Wish ListFebruary 9th, 2013
OK, for NFL fans in general, and in some respects for Bucs fans, an alarm bell will ring at 4 p.m. March 12, and the unrestricted free agency season begins for 2013.
Joe suspects many Bucs fans envision sort of a scene from Black Friday, when the doors of a Target are flung open at 4 a.m. and Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik races through and just grabs whatever he can reach and throws objects in a shopping cart.
This has led to many Bucs fans already having their shopping list, sort of like kid with a list as he or she waits in line to talk to Santa Claus each December. One such Bucs fan e-mailed his list to Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune for approval.
Q: Every year, I put together a wish of the free agents I would love to see wearing red and pewter. I start by fixing the horrible secondary. Patrick Chung from the Patriots could line up next to Mark Barron. Sean Smith could help our porous secondary. Martellus Bennett could fix our tight end problems. How about this one? We could sign Jake Long to play right tackle, which would eliminate the need to draft a RT. Kyle Vanden Bosch could provide insurance if one of our DEs goes down. With any of those above moves, we could have way more flexibility in the draft to take the best player available, instead of reaching for a need.
— Andrew Athans, Arnold, Md.
A: I agree with your premise that these deals would alleviate the need to reach for prospects in the draft, but they might also bankrupt the team. None of the players you mentioned will come cheap. If you narrowed your focus to two of these you’ll probably be closer to what the Bucs will really do. They’ll definitely address all these areas of need, but probably not in the way you suggest.
— Woody Cummings
Well, here’s Joe’s take on just some of the suggestions by Mr. Athans:
First, no way will the Bucs go out and grab Jake Long. Will the Bucs look to upgrade right tackle? Probably, but don’t expect Dominik to break his budget doing that. The position may be a draft target Dominik as opposed to free agency.
Would Michael Bennett’s brother look good in a Bucs jersey? Sure, but what if his brother signs with another team?
Of course, just about any warm body not named “Myron Lewis” would be an upgrade at cornerback. Look for Dominik to draft a corner (maybe two) and add one or two via free agency. And yes, he will have to overpay for a corner, just like half of the teams in the NFL will do because talent at the position is so coveted yet so scant.
Vanden Bosch is quite simply over the hill. Joe has read enough about him that Dominik should only sign him for a rock bottom price, if available, and use him as a backup; nothing more.
Last year Dominik made waves in free agency. Don’t expect that type of a wake next month. Dominik can’t play Santa every year.