Bucs Will Overpay AgainFebruary 8th, 2013
Fresh off a 7-9 season with emerging young players and Pro Bowlers in their prime, the Bucs are cruising into 2013 free agency with a monster load of cash to spend after restructuring the contracts of Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson, and rolling over about $8 million of cap space into 2013 (a figure NBC put out yesterday).
But former Bucs quarterback Shaun King is not excited. The NFL analyst for NBC Sports Network, and one of three quarterbacks to lead the Bucs to the NFC Championship game, said yesterday that the Bucs’ needs and not a great fit for this offseason and he has no faith in rockstar general manager Mark Dominik.
“I’m going over the free agent list and I’m not that impressed. You know, they’re going to get a guy that’s gonna cost more than he’s worth. Sort of like Eric Wright last year,” King said on WDAE-AM 620 yesterday. “There aren’t a lot of difference-makers at need positions for Tampa. The safeties that are available are just OK. There aren’t any cornerbacks as good as Brandon Carr or Cortland Finnegan. There are some pass rush guys that are going to be there, but they’re going to cost. I just don’t know. I don’t like anything we’ve done so far.
“The one thing the good teams have is continuity. And we’ve changed a lot of coaches. I know Coach [Ron] Turner left to be a head coach, but Josh is going to get another quarterback coach. That’s another philosophy. That’s another set of opinions, That’s a new voice that he’s got to try and acquiesce to at the same time while he’s trying to improve. We changed DBs coach. We changed special teams coach. So in all those areas you’re starting from scratch, as far as what the expectation is for the guy playing that position. You know, the needs and deficiencies we have on this team are because of the mistakes that we’ve made in the front office up to this point.
“A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Why are you so hard on Dominik?’ And I say because in the National Football League, the thing that makes it great is the parity. The economic system is the same for every team. So it comes down to intelligence in the front office. It doesn’t take four years to have a roster loaded with talent that’s a playoff team. What we do here is we’re just spinning our wheels. We make mistakes, so then we have to try and make up for the mistakes. And everybody just says, ‘Ok. Give him another year.'”
Joe must defend Dominik here a bit. King states it doesn’t take four years to build a winner because the economic system is the same for every NFL team. But was it “the same” during Dominik’s early years as GM? The Bucs were among the lowest spenders in the NFL for three of Dominik’s four seasons, two of which had no salary cap, aka no leaguewide economic parity.
Dominik also walked into the job and was awarded one of the youngest and most inexperienced coaches in the history of the NFL. Does anyone believe Dominik didn’t want to interview several candidates?
Of course, Dominik is responsible for the Bucs’ talent level, and he’ll ultimately be judged by wins and losses. Scott Pioli got canned recently in Kansas City with a stack of Pro Bowlers, a division title under his belt, and a season in which his Chiefs were a field goal from the playoffs, and only one less total win than Dominik in his four seasons.
Wins are all that matter in the NFL, and Joe’s confident Dominik’s front office will be held to that standard when appropriate.