Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting guard Shaq Mason just landed a massive raise as the veteran signed a new three-year, $36 million contract with the Houston Texans, per The Score’s Jordan Schultz. Tampa Bay surprisingly traded Mason to Houston in March 2023 for just a sixth-round pick in return as the franchise headed into the offseason more than $50 million above the salary cap.
This pick ultimately turned out to play a somewhat important role for Tampa Bay as the team used it along with the No. 50 selection in order to trade up with the Packers to land former North Dakota State guard Cody Mauch at No. 48. Green Bay selected ex-Bowling Green defensive tackle Karl Brooks. Mauch is the early favorite to take over Mason’s starting spot at right guard heading into the 2023 season.
Mason will become part of an overhauled Texans offensive line as the franchise looks to protect the team’s new star quarterback C.J. Stroud. The veteran earned a 68.9 grade from Pro Football Focus for 2022, much lower than his 85.2 score with the Patriots in 2021.
Buccaneers News: Tampa Bay Will Debut a Revamped Offensive Line With at Least 2 New Starters
The Buccaneers initially traded for Mason during the 2022 offseason sending a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Patriots. The move reunited Tom Brady with one of his former New England starting offensive lineman who was part of two Super Bowl runs with the Patriots.
Tampa Bay’s offensive line will look remarkably different this upcoming season given the release of veteran tackle Donovan Smith combined with trading Mason. Star tackle Tristan Wirfs expressed optimism about how the new-look offensive line will play together in 2023.
“[Robert] Hainsey, [guard] Luke [Goedeke], [guard Aaron] Stinnie, [guard] Nick [Leverett] all those guys, they’re all great players,” Wirfs explained during an April 17 press conference. “I have 100% trust in them, I love them to death. All of us showed up on the first day of OTA’s so that was really good to see, even [center Ryan] Jensen was here.
“But it’s good, I love those guys, I have 100% confidence in them so however it shakes out it shakes out. We’ve got a long way to go but it’ll be fun to see that whole thing shake out or whatever it comes down to.”
Bucs Rumors: Tampa Bay Set for QB Competition Between Baker Mayfield & Kyle Trask
The bigger question for the Buccaneers is what quarterback the offensive line will be protecting. The Bucs opted to pass on all the rookie quarterbacks in the draft paving the way for a competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.
Tampa Bay also signed former Rams veteran John Wolford but the signal-caller is not expected to compete for the QB1 role. General manager Jason Licht explained why the Buccaneers chose to pass on the position in the draft.
“Well, there were a couple quarterbacks that if it fell the right way we would take at different areas in the draft, not necessarily high,” Licht remarked during a post-draft interview on Tampa’s WDAE radio. “Right now, we like the competition that’s going on with Baker [Mayfield] and Kyle [Trask], couldn’t be happier with the way it’s going right now, just both of them getting ready to go into training camp.
“… But we do have a plan. We probably would like to bring in a vet. Just somebody that has been there done that and can be in that room with them, not necessarily somebody that we think is going to take over the competition. But somebody that can just add to that room. We’ve got a few options that we’re keeping in mind.”