CautionMarch 16th, 2014
Yes, Joe understands why Bucs fans are giddy about the way Bucs coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht went shopping last week. It’s not like they didn’t warn Bucs fans when they said over and over again that the roster was filled with players who went 4-12 last season.
It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of an upgrade at quarterback, and an upgrade at defensive end (yes, Joe is still sore about a downgrade at cornerback, but Joe’s trying to be patient).
“The Professor,” John Clayton of ESPN cautions Bucs fans that while the Bucs may be among the winners of free agency, a March victory often leads to massive disappointment once the helmets and pads are strapped on.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In most years, the most active teams in free agency ultimately find that their moves don’t translate into wins. So giving the winning tag to the Bucs comes with a caution. Usually teams that spend more than $100 million in unrestricted free-agent contracts improve by only one win or drop back a game or two in the standings. The Bucs are the big spenders in free agency this year. They invested $125.5 million in contracts for six players — quarterback Josh McCown, defensive end Michael Johnson, left tackle Anthony Collins, cornerback Alterraun Verner, tight end Brandon Myers and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. They let high-priced players such as Davin Joseph, Penn and Darrelle Revis go.
Obviously, the key to the whole thing will be how starting Josh McCown plays within the new offense run by NFL neophyte Jeff Tedford. If the Bucs can’t generate much offense, then it won’t matter much how improved the defense is.
One more good thing about this free agency season, Carolina’s receiver corps has been absolutely gutted. If the Panthers become a one-dimensional team (they were No. 11 rushing the ball last year), then that can only help the Bucs.