Bucs’ future depends on the Glazers

by Gary Shelton on February 4, 2023

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Most of the time, it's great to be an NFL owner.

You sit in the nice seats, and you can always walk down to the dressing room. You get free t-shirts, and you park where you darn well please. You try to hire the right guy and step out of the way (unless you're Danny Snyder, then you listen to all the jokes about you).

But, yeah, it can be an important job.

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Like now, when Tom Brady is disappearing in the distance.

Let's face it. As owners, the Glazer clan has always come with mixed reviews. There have been times they didn't pony up in free agency, and there was that time they sued their own fans.

On the other hand, the Glazers paid the price, literally, for Jon Gruden once, and it paid off in a Super Bowl. They went full tilt after Tom Brady and the gang, and it paid off in another Super Bowl. They spent more than anyone would suspect to give Brady what he wanted.

Ah, you ask. But what about now?

It's a good question, because it is the Glazers who will determine how gung ho this team is in pursuit of next season's playoffs with a roster that has some talent, has some age, has some flaws and has a huge price tag on it. Do they try to push their cap hit forward another year and try to win a lousy NFC South? Or do they blow it up, lick their wounds and wait for another "right guy" to push them over the top.

On this side of free agency, who knows?

Yeah, you can argue that the veterans of this team -- Mike Evans and Lavonte David and Ryan Jensen and Chris Godwin -- deserve another shot. You can bring in a Derek Carr or a Baker Mayfield and try to patch your holes.

Or, you can argue that accepting a mediocre season makes sense. You can get out of Cap Hell and see just what you have in Kyle Trask. You can draft another kid, or bring one in in free agency, and limp along to a three- or four-win season and call it payment for the Brady years.

Here's the thing. You don't decide. The Glazers decide. Ownership will dictate just how far this team falls next season.

It isn't always the case. For all of Jerry Jones' love of a microphone, he hasn't done much since Jimmy left the building. I remember telling a San Francisco writer that I thought Eddie DeBartolo deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. He said, no, all Eddie did was hire the right guy. (Which, I think, is part of the point.)

I never wanted an owner to call a play. I never wanted him to give a speech. I wanted him to hire the right guys, follow the right plan, and shake the hands of the team when it wins. Staying out of the way is a lot of the skill of owning a team. That, and having an asbestos Visa card.

Here, however. and now, things are different. We await the white smoke coming from the luxury box.

Your turn, team Glazer.

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