Dear players, it really is a business. –

Trust. Loyalty. The respect.

That was former head coach Bucco Bruce Arians’ mantra to his players, the key to a successful team. But have the newly retired Arians stuck to his core belief in recent weeks?

And if not, then why not?

Joe is busy tonight putting the pieces of a confusing Buccaneers puzzle together, made worse by the fact that Joe has just spent three days at NFL owners’ meetings diving into all things Bucs with team officials. and mingle with almost everyone important in the industry.

Almost every power hitter was in the NFL Media house: Jay Glazer, Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport, etc., to owners, head coaches, general managers and top executives. Still, the Bucs have walked through convention clinging to their secret that Arians is retiring – unless they really don’t know and are just peddling a fluffy story tonight to cover up a different truth. .

Raw honesty and candid communication aren’t in anyone’s job description when it comes to being a team official in the NFL. Lying and misdirection are part of the game. Joe understands that. It’s like politics. It’s funny. Occasionally.

However, Joe has seen club officials around the NFL get angry when the media is wrong or has an opinion they don’t agree with. Ironic!

Joe is not angry. The NFL is a business. But Joe must be wondering tonight if all the free agents the Bucs were recruiting to return in 2022 have been played. Were they told Arians was likely to quit, as it seems Team Glazer and General Manager Jason Licht had known about it for months?

If not, these players have not received the trust, loyalty and respect of the organization.

Simply put, these players deserved to know their head coach’s status so they could make a decision accordingly.

Maybe giving these guys the hard truth wouldn’t have made a fucking difference. But maybe for one it would have changed the decision. After all, Arians is the greatest head coach in franchise history.

If pending free agents weren’t made aware of Arians’ status — and they might not care — then the team could have eroded the organizational trust of smart guys like Ryan Jensen, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and others. It might not matter now, but it certainly could later.

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