Snaps Lost: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The “Snaps Lost” series is a detailed look at the playing time void created by players that have left each team this offseason, whether they were traded, cut, left in free agency, or retired.
Because each unit plays a different number of snaps over the course of the year, we have created the “Full Time Equivalent” metric. FTE is the total number of missing snaps divided by the number of plays the team ran on that side of the ball. This is an equivalent measure of how many full time players (100% snap count) the team would need to add on to make up for their offseason losses, even though very few players actually play a full snap count.
For example, if a team had 1,100 snaps on offense and then lost seven players who combined to play 2,200 snaps, their FTE would be 2.0 (2,200/1,100). This ensures that a team who lost a high volume of players only has a high FTE if those players racked up some significant playing time. FTE can only fall between zero (no players left the team) and 11 (fire everyone!) for each side of the ball.
Each team will have a ranking following their FTE, with the first-ranked team in each category (offense, defense, and total) representing the team with the smallest portion of their playing time in need of replacement.
A few caveats before getting into the good stuff:
-Suspensions and injuries that may limit 2015 snap counts are not considered.
-Biggest Losses are purely in terms of snap count, not necessarily in terms of impact.
-All snap counts are Regular Season only.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Overall FTE Lost: 4.95, 13th
FTE Lost: 1.64, 6th
Biggest Losses: Josh McCown (644), Anthony Collins (643)
Summary – After a brilliant but brief stretch in 2013 for the Bears, McCown regressed back to the level of play he had shown in the past, earning a grade of -2.0 or lower in over half of his games this past season. Collins looked nothing like the player he was in Cincinnati, resulting in his release just one year into a lucrative five-year deal, and the 29-year-old tackle has generated little interest on the free agent market.
Replacement Plan – The Buccaneers are one of the few teams that are well prepared to deal with their offensive losses. With the top pick in the 2015 draft, Tampa Bay took Jameis Winston, and even if he struggles some in his rookie season hecould still provide an upgrade over the departed McCown. Likewise, the Bucs selected Donovan Smith early in the second round, and he’ll likely start at one of the tackle spots with Demar Dotson manning the opposite side.
FTE Lost: 3.31, 21st
Biggest Losses: Dashon Goldson (804), Michael Johnson (648), Mason Foster (572), Mark Barron (481), Dane Fletcher (358), Da’Quan Bowers (352)
Summary – Their losses on defense are more plentiful, though it should be noted that none of the six players above graded positively for the 2014 season. Since arriving from San Francisco in 2013, Goldson has struggled to be effective in his new surroundings. Like Collins, the team bailed on Johnson after just one season as his play fell off a cliff — he’s headed back to Cincinnati this season to rebuild his value. Foster and Fletcher together vacate the snaps of one full-time player, and each signed a cheap one-year deal to play elsewhere next year, Fletcher with the Patriots and Foster with the Bears. Despite his draft status, Barron was traded to St. Louis mid-season for a couple of late-round picks. Bowers is also out after four mostly forgettable years in Tampa.
Replacement Plan – There’s no shortage of options at safety to replace Goldson and Barron, though few of them inspire a lot of confidence. Major Wright and Bradley McDougald each played somewhere in the range of 500 snaps last year, and if either gets a starting job they could add another 500 more snaps in 2015. Both Chris Conte and D.J. Swearinger were brought aboard and at the very least should increase competition at the position. Johnson and Bowers vacate the equivalent of one full time player, and while they added George Johnson from Detroit, a more realistic option is an increase in playing time from guys like William Gholston, Larry English, and Jacquies Smith. Tampa added Bruce Carter from the Cowboys to fill the hole at linebacker, and there’s always the possibility that Danny Lansanah (+6.1) sees more play time this season.