents are better than the bottom of the roster. Are Grimes and Robinson better than C.J. Roberts and Joel Ross? Is Ayers better than George Johnson? Is Sweezy better than Antoine Everet? I just hope they are also better than our former 2015 starters.

  10. 10


    Here’s what I see of the bucs newest acquisition…

    I follow college recruiting and NFL Draft among the 95th percentile, so when these two guys came out they were two sleepers I kept an eye one after they got drafted for potential free agent acquisitions. I was surprised that norman was drafted 2 rounds after robinson, likely due to a slower 40 time. The thing about the bucs corner position is that all of them are zone cover guys. Mike smith’s schemes in ATL have also been zone based, with the exception of how he used Asante Samuels, similar to how Talib was used in tampa and denver, zone/man.

    What we are missing is a true press man corner for the nickel. It looks as though the defense will be built around a zone cover system with a lot of linebacker help. Expect to see less blitzing unless Smith does not use zone in the D-Line, or more zone based blitzing.

    Below I attached links to Robinson, Norman and Bank’s Combine evals…

    In regards to our draft, I believe we are in a great place. We do not have to necessarily pick for need but best player available and develop that player over time. I wouldn’t be shocked with us taking Jack in the first round, as a hybrid LB/Safety, so that we could still stay in a 4-3 base one passing downs but his role changes into a roaming safety.

    I feel this is the way the NFL is going, with uptempo as the new fad, having players who can serve multiple roles will be valuable…see Shaq Thompson of the panthers…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the bucs also selected Braxton Miller as well, in the second round…he ran a 4.33 at his pro day…again multi dimensional player, can be groomed into playing slot and can be a kick off returner…

    anyways, just some food for thought…

    Josh Norman: http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/josh-norman?id=2532920

    Josh Robinson: http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/josh-robinson?id=2533542

    Jonathan Banks: http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/profiles/johnthan-banks?id=2539262

  11. 11


    I understand the point that several people are making about (at least) Ayers and Grimes are upgrades and so FA was a success. I don’t disagree that those two are upgrades, but I think setting the bar for our GM at only needing to upgrade from a debacle, is setting a pretty low bar for the guy. There were are a number of even better upgrades – perhaps most costly upgrades – available and our GM did not secure even 1 of them. Now we could also let our GM off the hook and say “those players didn’t want to come to Tampa Bay”….maybe, but again I heard a lot of assuming around Weddle that turned out to be false – and I would consider one of the GM’s duties to be ‘finding a way to get players to come to your team’.

    Overall, I think we did okay in FA – maybe I give us a C+ (or B-) for a couple of upgrades that I would consider reasonable (Grimes more so than Ayers IMO), while downgrading at OG and SLB. While I think re-signing Martin was great – I think his attempt at penny pinching made that a lot more dramatic than it needed to be – and I balance that great re-signing with a load of re-signings that I don’t like (especially at safety, which IMO was a huge basket case for us in 2015).

    I am expecting more from Licht in the draft than a C+ to agree that he has earned his money.

  12. 12


    scubog, always like your posts, but gotta disagree that FA signings should replace the bottom of the roster. That would be fine if we were a Super Bowl contender, but we’re not. With a 2-14 record year before last & 6-10 record last year, we are still looking for starters…from both free agency & the draft. We had quite a few starters that sucked & need replacing. If we replace the bottom guys, that means the same sucky starters who are left from last year will be on the first team again.

    Once most of the starters are found, sure, we can use FA & draft to serve as backups & special teams.

  13. 13


    Warren: We don’t disagree. You misinterpreted my post. I didn’t say the FA’s “should” replace the bottom of the roster. My thinking is if the FA is better than one of the current 53 then the roster is improved. Hopefully, as I also said, the FA’s are better than the player currently in the starting line-up giving a better chance to win a game once in a while.

    I always temper my enthusiasm for FA signings. Been disappointed too many times.

Leave a Reply

© 2016 PewterReport.com All Rights reserved. Tampa Web Design | Visual Realm