Marpet Retires, What Now?

Losing Tom Brady is one thing. Losing Tom Brady along with a Pro Bowl offensive lineman is making Antonio Brown prancing off the field ..look like the “good ol’ days!!” Here’s the thing. The Buccaneers never had to worry about Marpet. He was as dependable as humidity in summer. Marpet was a major reason the Buccaneers had developed one of the top offensive lines in football. Marpet worked incredibly well with center Ryan Jensen and his presence improved the play of left tackle Donovan Smith – and that ain’t no easy task.

But losing Marpet out-of-the-blue to retirement at 28, during a major transition year for this franchise, hurts every bit as much as losing Brady. Quite honestly, NFL team execs viewed Marpet as a foundational piece of the Buccaneers. Marpet wasn’t the Goat, but he sure built a moat around whomever was playing quarterback for the Buccaneers.

Now what?

Say this ..It put money into Jensen’s pocket along with fellow free agent Alex Cappa.

Can you imagine a Buccaneer rebuild that would include the entire interior of the Buccaneer offensive line along with Brady??

Going into this off season, the Buccaneers maintained they still had the pieces of a Super Bowl contender. Now, losing Brady and Marpet along with Jensen and Cappa as free agents, the Buccaneers aren’t that much better than the rest of the NFC South. And that doesn’t even count re-tooling one of the most disappointing defenses in pro football.

Granted, the Buccaneers could find something of a replacement in the draft. Yet, the Buccaneers needed to use the #27 overall pick on a cornerback, defensive lineman, wide receiver or maybe the top running back in the draft.

Not an interior offensive lineman.

This is like losing a ton of money on your Bitcoin investment only to discover you’ve also received a certified letter from the IRS.

Not this. Not now.

You have to admire Marpet. This year alone, he walked away from at least $10-mill, all because he wanted to be healthy the rest of his life. This league is built upon players chasing money and gambling with future health.

I had no doubt Jason Licht could pull off a move to pull in a big-name quarterback. Now if you add rebuilding the Bucs offensive line along with the majority of their defense, that Buccaneer Super Bowl window maybe paned with bulletproof glass.

Would Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson want to quarterback behind a completely overhauled Buccaneer offensive line? Chances are, Licht will use Marpet’s salary to re-up Jensen and Cappa. Yet, you still have to replace your most consistent element of your offensive line, along with Brady and that defense.

Is this the time to simply begin a teardown? If you can’t win it all, do you re-tool for a 10-win team? It is amazing how one day in late February and completely change the direction of an NFL franchise.