Pat McAfee has established himself as one of the fastest rising stars in sports media since his abrupt retirement from the NFL in 2017. He has a highly-successful podcast, on-field analyst gigs on several broadcasts and has been mentioned a possible booth option for future NFL broadcasts.
Then the former Pro-Bowl punter went and tweeted about possibly joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and people on Twitter lost their minds.
Over the last few weeks, the Bucs have gone from an NFL afterthought to the hottest hot spot this side of the sun. Tom Brady signed with them in free agency and Rob Gronkowski unretired and was traded to the Bucs yesterday. Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Percy Harvin also expressed an interest in coming out of retirement to play with Brady and, with a star-studded offense that also features wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, it's easy to see why seemingly everyone wants to sign with them.
The issue for McAfee is the Bucs don't need a punter.
The Bucs signed former 49ers punter Bradley Pinion to a four-year, $11 million deal in March with $3.6 million in guaranteed money, making him the sixth-highest paid punter in the NFL. If they cut him, they'll eat $3.6 million in dead cap space this year, far too much for a team to swallow on a punter.
Beyond the money, he's also a quality punter and kickoff man, which was a critical element to the Bucs signing him. He had a 71.3 percent touchback rate as a kicker and, as a punter, he averaged 43.7 gross yards per punt and had 114 punts inside the 20 against 14 touchbacks over his four years with the 49ers.
While it's fun for McAfee to joke about joining the Bucs, the reality is they already have their guy and McAfee already has his jobs. He likely wouldn't want to give up his daily podcast, nor the momentum he's built as an NFL analyst.
Sorry to be the one to break it to the over 68.8K people who liked McAfee's tweet, but that's the reality as it stands now.