Cornerback, Aqib Talib, could land huge payday in 2013 and it should be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paying him.
Adjusted Cap Number: $146.088 million
Cap Room Remaining: $15.74 million (will decrease by over $2 million once first-round draft pick Mark Barron signs
Best Bargain: As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ No. 1 receiver by default, Mike Williams has caught 130 passes for 1,735 yards and 14 touchdowns over his first two seasons in the NFL. A 2010 fourth-round draft pick, Williams has earned just over $1.3 million in his career thus far and is scheduled to earn $540,000 in base salary in 2012. The arrival of Vincent Jackson will move Williams to a more suitable role as a No. 2 receiver this season, a position where the 6-foot-2, 221-pounder can take advantage not going up against the other team’s top cornerback.
Potential Camp Casualty: The Buccaneers have moved away from signing bonuses, and instead are signing players to higher base salaries (often guaranteed), so players with high salaries always are candidates for release. Two such players on the Buccaneers are right tackle Jeremy Trueblood and linebacker Quincy Black. In the second season of a two-year contract, Trueblood triggered a $1 million escalator to his base salary and is scheduled to make $5.25 million, all of which could be wiped off the books. Black is due $5.5 million in base salary and would leave a cap imprint of just $250,000 from a workout bonus.
The problem with releasing Trueblood or Black lies in whom would replace them? Trueblood played in over 92 percent of the Buccaneers’ snaps last season and is solid in pass protection. The Buccaneers do not have much (or any) depth at the tackle position. Black was largely a two-down player in 2011, but with Geno Hayes moving on in free agency, Black is the team’s most experienced linebacker. With plenty of cap space, the Buccaneers unlikely are to be motivated by cap relief when shaping their 53-man roster this summer. Read more here…