TAMPA — Looking to get younger on the offensive line while creating salary cap space, the Bucs are trading guard Shaq Mason to the Texans for a swap of low-round picks.
Tampa Bay sends the 29-year-old Mason and their seventh-round pick — No. 230 overall — to the Texans for their sixth-rounder (No. 179).
The Bucs will save $5.3 million in cap space this year. In addition, it helps them for future years. The Bucs will recoup $1.08 million in space that was counting against the cap each season in 2024, 2025 and 2026.
The Bucs replaced Mason’s roster spot by agreeing on a one-year deal with guard Aaron Stinnie worth as much as $2.5 million. Stinnie, 29, started two playoff games and Super Bowl 55 but missed the 2022 season with torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee that he sustained in a preseason game at Tennessee.
Tuesday’s moves come on the heels of the Bucs reaching a new four-year, $52 million deal with cornerback Jamel Dean.
Mason started all 17 regular-season games for the Bucs at right guard but was part of an offensive line that was the worst in the NFL at running the ball, in yards (1,308) and rushing average (3.4).
Mason is the second offensive lineman the Bucs have parted with this offseason. The team released left tackle Donovan Smith, also 29, last week in a cap-cutting move.
That means the Bucs will have a completely reconfigured offensive line in 2023.
Right tackle Tristan Wirfs could move to left tackle. The Bucs need a right tackle, where Luke Goedeke played at Central Michigan. With center Ryan Jensen back from a devastating knee injury (he started in the wild-card playoff loss to the Cowboys), center Robert Hainsey could move to guard. Nick Leverett started the final 10 games of 2022 at left guard.
The biggest question mark for the team at the moment appears to be whether it can lock up 33-year-old linebacker Lavonte David for potentially the rest of his NFL career.
They also need to sign at least two quarterbacks to compete with Kyle Trask. The Bucs are considered strong contenders to land quarterback Baker Mayfield and they also have an interest in Jacoby Brissett.
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