Bucs Will Have Cash To Spend In Free Agency
February 13, 2013 at 12:41am by Scott • 11 Comments »
According to Mark Dominik, the Bucs should be active in free agency again this offseason.
Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson and former Pro Bowl left guard Carl Nicks agreed to rework their contracts in a way that turned the majority of their 2013 salaries into guaranteed bonuses.
“That has actually opened a lot of cap room for us going into 2013 – a tremendous amount,” Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. “We’ve got a chance to be (heavily) involved in free agency again.
In prior years, the Bucs being “heavily involved” in the March Madness that is free agency meant they scooped up about 40 undrafted free agents. But after last season, there’s a whole new optimism about the Bucs in free agency. Jackson was a home run, Nicks was great while he was healthy and Eric Wright had his moments but was mostly a disappointment. So Dominik is clicking at about 50% on his high-ticket items, which I don’t think is too bad. Maybe in some cases you really do get what you pay for.
“But we also have a chance to try to retain this nucleus of players. So (the contract restructuring) was a big commitment that our owners made and I think that should be encouraging for all fans about our football team.”
Michael Bennett seems like a no-brainer. Roy Miller is iffy, but I thought he got better as the season went on. Then again, you can’t be 29th in the league in sacks and be completely happy with the play of the defensive line. They may let Miller walk, but who do they replace him with? Seriously, I can’t find anyone better at nose who is coming up on free agency. Someone may be cut, but the crop I’m looking at now aren’t going to beat Miller at that position. As far as other guys: The team can improve on Jeremy Trueblood, so I expect them to let him test the market and maybe bring him back at a reasonable price. LeGarrette Blount is probably gone, which is a shame but you can’t argue with the success of Doug Martin. If I were them I’d keep Dallas Clark since Luke Stocker has been somewhat disappointing (I hate to say that) and Nate Byham is primarily a blocker. But Clark wasn’t all that big a contributor last year. I guess my question is what nucleus is Dominik talking about that needs to be re-signed? Maybe he means guys that are still under contract through 2013 but expire soon thereafter.
The Bucs’ major positions of need are cornerback, right tackle, free safety and kick returner. This is a deep draft for tackles, so I’m probably getting my right tackle in the first or second round this year. Maybe make a run at Brent Grimes for corner. He was injured on the franchise tag for Atlanta, but I think he bounces back, plus you weaken a division rival. Free safety is tough, but Louis Delmas is probably the guy I go after. Yes, he was injured too, and if both Grimes and Delmas got hurt in 2013, I’d be a huge dumbass. But finding guys without injuries is rare and neither of their injuries are what I would call chronic. For a kick returner, Danny Woodhead is good and can also be a change of pace back who is completely the opposite of Blount.
Now that I go back and re-read this, a lot of it doesn’t make sense. But it’s 12:30 and I’m tired, so there you go. Feel free to take your shots.