Don’t Get Excited About Free Agents

April 17th, 2011

No matter what Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik says, no matter that free agency is fool’s gold proven annually by the Steelers and the Packers and the Redskins and the Cowboys, many Bucs fans simply won’t listen or learn.

They want Dominik to sign the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha and any other big name free agent they happen to see on NFL Network. (Don’t have NFL Network? Then what OBGYN do you frequent?)

In a recent question-and-answer feature on, Tampa Tribune Bucs beat reporter Woody Cummings once again reminds fans that Dominik simply isn’t going to sign heavy-salaried free agents.

Q: So now that the Bucs have put up 10 wins, what will they do now? Use free agency, the draft or trade? Will the Glazers put up the money finally?

DJ Halo, Pacoima, Calif.

A: Look for the Bucs to continue to operate the way they have in recent years. That means building primarily through the draft, trading to acquire more draft picks and dabbling in free agency. And why shouldn’t they continue to operate that way? It’s worked out for them, hasn’t it?

— Woody Cummings

Now while Joe believes Dominik is going about it the right way — Joe had an epiphany to this philosophy after watching the Steelers go about business the past 15 years or so and reading a feature on Packers general manager Ted Thompson on while traveling to Super Bowl media day in Dallas this February — Joe doesn’t believe when the new CBA is signed that Dominik will completely turn up his nose at free agents, he will just be cost conscious.

Take Sean Jones for example. Seeing that Sabby the Goat had more business grazing on a farm than playing NFL football, Dominik signed Jones who provided solid if not steady play at safety, which turned out to be greatly needed when Tanard Jackson got popped and Cody Grimm was injured.

It is players like Jones that Dominik would likely target. Just not the Christmas list many Bucs fans have.

21 Responses to “Don’t Get Excited About Free Agents”

  1. Weneeddefense Says:

    The draft should always be before free agency imo. That way, you draft what the heck you need to build on… not BPA.

    In fact, free agents would make more money if it happened post draft… as that would be the last chance to improve the team, they would get desparate and throw some serious coin at the guys.

  2. Snook Says:

    Fact is, the Bucs are going to have to do something once a new CBA is put in place. A ceiling floor will force the Bucs to spend a lot of money somewhere… either in new contracts for current players or free agents.

  3. Jamie Says:

    As long as it’s working, I’m not going to complain. However, if the salary cap floor is brought back (read: very likely), the Bucs will be obligated to spend a lot of money to make it there. I don’t know the exact figure required, but I think it would make sense to sign a big-name free agent like Asomugha with that money, if they’re gonna have to spend it anyway.

  4. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Weneeddefense Says:

    April 17th, 2011 at 11:01 am
    The draft should always be before free agency imo. That way, you draft what the heck you need to build on… not BPA.

    In fact, free agents would make more money if it happened post draft… as that would be the last chance to improve the team, they would get desparate and throw some serious coin at the guys.

    I have to say, I agree with you. I think it would be beneficial to the players AND the teams…address what you can in the draft and you will be more apt to fill in the holes with Free Agency afterward.

    This is nothing new to the Bucs though…they have been getting most of their free agents post draft for decades now, with only a few exceptions.

  5. Patrick Says:

    You can’t just expect a repeat of last year’s draft every single time. That’s unrealistic! And who knows that last year’s draft is really that great yet? I think Benn and Williams were the only ones that made an impact last year, but none of the others made any noise as far as I’m concerned.

    There’s no excuse for us not getting a big name player or two out of free agency. Look at our roster. We hardly have any players with big salaries. It’s not like we’re spending a lot of $. Once the CBA issue is resolved, we’re in a good position as far as money goes. I thought that we were supposed to do that once we built our core through the draft?

    Look, we’re about to likely lose our star cornerback Aqib Talib. If we do, and we don’t replace him immediately with another established star CB, we’re screwed big time! Talib was one of the big reasons for our success last year. Take him away and our defense is not the same. If this happens, we need to get Nsamdi Asomaugha (however you spell his name) and make sure we get equal performance from that position that we’ve been getting since 2008 with Talib around.

    Thank god Barber didn’t retire or else we’d definitely be in bad shape.

    We have so many holes on this team. Don’t we want to go the playoffs next year? We came so close last year.

    Assuming Talib isn’t back next year, if we had to choose just ONE position to fill out of FA, it must be cornerback. I don’t think we can afford to take a CB in the first or second round since we already had major needs at DE and LB, so go for Asomougha once the CBA is resolved.

  6. espo Says:

    Benn and Williams were the only ones who made an impact last year? Seriously? Did you watch any Bucs games last year? If you also consider our “2nd draft” also, we had a lot of impact.

  7. Matthew levanduski Says:

    Yeah Nnamdi would be the only player I would feel alright with if we lost Talib. I don’t want to hear about Jo Joseph, Cromartie, their both older and have reached their ceilings, neither of which are as good as Talib currently is (he still hasn’t peaked either). We got solid contributions from Larsen, Blount, Lorig, and McCoy certainly isn’t as bad as some people want to think

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    hey patrick, legarrette blount? cody grimm? ted larsen? any of those names ring a bell? not to mention the other young guys we got good production and playing time from. fling some more sh!t against the wall and see if it sticks.

  9. Bucc Fan In Hawkeye Country Says:

    I don’t think We should go all Washington Redskins in FA but I don’t see how addin Asomugha would be a negative for us. How often is there a chance to sign a top what, 2 position player to ur team. Ha he isn’t exactly Derrick Ward.

  10. Bucc Fan In Hawkeye Country Says:

    Charles Woodson seemed to work out For the Packers if that’s who we’re tryin to “model” ourself after

  11. Bill Says:

    I agree that we should go after Ndami. Even if Talib is back, that gives us 2 SOLID corners and Barber to spell them or cover the a 3rd wide out. 2 starting corners doesn’t get it in this NFL any more, you really need 3. We sign Ndami, Talib (if he is back) and Barber give us 3 starting corners and then we draft one later to groom to replace Barber..

  12. Patrick Says:

    My bad, I forgot about Grimm. I was talking about the draft only, but I didn’t forget about Blount or Larsen of course.

    I think Dominik has done good at drafting and is a good talent evaluator. But you can’t expect every draft to be a repeat of the other. We must dig into FA this year once the CBA is resolved. Do we have to sign everybody out there? Of course not. And I definitely don’t want to give someone an Albert Haynesworth type deal. But if we lose Talib, I think we need to bring Asomougha in. Also I’d love it if we could bring in a proven DE and then get one high in the draft as well. Robert Quinn and Ryan Kerrigan seem like great prospects. Bowers is awesome but I doubt he’ll fall to us.

    Remember that Simeon Rice came from free agency. He turned out to be a huge part of our Super Bowl team. We can still get someone that’s young, productive, and fits the youth movement.

  13. Weneeddefense Says:

    Patrick, nevermind giving rookies 3 years before deeming them successful. Nah, these guys here will have you convinced that Dom has had flawless drafts with perinnial pro bowlers.

    Has any of Doms draft picks made the pro bowl yet? Taken their team to the promise land? Even the playoffs?

  14. Funky Munkey Says:

    The “plan” according to Dom. was to build the team through the draft then sign FA’s to fill in the holes. I think we have accomplished step 1 and hopefully will have another stellar draft to go with the last 2. NOW is the time to sign some solid FA’s.

    I’m not saying they throw Asomougha numbers around but Cromartie or Joseph is not too much to ask for. From a fans perspective. What we don’t get in the draft, Dom. needs to solidify this team through FA’s. Hopefully the Glazers will stop being so frugal and open up a little bit!

  15. Tom Says:

    In typical Joe fashion, if Mark Dominik had success in the past two drafts he will continue to be successful with his drafts from here on out so no need to worry.

    And with all of this guaranteed drafting success ahead of us who would possibly want us to actually go after talented free agents. It’s not like the only championship team in Bucs history was due in large part by the play of free agents like Brad Johnson, Simeon Rice, Keenan McCardell, Joe Jurevicius, Michael Pittman, Ken Dilger, Roman Oben, Kerry Jenkins, Jeff Christy or Greg Spires. I mean, let’s not learn from the facts, let’s perpetuate a myth that exists that successful teams somehow avoid free agency.

  16. espo Says:


    Our Champs went after free agents after they became contenders. They filled voids. Thats exactly what we’re going to do now. Well, maybe not NOW, but soon enough. Our needs will be addressed.

  17. Joe Says:


    In typical Joe fashion, if Mark Dominik had success in the past two drafts he will continue to be successful with his drafts from here on out so no need to worry.

    Joe’s guessing Dominik doesn’t subscribe to the theory of “fix what’s not broken.”

    Feel free to come up with a team that won a Super Bowl via free agency since the Bucs won the Super Bowl but props for reaching back 10 years to prove a point.

    In other news, teams that don’t draft a running back in the first round are committing suicide because the Cowboys won three titles by drafting Emmit Smith in the first round.

    Or maybe the Bucs should sign Chris Weinke off the scrap heap because just such a tactic worked for the Raiders when they acquired a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who was all but out of football and thrown to the curb.

    I mean, let’s not learn from the facts, let’s perpetuate a myth.

    Speaking of perpetuating a myth, feel free to document all those massive free agents the Packers and Steelers have signed. You can add to the list the dozens of free agents the Eagles have signed as well in recent years. Guess Ross Hochstein’s account-busting signing put the Patriots over the top as well?

  18. Weneeddefense Says:

    If the Bucs have the money, which they sure have a lot of cap room, and there are guys that can help this young team win, then they should sign some free agents along the areas of need regardless of the rookies drafted.

    Otherwise, the Glazers don’t care about winning this year YET AGAIN! Thus, it would be a complete waste of money to buy ticket this season.

    In fact, don’t buy tickets again until the Glazers buy free agents when they already have your money. I repeat, DO NOT buy tickets until the tight wads care about winning. By ignoring the last few pieces to get them over the top, means that they are ignoring their fans and don’t car about winning now. But they sure want your money so they can line their pockets.

  19. Funky Munkey Says:

    It is common knowledge to all those teams you just mentioned. Draft players ready to contribute instantly to your team and “resign” key players on your team. They also go out and sign FA’s as well.

    Thats how a succesful team opperates, and according to Dom. two years ago. how we are going to opperate. I think we have built our core and hopefully this draft will get us atleast 3-4 solid players. But, it is time to spend some money on say a CB, LB, and maybe WR depending on who is available this offseason.

  20. Tom Says:

    Well Joe, can I go back like….one year or is that too far?

    Let’s look at the New Orleans Saints Acquired as Free Agents and contributed to 2009

    Drew Brees (kinda important right?), Darren Sharper (seemed to help?), Jonathan Vilma (not big enough of a signing?), Scott Fujita, Scott Shanle, Jonathan Goodwin (started all season), Anthony Hargrove, Jabari Greer (3 INTs in the postseason), Mike McKenzie, David Thomas

    So the question you need to ask yourself Joe…do the Saints even make the playoffs without a big ticket free agent like Brees, or did you black out that year?

  21. Joe Says:

    OK, you got Joe. He forgot about the Saints.

    Guess Dan Rooney is a dope after all. 🙁