Buccaneers Trade $45 Million 2-Time Super Bowl Champ Amid Rumors: Report

Todd Bowles

Getty The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look different in 2023.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trading Shaq Mason to the Houston Texans just one year after acquiring the veteran guard from the New England Patriots. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Bucs are swapping their seventh-round selection for a Texans’ sixth-round pick in exchange for Mason.

The deal comes as the Buccaneers continue to be linked to veteran quarterbacks in free agency while attempting to dig themselves out of a less than ideal cap situation. According to Spotrac, the Bucs are still an estimated $1.6 million above the salary cap meaning more moves are ahead in Tampa.

Tampa Bay initially traded for Mason to help protect Tom Brady, but the deal is the latest in a series of cap-saving moves made by the Bucs following the legendary quarterback’s retirement. Mason won two Super Bowls as part of a strong seven-year tenure with the Patriots.

The veteran is entering the final season of a five-year, $45 million contract and is slated to have a $7.5 million salary in 2023. According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Tampa Bay is opening up an additional $5 million in cap space by trading Mason.

“This is going to save about $5 million in cap space,” Laine tweeted on March 14, 2023. “The Bucs will have new starters at left tackle and now right guard in 2023.”

What Quarterback Move Will the Bucs Make? Tampa Bay Has Been Linked to Baker Mayfield & Jacoby Brissett

The Bucs are clearing cap space as the team looks to make a move at quarterback. The majority of big-name signal-callers are off the board, but Baker Mayfield headlines the group of remaining free agents. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Buccaneers are not the only team who is pursuing Mayfield.

“The Bucs are pursuing QB Baker Mayfield, but several other teams also have expressed interest in the former No. 1 overall pick, per sources,” Pelissero tweeted. “A lot of moving parts in the QB market an hour into the negotiating window.”

The Bucs Are Making Baker Mayfield Their Top Priority at Quarterback: Report

The news come after NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Mayfield would be the Bucs’ top priority at quarterback in free agency. Tampa Bay is looking to create a QB competition for the starting job with Kyle Trask as the lone signal-caller currently on the roster.

“When free agency begins, the Bucs are expected to target ex-Rams QB Baker Mayfield as a potential starting QB option, per me and @MikeGarafolo,” Rapoport tweeted on March 12. “This could be competition for Kyle Trask, their former 2nd-round pick, who the team likes a lot. As TB plots life without Tom Brady.”

As Fox Sports’ Greg Auman pointed out, the Bucs now face a “complicated challenge” to replace Donovan Smith and Mason heading into next season. The Buccaneers offense will look remarkably different with a new quarterback and reworked line for 2023.

“Bucs will almost certainly draft an offensive lineman. Not sure it’s a priority for a high pick — depends on who else they lose in free agency,” Auman tweeted in March 14. “In theory, Hainsey could step in for Mason. Replacing Donovan Smith is a more complicated challenge.”

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