Bucs Could Be Destination for Disgruntled $72 Million Former Pro Bowler

Todd Bowles

Getty Todd Bowles faces a plethora of injuries on the Buccaneers' roster.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were once one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL, but Tom Brady is lacking consistent weapons with his top receivers sidelined. Mike Evans is expected to suit up in Week 4 after serving a one-game suspension, but Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are among the Bucs receivers dealing with injuries. Russell Gage and Breshad Perriman both played through injuries during the team’s loss to the Packers.

With a little help, the Buccaneers could find a solution for Brady’s next weapon in New York. Disgruntled Giants receiver Kenny Golladay is playing 36% of the snaps through the first two games of the season, including just two plays in Week 2. Golladay has made it clear that he wants to play more, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler believes the Giants could explore trading the star wideout.

“The Kenny Golladay situation in New York is far from over,” Fowler detailed on September 21, 2022. “When a receiver with a $21.15 million cap hit plays two snaps on Sunday, there’s no coming back from that. This is the classic case of a new regime — GM Joe Schoen, coach Brian Daboll — taking over a contract it wouldn’t have done itself. And when that’s the case, teams look for exit strategies. The Giants didn’t do anything with Golladay’s contract in the preseason because the guarantees hamstrung them. His $13 million salary and $4.5 million roster bonus are locked in. Zero wiggle room.

“But a similar situation unfolded in the New York area a few years ago, with the Jets and Le’Veon Bell. GM Joe Douglas, who didn’t do the Bell deal, decided the Jets were better off paying Bell his $13 million in guarantees to go away, first trying to trade him before releasing him. The difference is Golladay, as an accomplished wide receiver with red zone scoring potential, could have some trade value if the Giants agree to cover most of his salary. Something to watch, because Golladay can’t be satisfied with his role.”

The Bucs May Be Able to Get a Discount on a Golladay Trade

The biggest road block for Tampa Bay potentially striking a deal is Golladay’s $72 million contract, which has an additional two years on it after this season. The Bucs would need the Giants to eat a good portion of his remaining deal as well as his $13.2 million salary for 2022.

As Fowler detailed, the Giants may be willing to do just that as tensions continue to rise. Golladay is becoming more vocal about his unhappiness, and it could benefit the Giants to move on from the receiver, even if it means having to pay part of his deal.

Tampa Bay has just $3.7 million in remaining cap space and would need to orchestrate some financial gymnastics to trade for Golladay. We have seen the Buccaneers get creative with the financial workings of deals during the Brady era, and there could be an opportunity for the team to buy low on a former Pro Bowl receiver.

Given Golladay’s lack of recent production, the Giants are unlikely going to be able to land anything more than a future day-three draft pick in a deal. The Panthers-Browns trade featuring Baker Mayfield could be a good reference point. Cleveland received a future day-three pick in exchange for Mayfield but also paid the majority of the quarterback’s salary in 2022.

Golladay on Reduced Role: ‘I Don’t Agree With It’

Golladay posted back-to-back seasons with more than 1,000 yards in 2018 and 2019 when the playmaker was the Lions top offensive option. The veteran notched 65 receptions for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns during 16 appearances for Detroit in 2019.

Golladay’s performance was good enough to earn the receiver a Pro Bowl nomination. The veteran wideout has not topped the 600-yard mark the last two seasons and has yet to find his footing since joining the Giants in 2021. It is difficult to imagine Golladay not benefiting from a trade to the Bucs playing alongside Brady and the team’s offensive weapons.

“I really didn’t have a choice, like I said I don’t agree with it [taking a reduced role],” Golladay told reporters on September 21. “I should be playing regardless. … We’re not going to get into all that right now. We’re going into Week 3. We’re going to see how it goes. There’s a lot of football left.”

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Gary Marshman
Gary Marshman
6 months ago

With the receiving corps as messed up as tampa is I wouldn’t wast time with contract negotiations with the giants… you have a big name in odell beckham Jr make a 1 year deal with him so Brady gets help

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