The best and worst Bucs’ off-seasons by the year

by Gary Shelton on July 26, 2016 · 2 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Tuesday, 6 a.m.

Some gotta win. Some gotta lose.

Some run across the goal line. Others chase.

Some make the tackle. Some miss.

And so it goes. The NFL is the definition of Newton's law of action and reaction. There is good and bad, catches and drops, touchdowns and interceptions.There are runs and stumbles. There are blocks and whiffs.

It is with that it mind that the Tampa Bay Bucs conclude an off-season that, as

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they enter training camp, at least looks promising, They like their draft picks. They like their free agents. They like their coaches.

It hasn't always been that way. Sam Wyche couldn't draft. Lovie Smith was confused about free agency. Raheem Morris had a lousy staff. Ebbs and flows. Gives and takes. Losses and, well, more losses.

Right now, you love Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence and Roberto Aguayo. You think a lot of Brent Grimes and Robert Ayers and J.R. Sweezy. But will you in three months? Or will these guys, too, turn into Eric Curry and Booker Reese and Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson.

Failure is always possible in the NFL. It's why we pay attention. Vernon Hargreaves still has to compete against Julio Jones and Kelvin Benjamin. Noah Spence still has to rush against Drew Brees and Cam Newton.Who will be the best of this draft class? Of these free agents? And who will be taking up space?

Let's look back at the best and worst offseason moves of the Bucs by the year.

1976 – Best: Drafted Lee Roy Selmon, a future Hall of Famer.
– Worst: Traded a second-round draft choice for Steve Spurrier, who never won a game.

1977 – Best: Drafted Ricky Bell No. 1.
– Worst: Traded two No. 6 picks for Gary Huff.

1978 – Best: Drafted Doug Williams No. 1
– Worst: Traded 1979 No. 1 pick for Wally Chambers.

1979 – Best: Spent a No. 12 draft pick on David Logan.
          – Worst:Spent a No. 2 draft pick on Gordon Jones.

1980 – Best: Drafted Scot Brantley in the third round.
          – Worst: Drafted Ray Snell in the first round.

1981 – Best: Drafted James Wilder in second round.
         – Worst: Former Bucs Doug Williams said the coaches spent the off-season on the golf course.

1982 – Best: Drafted (by accident) guard Sean Farrell.
         – Worst: Drafted (on purpose) Booker Reese.

1983 – Best: Drafted center Randy Grimes.
           – Worst: Traded for quarterback Jack Thompson.

1984 – Best:  Traded for quarterback Steve DeBerg from Denver.
          – Worst: Drafted linebacker Keith Browner.

1985 – Best: Drafted Steve Young, although he won only three games in two years.
         – Worst: Hired Leeman Bennett as coach.

1986 – Best: Drafted punter Tommy Barnhardt in the ninth round.
          – Worst: Drafted and did not sign Bo Jackson.

1987 – Best – Fired Leeman Bennett as coach.
         – Worst – Hired Ray Perkins as coach.

1988 – Best: Drafted Paul Gruber No. 1.
          – Worst: Drafted Lars Tate No. 2.

1989 – Best: Traded former first-rounder Ron Holmes for a fourth-round pick.

           – Worst: Traded a No. 3 for Stephen Starring, who never started a game.

1990 – Best: Drafted Tony Mayberry in fourth round.
             –  Worst: Traded No. 1 pick for Colts' quarterback Chris Chandler.

1991 – Best: Drafted receiver Lawrence Dawsey No. 3.
           –   Worst: Drafted tackle Charles McRae No. 1.

1992 – Best: Fired Richard Williamson as head coach.
           – Worst: Let kicker Steve Christie go in Plan B.

1993 – Best: Drafted John Lynch No. 3.
           – Worst: Drafted Eric Curry No. 1.

1994 Best:  Bucs name Rich McKay general manager.
           – Worst: Drafted Trent Dilfer No. 1.

1995 – Best: Drafted Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, both of whom would be in the Hall of Fame.
           – Worst: Signed receiver Alvin Harper as a free agent.

1996 – Best: Hired Tony Dungy as head coach.
          – Worst:  Drafted Regan Upshaw No. 1.

1997 – Best: Drafted Ronde Barber No. 3.
           – Worst : Drafted Reidel Anthony No. 1.

1998 – Best: Drafted Brian Kelly No. 2.
           – Worst: Drafted Jacquez Green No. 2.

1999 – Best: Drafted Dexter Jackson, safety, in round four.
           – Worst: Drafted Booger McFarland No. 1.

2000 – Best: Traded for Keyshawn Johnson.
            – Worst: Team let go of Hardy Nickerson.

2001 – Best: Signed Brad Johnson and Simeon Rice.
          – Worst: Traded up to draft Kenyatta Walker.

2002 – Best: Hired Jon Gruden.
          – Worst:  Fired Tony Dungy

2003 – Best: Signed Earnest Graham as undrafted free agent.
– Worst: Kept Michael Pittman after he drove his car into his wife's.

2004 – Best – Signed quarterback Brian Griese
– Worst: Replaced Rich McKay with Bruce Allen.

2005 – Best:  (For a while) Drafted Cadillac Williams.
– Worst: No. 3 pick Chris Colmer never played a down.

2006 – Best: Drafted Davin Joseph
– Worst: Signed David Boston.

2007 – Best:  Signed quarterback Jeff Garcia
– Worst: Drafted Sabby Piscitelli

2008 –Best : Resigned running back Warrick Dunn
  – Worst : Flirted with trading for Brett Favre

2009 – Best:  Signed undrafted Michael Bennett
 – Worst: Fired Jon Gruden.

2010 – Best: Drafted Gerald McCoy.
– Worst: Traded a No. 2 and No. 5 for Kellen Winslow

2011 –Best: Even at age 36, re-signed Ronde Barber.
           – Worst: Claimed Albert Haynesworth off waivers.

2012 – Best: Fired Raheem Morris.
           – Worst: Hired Greg Schiano.

2013 – Best: Traded for Darrelle Revis.
           – Worst:  MRSA outbreak in locker room.

2014 – Best: Fired Greg Schaino
           –  Worst:  Hired Lovie Smith as coach.

2015 – Best: Drafted Jameis Winston
          – Worst: Traded for George Johnson.

2016 – Best: Replaced Lovie Smith with Dirk Koetter.
           – Worst: Lost Logan Mankins to retirement

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Houllis July 29, 2016 at 9:08 am

Ive got a few issues with some of these…
1978- Its fair to say the 79 magic may not happen without Wally Chambers who put it all together with his bum knee to have his last good season in the NFL. 1980 and on? the pick was worthless, but a first round pick gets you 10 points away from Super Bowl?
1979- Gordon Jones was a good receiver, is 34th all time in Bucs receiving yardage, 26th in Touchdowns, 50th is yards per reception.

All the rest were awesome!


Gary Shelton July 29, 2016 at 12:21 pm

I disagree totally on Chambers, who was decent for about eight minutes. He started 18 games in two years, hardly worth the cost of the trade (fourth overall). He wasn’t among the team’s top five tacklers, which mens it’s kind of stretching things, to me, to give him the credit for the Bucs being close to the NFC title (a guy named Selmon played on that line). The Bucs would have been better served to stay put and draft Dan Hampton, a far superior tackle. They even could have traded down and taken Marty Lyons 14th and picked up another draft choice.

Jones was, in the words of Bill Parcells, just a guy. Averaged less than 20 catches a year during his time in the NFL.

My opinions, of course.


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