Freeman, GMC Prevent Bucs Free Agent Frenzy

February 13th, 2012

Josh Freeman's contract may partially prevent Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik from making it rain for free agents.

Joe loves his loyal readers but not always do Joe’s loyal readers love him.

Just last night a reader kept Twittering Joe to write about some element of the salary cap. This issue bores Joe to death for a number of reasons.

One, writing about the salary cap is akin to writing about tax law. Second, the subject bores Joe to death. Third, spending does not equate wins. It just doesn’t.

Therefore, Joe skips the subject as much as possible.

Now Joe also knows that fans are angry with Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik because he won’t make it rain during any free agent period. That is also likely to continue this offseason, says ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas, partly thanks to quarterback Josh Freeman and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, so Yasinskas wrote in his weekly NFC South chat.

Dr. H. Doofenshmirtz (Tri-State Area)

The Bucs have all kinds of money to spend. Do you see them going after one of the big names (M. Williams, D. Jackson) in free agency?

Pat Yasinskas

Once again, let me say it: Bucs will be more aggressive in free agency this year. But that doesn’t mean they’re going on a free-agent frenzy. They could sign one big guy, but I suspect more mid-level guys. Also, yeah, they’ve got some cap room, but it’s not as much as it’s been in past years. The Freeman and McCoy contracts are starting to get in their prime years and are taking up a lot of space.

This is why Freeman needs to turn things around quick and GMC needs to stay on the field so both of them can justify their contracts.

Joe will write about this later this week, maybe this afternoon if he has a chance, Bill Polian was recently hired by SiriusXM NFL Radio is blowing Joe away by all the knowledge he is dropping. He believes there is such a glut of free agents this year (600+) that even he, an anti-free agent guy himself, would be tempted to dabble because, in Polian’s words, it will be a “buyer’s market” for talent this offseason.

31 Responses to “Freeman, GMC Prevent Bucs Free Agent Frenzy”

  1. Matthew Says:

    Am I missing something Joe or is Yasinkas just uniformed…
    Gerald McCoy Signed a five-year, $63.42 million contract. The deal contains $35 million guaranteed, including a one-time guaranteed roster bonus of $12 million in the second year. 2011: $873,750, 2012: $1,447,500, 2013: $2,021,250, 2014: $2.595 million, 2015: Free Agent

    We already paid his big bonus money last year & his 2012 Salary is only a couple mil and we’ve already about half of his guaranteed money. How is that big money?!?!

    Freeman: 7/30/2009: Signed a five-year, $26 million contract. The deal includes $10.245 million guaranteed. Another $10 million is available through incentives. 2012: $6.585 million, 2013: $8.43 million, 2014: Free Agent

    Freeman’s contract even as it escalates is still dirt cheap compared to most “starting” NFL QBs. Is Pat just looking for nonsense to write about??! He seems way off here on his #’s assessment.

  2. Brad Says:

    We don’t need a frenzy. A couple of solid proven veteran leaders ala Hardy Nickerson is all we ever needed. It serves two needs. It helps the young helps the owners where the fans aren’t calling them cheap. ( maye it’s the fans it helps more). Regardless there is enough money available to pay gmc, freeman, and 2-3 solid FA . If the pop star can’t do all 3 with the amount of money he has to play with then he shouldn’t be a GM.

  3. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    When is Pat not “off”??? But I agree. Why pay for Mario Williams of DJ?? Just the contract for one of those guys could get us 2 or 3 really good starters. I say no to the “big” FAs. But there is a ton of guys out there we could use and for reasonable contracts.

    Jonathon Vilma, Kelvin Hayden, Brandon Merriweather, Michael Griffin, Eric Wright, and maybe 100 more good players. Those are just a couple of the top of my head.

    We need atleast 5 good FAs and another 5 solid FA players. We have a ton of players who wouldn’t make most teams practice squads. Time to dismantle the team again and start over with our young core. Atleast this time its not a complete rebuild!!

  4. Jessup Says:

    It isn’t tax law. It’s rather simple. We are roughly $28M under next year’s cap. Last year we were $25M under the cap and we are allowed to role that entire $25M over to this year, giving us $53M to spend. When you subtract Haynesworth and Faine’s contract from the roster, that number becomes $68M. So we have roughly $70M we could spend this year if the Glazers chose too. I’m not making this up. It’s fact. Look it up, there are many articles floating around about it. We could sign many top tier guys this year if we wanted too. We could even front load the contracts to it doesn’t hurt us down the road.

  5. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    Freeman isn’t making big money, well below average for a starting NFl quarterback. McCoy had a pretty big contract but that happens when you pick third in the draft. My point is we can still shell out enough for Curtis Lofton, Cortland Finnegan, Laron Landry, and any receiver out there. I just don’t think Dominik has the skills to get these guys to sign.

  6. Fatmosh Says:

    Complete BS.

    Everything Jessup says is true.

    The truth is, nothing will prevent the Bucs from signing the top 2-3 free agents, if they so desired.

  7. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Jessup, why would we cut Faine from the roster without a good replacement for him…who might actually cost us more money?

    And don’t say we move Zuttah over…the man has not been consistent at all at any position, so why would anyone assume he would suddenly start being so now?

    10 Free Agents? You need to pinch yourself because clearly you are dreaming. At least try to be realistic.

    And just name that “ton” of players. Off the top of my head, I could say:
    T Jackson

    I think the rest are free agents, aren’t they? I’m not sure myself.

    Freeman, Benn, Williams, GMC, Price, Bennett, Clayborn, Bowers, Foster, Parker, Blount, Joseph, Penn, Faine, Zuttah and a number of others should all remain for at least one more year…some much more.

  8. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Lost another post. I have never had this much trouble here. I don’t even use html anymore and I still get spammed. Making it might frustrating.

  9. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Nothing except other teams competing for those players and the personal preferences of those players.

  10. Matthew Says:

    I’m not one of those (fantasy football/madden) fans screaming about (65mil in cap space) because that is fool’s gold. The rolled over space (everyone keeps screaming about) is only good for a short time essentially making it like a balloon payment on a teaser rate mortgage. If you spend that 65 mil now, you’ll likely have to cut guys later, not have money to resign our young guys Freeman, Claiborne, ect.

    Our true cap is closer to around 38mil in space which is still a ton of money and more then enough to add one marquee FA and two mid-level starters. Smart measured spending is what we need. Any 3 type player combo of a FA speed WR, speed RB, MLB, and a CB I think would set us up nicely, and allow us to draft for depth/best player available in April.

  11. Northend Says:

    joe,although i normally drink the JBF kool aid i do disagree with you on spending does not equal wins.yesterday i believe PFT listed top 5 teams with money to spend(bucs,rams,browns,etc)your bottom dwellers,top6 with very little cap room(because they have gamers)were all playoff teams(texans,ravens,det,gmen,etc) so wouldnt that mean spend to win???

  12. Matthew Says:

    Northend…yes & no. Most of the top teams you listed re-sign their homegrown talent to long term deals. Guys they signed as rookie FAs or drafted. Texans resigning Andre Johnson to a big deal, cushing, schaub, ect. all guys they developed/drafted. Very few bring in mega-marquee FA’s to big deals. Det drafted C. Johnson, Stafford, Suh, Avril, ect Gmen are a classic example Cruz, Nicks, Eli, Jacobs, JPP, Osi, Tuck They develop talent then sign it to long term big deals.

    That’s not to say they don’t bring in a key FA or two to build depth or put them over the top. I think that is Joe’s point (which I agree with); the bucs need to add a few key pieces in FA but not try to overhaul the whole team with pricey FA’s ala the failed Washington Redskin experiment that happens every year!

  13. Northend Says:

    matt,i do see your point and we just dont draft enough studs!!look like tarzan , play like jane.

  14. Fatmosh Says:

    @Pete Dutcher Well, of course. We can’t force the players to come here and won’t be able to convince them that we’ll win.

    The truth is that it’s going to take a few years of winning to convince some players that this is a stable place for their career. Until then, we might have to overpay by a few bucks to change peoples minds. Which doesn’t seem extremely likely.

  15. eric Says:

    And the annual free agency inaction excuses are starting early this year.


    After the total dissaster folks still buy into the “plan” “saving our money to re-sign our awesome draft choices who get their butts kicked on a weekly basis” BS.


  16. jvato24 Says:

    Why do people think Jon Vilma is a FA ??? He’s not.

    Maybe the Saints threaten to cut him … and maybe he restructures so he can try to win another SuperBowl.

    For everyone with their dream FA lists.

    #1 50% of the top-mid tier guys will be off the market by FA start.
    #2 The remainder of guys may have a spot where they want to be,
    Finnegan for example may go to Detroit or St Louis to re-up with old
    coaches and system familiarity.

    Then the top FA left is a mid-tier FA wanting top-tier money.

  17. eric Says:

    Somehow, someway, due to circumstances completely beyond their control, the Glazer Boys will end up with one of the lowest payrolls in the league – just like the last five years.

    An amazing set of unforseen circumstances derailing their best efforts to spend money – only to be thwarted yet again.

    Im beginning to understand that sheep just don’t learn.

  18. Vic Says:

    Ronde and Faine out = One top-5 free agent at his position. Add one more and the Bucs raised payroll 10 to 15 percent and satisfied everyone.

  19. Patrick Says:

    We need free agents this offseason. Hello, did anyone see how $hitty this team was last year?

    If they continue with this no free agent $h!t again this offseason, I will officially be the biggest Mark Dominick hater around.

  20. HFXBUC Says:

    I have to say Joe is way off, as in amateur hour off. Look at the numbers and you will notice a trend, the more you pay a player the better they are. Exhibit A: Tom Brady….he was awful his first couple of years then Bob Kraft decided that he should give Tom Brady more money…POW! A superstar is born. Then this year Kraft didn’t pay him enough and BaPOW! a Superbowl loss! FA’s never bomb if you pay them enough…it’s the cheapness of the Glazers that are holding our players back…Pay Benn more and ABRACADABRA he didn`t blow out his knee, Give Blount a 5-6 million per year and Kazaam he knows the playbook! Spend big money on Pierre Garcon and his bad hangs and CHIGA! he’s the second coming of Stick’em! I’m not making this up, it’s scientific fact. If you don’t believe me as some who agrees and they will tell you I’m right.

  21. Buc Neckid Says:

    Nobody caught that the original Question to Pat Yasinskas came from Dr. H. Doofenschmirtz in the Tri-State Area.
    Nobody knows who Phineas and Ferb are?
    You guys must not have any Disney aged Kids in the House.
    Oh well…
    Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz must be working on a “FreeAgentAnator” for the Bucs.

  22. jvato24 Says:

    Perry the platypus is going to Screw US

  23. BamBamBuc Says:

    eric – the 5 years previous to the cheap years saw the team fighting cap issues every year. One year was the Super Bowl win. The other 4 bought us nothing at all, and lost us some key players like Sapp, Lynch, etc. It’s not good to be at (or over) the cap any more than it’s good to be at the bottom. Good management of the cap is key, regardless of whether it’s FAs or home grown talent.

    HFX – I hope that was pure sarcasm. We’ve all seen how well Washington did throwing $100M at Haynesworth. Michael Clayton didn’t BANG become good when he got a $5M a year contract. How is Kevin Kolb panning out for Arizona (I know, trade, not FA)? Randy Moss going back to the Vikings from the Patriots? or to the Titans? CJ2K sure blew it up after getting his big payday (not that he won’t, but he didn’t look very good at all this season). Big paydays rarely lead to great performance. Tom Brady came in as a 7th rnd draft choice and was forced to play when Bledsoe got hurt. He took them to a Super Bowl that year. Without the big money. So, I’m really hoping that was sarcasm on your part….

  24. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Joe, it amazes me that you keep up with the worn-out theory that spending does not equate to wins. This past season the top five spending teams all made the playoffs, whereas the bottom five only had one team make the playoffs and that team was the Broncos which was a fluke since they played in such a terrible division (and they had a mediocre record, too).

    Over time the same phenomenon plays out, too. Look at the top five spending teams for each season over the last 20 years and compare them to the bottom five each season for the same period and you’ll see what I mean. More playoff appearances for the top five each year over the course of time. So why don’t we stop with the Glazer cheapskate defenses already?

  25. BamBamBuc Says:

    FLBoy – that’s just not true. I just looked up the first year that popped up for salary numbers, which was 09-10. Here it is…

    Top 5
    Giants $138M 8-8 3rd in NFCE No playoffs
    Dolphins $126M 7-9 3rd in AFCE No playoffs
    Texans $122M 9-7 2nd in NFCS No playoffs
    Saints $121M 13-3 1st in NFCS Super Bowl champs
    Bears $120 M 7-9 3rd in NFCN No playoffs

    Bottom 5
    Chiefs $81M 4-12 4th in AFCW
    Bucs $84M 3-13 4th in NFCS
    Seahawks $89M 5-11 3rd in NFCW
    Cowboys $90M 11-5 1st in NFCE Playoffs
    Bengals $93M 10-6 1st in AFCN Playoffs

    So, it’s pretty easy to see that 2 of 5 bottom cap teams made the playoffs and only one top 5 team made the playoffs. I’m not going to look at all 20 of the past years to see, but spending money doesn’t automatically equate to playoffs or playoff wins.

  26. BamBamBuc Says:

    Just checked one more year, just to be sure. 2008…. same results. 2 of the bottom 5 payroll teams made the playoffs (the Ravens even reached the AFC championship game) and the Patriots missed the playoffs with an 11-5 record and were also in the bottom 5. The top 5 had one team in the playoffs, the 10-6 Vikings.

  27. BamBamBuc Says:

    One last note on payroll and wins… Going into the 2011 season, the Vikings and Rams were two of the highest payrolls ($123.5 and 121.8 respectively). Both those teams pick before us in the upcoming draft. That should give a good indication about how much being at the salary cap equates to wins. 2 of the top 5 payrolls in the league totaled 5 wins combined this past year.

  28. patrickbucs Says:

    @ Jessup

    He’s right on here about the cap and cap numbers, plenty of articles on the cap on other well know sites. Cutting some other guys and their numbers I’m not sure.

    BamBam.. I’ve never heard of anyone seemingly argue against bringing in quality free agents on a team with a 10 game losing streak.. kinda of weird to me. The only teams 2 teams that have been good for a decade or so that DON”T bring in free agents are the Steelers and Colts. Check their draft records, especially the Steelers to see why they don’t need to. Then look at the Bucs. Most teams inluding the Saints, Pats, Giants and hell even the Lions the past 2 years have signed a ton of free agents to bring themselves back to life. They don’t need to blow huge money on anyone just for the sake of doing so but they better do something.

    The Bucs need 2-3 quality starters at corner, #1 wr, at least 2 starters at lb, proven depth on all d-line positions, a 3 down back (through the draft or free agency), a TE with speed, a starting right tackle.

    The Glazers have lot so many fans in this area by not simply showing that they care about winning on this side of the pond and the cap numbers show it. I’m not renewing my season tickets for a 14th consecutive year or so until I see what March brings.. for some reason my 5-6 email replies and 3 talks to their ticketing staff and they still can’t figure this out!

  29. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m not arguing against bringing in FAs at all. Never once did I say “don’t bring in any FAs”. What I argued was that it’s ridiculous to correlate wins with salary spendings. Most of the teams that make the playoffs are somewhere between the top 5 and bottom 5. Is it a good idea to stay in the bottom 5? Probably not, as only about 1/3 of playoff teams fall in the top/bottom 5. Looks like it’s best to be somewhere in the middle. Having cap room, but spending more than the minimum.

    So, do I think we should bring in some FAs? Absolutely. I just don’t see breaking the bank on FAs (like Philly did last year with Asomugha who didn’t perform near the contract he got last year). I’d rather see us look at the 2-5 players. Don’t pull the top guy for the most money. Go after the Jonathon Joseph types. The 2nd best free agent at the position for less money and typically better production.

    This year that would probably mean to avoid guys like Finnegan or Grimes at CB, and maybe go after a guy like Brandon Carr who was overshadowed by Brandon Flowers at KC, but is on the verge of being a #1 CB in the league and only 26 years old. He’ll probably come a bit cheaper than Grimes or Finnegan, and still have a lot of motivation to perform.

    Maybe look at a Mike Wallace over Vincent Jackson or Dwayne Bowe. Maybe Dan Connor or Erin Anderson at LB instead of Tulloch or Jackson. Tyvon Branch over LaRon Landry? I think there are many players to look at that aren’t the “biggest name” on the list or the recent Pro Bowl player that are all solid additions with many years ahead and possibly smaller paychecks. I’m all about winning, but run the business too…. don’t overpay the employees or you’ll have to lay them off sooner rather than later.

  30. jvato24 Says:

    I think BAMBAM is just saying … SPENDING Big bucks clearly doesnt equate to wins.

    you HAVE to get VALUE. At the end of the day there is only so much value in the FA pool. Last season, Jon Joseph was one guy I wouldnt have minded the Bucs going for.

    There are more Busts in FA every year than Hits.

  31. patrickbucs Says:

    @Bam and @jvato24

    I think most intelligent fans of any team would agree with what you both just said and I would agree as well. The problem most fans (me included) have is that the Glazers have mostly been sitting on the sidelines during free agency the last 7 years or so and have been relying on the draft. That cheap and failed strategy has produced one fluky 10 win season and zero playoff wins and 3 top 5 overall picks in the draft.

    We still need to see who actually is a free agent when the market opens up in March. Were at the point where very few of these core current Bucs can be counted on to be much more then good to very good until we see otherwise. This is years 3 and 4 for most of the “core” usually a put up or cut year.

    Yes there is a lot of busts in free agency so to in the draft.. look at our lb’s and secondary outside of a few to prove that. I hope for the best as a huge Bucs fan, just want the Glazers to prove to everyone they truly want to win.