Mark Dominik’s Biggest Mistake

May 16th, 2014
Former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik discusses his biggest mistake with the Bucs.

Former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik discusses his biggest mistake with the Bucs.

Yesterday, former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik appeared with Tom Krasniqi on WDAE-AM 620 for chatter about the NFL and the Bucs. Dominik now covers the NFL for the four-letter.

Towards the end of the interview, Krasniqi asked Dominik, after five months to meditate on his 18 years with the Bucs, was the biggest mistake he made running the Pewter Pirates.

Dominik didn’t hesitate

“The disappointment was Brian Price, who was a high pick in 2010,” Dominik said. “He came into rookie minicamp and he had that freak hamstring injury that pulled a bone away from his pelvis and his hips. Then he had all the sad stuff that happened with his family. And I think all of that was just too hard for him to overcome. And that is just life in football. So, although you want to think your draft picks are great today, weird things can happen and that is a significant pick that did not pan out on the defensive line, which is important.”

Now in Joe’s eyes, this was not his biggest mistake. Joe will never forget standing next to Derek “Old School” Fournier of WhatTheBuc.net watching Price in training camp in 2010, and the guy was a combination monster and gazelle. He was literally all over the field wreaking havoc and destroying everything in his path. He was easily a step ahead of Gerald McCoy, and Joe is a big fan of GMC. In short, Price was very impressive.

Before training camp was over, Price suffered that weird injury and was never the same.

No, Joe cannot fault a general manager for injuries. Unless you are a medicine man or a witch doctor or have some palm reading shop open on Madeira Beach, there is no way to predict injuries, especially the one Price suffered.

No, if Joe had to pick Dominik’s biggest mistake, it was giving woeful receiver and blocking icon Michael Clayton a huge payday. Clayton may have been the most hated Bucs player at that time and Joe is convinced many Bucs fans never, ever forgave Dominik for that signing; they’re still PO’ed to this day. The moment many fans learned of the signing, Dominik was dead to them.

And Dominik made a public relations gaffe worse when he told everyone who would listen one of the main reasons he re-upped Clayton was for his blocking skills.

You never, ever sign any wide receiver because he can block. That is not why they are on the field. That’s like saying you signed an offensive tackle because he could catch.

74 Responses to “Mark Dominik’s Biggest Mistake”

  1. Gusjackson Says:

    I have to agree. Clayton was way worse

  2. biff barker Says:

    Price, much like the Aaron Sears issue, was unforeseeable.

    Clayton was a different situation altogether.

  3. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Price was a heavy loss, a high draft pick whose potential was immense. Still scratching my head over the Clayton debacle.

  4. White Tiger Says:

    Interesting…for all the heartburn “Joe” (at least one of them anyway) has for QB Josh FreemanI find it odd that neither The Rockstar, nor Joe, mentioned his name?

    Could it be that it wasn’t Dominik’s decision? Maybe this particular Joe didn’t think Josh Freeman was so bad while a Buccaneer…?

    One would think a 1st round QB would be a franchise QB for 10 years…and would have triggered MUCH more regret than an injured rookie DT, or a chronic-cally bad pass catching WR?

  5. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Bringing in Revis didn’t exactly rank right up there either! He was coming off a major injury, he cost us $16mil in cap space, and a 1st round and a 4th round pick…all for a player who didn’t fit our defensive scheme and only played one year! Although he showed he can still play, we ended up giving away too much for a one seasonal rental of a guy who was not 100% and did not fit our style of defense! The only saving grace is that his contract allowed us to dump him without taking a further hit!

  6. Geno714 Says:

    Sounds like a man that doesn’t want to admit he really made many mistakes. I think his biggest mistake was his ridiculous philosophy of never drafting offensive lineman. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, and shows you just how bad he was at judging talent.

  7. Bob Digital Says:

    Derrick Ward was a pretty bad one as well

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @Geno714

    I agree….Dominick wants us to think his biggest mistake was something he really couldn’t forsee or help……an injury and a family crisis affecting one of his high picks…..not really a mistake.
    He made a couple of big ones….Freeman & Clayton re-up….but I think it is the many…many smaller ones that hurt us the most….
    Like….Benn, Myron….Luke….(too many to list)

  9. Shawnbucfan Says:

    They way the handled the Derrick brooks situation

  10. SteveK Says:

    Gaffe report:

    1. Resigning Michael Clayton (Clooney Movie)
    2. Signing Haynesyworth
    3. Cutting Derrick Brooks and picking up Geno Hayes and Quincy Black
    4. Signing Feerik Ward
    5. Priding yourself on not drafting O-Linemen, as that could eliminate BPA based on your own narrow sighted philosophy.
    6. Not trading Freeman before the 2013 season, especially if you had the chance!
    7. Everyone drafted outside of GMC in that class, especially since you yourself boasted “deepest draft ever”

  11. kktrillionaire Says:

    Biggest mistake: not re-signing Michael Bennett (or John Abraham to take his place)

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    Hiring jags? Josh freeman? In the deepest draft ever we got one starter. Then he would stick with the guys and not draft a player to replace them when they could have massively upgraded. Nice guy but man so bad at what he did. Then the local media backed him wow

  13. Buc Fan South Tampa Says:

    Mike who?

  14. Chef Paul Says:

    Getting screwed in trades with the Patriots too many times.

    I think the Pats called about Glennon. When Licht turned down their offer, Bill probably thought, “Welp, the days of fleecing the Bucs are over.”

  15. Jim Says:

    It’s not like Clayton’s contract hurt the team. I think Ward was worse than Clayton–if you want to go the free agency route.

    His biggest draft mistakes were Brian Price, Arrelious Benn and Myron Lewis. We will see how Bowers, Clayborn, Barron and Banks turn out.

    I believe Dominik’s biggest mistake, along with Raheem Morris’, was saying yes to the Glazer’s parsimonius ways. The blame should be directed toward the ownership for their failures.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Arrelious Benn was just garbage.

    Adrian Clayborn lacks the speed to RDE and the ability to be a good LDE (arm). My fave at the time, Cam Jordan was still on the board, now he kills us with the Saints.

    We had the opportunity to draft Greg Hardy a few years back and instead he drafted Brent Bowden, a punter that didn’t have an NFL leg, in round 6. I’d take Hardy’s legal issues over a guy that is a better guitar player than punter.

    I really liked Brian Price coming out of college. I honestly thought he could be the best DT from the class (I also liked Geno Atkins a ton, Suh, and Earl Mitchell-three out of five isn’t too bad).

    I don’t see the Dominik signing Haynesworth as a bad thing. Minimum deal, no risk he didn’t work, he was better than Ryan Sims.

    I hated the pick up of Derrick Ward, Leftwich, Nicks (how do you give that much money to a freaking OG?), I wasn’t sure about Wright, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    Overall, it’s hard to pinpoint Dominik’s biggest mistake.. there were so many-Schiano perhaps being the biggest in many people’s eyes… but Schiano could have been a good thing if you believe the old saying that everything happens for a reason. WIthout Schiano, we wouldn’t have Lovie, hopefully Lovie will be the one to take us back to prominence.

  17. Eric Says:

    Finding Schiano is hands down the winner.

    All eggs in Freeman basket second.

    Never hold a GM accountable for injury, except of course the unknown enlarged heart of Gaines Adams.

  18. James Says:

    Haynesworth was not a bad signing. At the time we had multiple dt injuries and he was the best dt available. Was about 10 games into the season, and he actually played fairly well (only motor running as I recall) trying to finish the season with hope of a new contract. Final note: we did not resign him. aka Rent-a-player. No bank was broken on him and he was simply a short term fix to an injury problem.

    Not sure if Dom or Glazers, or both were behind Derrick Brooks fiasco. Personally, I think Gruden may have been fired because he refused the idea. Either that or he wanted to get his own Monte Kiffin replacement, and told management he would not accept Raheem Morris as a DC. Just a theory. But, dumping HOF and fan favorite Mr. Derrick Brooks was one huge snafu.

  19. Shawnbucfan Says:

    And let’s not forget Jim Bates

  20. kh Says:

    Please Cam Jordan doesn’t kill anything. If he was beating Donald Penn that says more about him then Jordan.

  21. Fishdaddy217 Says:

    Not being able to close the Carson Palmer deal, in hindsight, was probably the final nail in Dom’s coffin.

  22. passthebuc Says:

    Correct. However, you always get a defensive tackle that can catch. That is why we took Sapp. T&C

  23. voice of reason Says:

    it’s freeman #1 and it’s not even close.

  24. Chris Says:

    Well his biggest mistake? Hard to tell bc their were so many. He did also offer haynesworth 100 mm. Thank God Albert went to the skins. The Revis trade bc he had shots to take studs Loutelli , Vaccaro and Richardson who were all available.

    He built the defense the wrong way. Secondary to the front? Let Bennett walk said he was washed up for bowers lol. Only gmc panned out on the line. Took mark Barron who is solid, at 7th overall. He’s no where near an elite SS. Struggles in coverage.

    Traded up for a 3rd round qb prospect in freeman and drafted him 17tj overall.

  25. Kalind Says:

    Biggest mistake? Easily hiring Jeff Jagodzinski. How did everyone miss that one?

  26. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Probably had Raheem in his ear begging for Freeman as well as most of the dubious and long list of draft busts from 2009-2011, so I can’t tar and feather Dom for Price. I agree with the Clayton, Ward, and Wright signings sucking…thankfully Wright gave the team an out.

  27. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Probably had Raheem in his ear begging for Freeman as well as most of the dubious and long list of draft busts from 2009-2011, so I can’t tar and feather Dom for Price. I agree with the Clayton, Ward, and Wright signings sucking…thankfully Wright gave the team an out.

  28. Schlomie Bupkes-Mohel Says:

    The biggest mistake was that he was born.

  29. RCH Says:

    Letting Bennet walk was pretty inexcusable

  30. SAMCRO Says:

    I have to say, if there is one player Dominik really screwed up on, (even with all his info) was resigning Clayton. Like JOE says, there is no-way anyone can predict future injuries, especially on college players who had no real bad history with them, but on the other hand, Dominik did roll the dice a few times to often on players who already had red flags. I get he was looking for value but more times than not, those same players spent more time on I.R. than what they actually contributed. Dominik knows knees!

  31. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    @ Eric
    Finding Schiano is hands down the winner.

    Hogwash…it is because of Schiano’s involvement with the 2012, 2013 drafts that Lovie and Licht were set up with enough quality young talent (and a future franchise QB nicknamed the Cannon) to be able to draft all offense this year and hopefully become a relevant team again in a very short period of time.

  32. Harry Says:

    Those are both very good choices. If I had to pick one of those I would go with “Stone Hands”. That one pissed me off. But I have to throw Freeman in there as well. I am kind of looking at this from a different direction. It is NOT because he was simply a bad pick or a bust. But if Freeman had lived up to being a real franchise QB, that would have caused a lot of sins to be forgiven.

  33. Harry Says:

    @Toes,
    I think you have a winner there. Yes, it has to be Schiano. He contributed to Free’s demise and was an absolute clown

  34. WalkdaPlank Says:

    The 1 year rehab of Darrelle Mevis for the Spygate Belicheat was worse than Clayton. Tslk about blowing away about a quarter of $100 mil and getting nothing out it. Releasing him was not Dom’s decision but because of his terrible habit of overpaying for almost everybody he signed/re-signed the new regime could not keep him.

    Also throw in the entire 2009 draft and the Schiano hire you get what we had,

    A ROCKSTAR!!

  35. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Josh Freeman was his biggest mistake hands down.

    If he had anything to do with convincing ownership to hire Raheem Morris, then that would rank higher than Freeman.

  36. OAR Says:

    1.Denial 2.Anger 3.Acceptance 4.Depression
    The four stages of the Rock Star era.

  37. Matt B Says:

    Voice of Reason seems to be the only voice of resson here. Freeman,, Freeman, Freeman. Just like Raheem used to say that he was “married” to the QB (his future was dependent on how Freeman played), so was Dominik. Freeman was his first pick ever and it ultimately spelled his doom.

  38. OAR Says:

    Easier to name the good/non-mistake things. It is a much smaller list.

  39. Theodore Says:

    What a cop-out by Dominik. Answer with an injured player that no one will blame you for. I’m so glad that guy is gone.

  40. Eric Says:

    Schiano was such a great judge of talent he thought we were Revis away from contention – just like Dominik did.

    Paid 1st and 3rd round draft choices for the guy with such a huge contract we couldn’t even keep him on the team and address all the holes.

    The results? Start out 0-8 in second year. A 1-13 run from his first to second year.

    Oh, and the absolute worst offense in the league also. Real great judge of talent that guy.

    Sure wish we had him back to cast some more of that talent magic upon us.

  41. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    @ Harry

    At least we can agree to disagree. I am waiting to see Freeman light it up again now that he’s on his third team in two years. I look at it as we should thank Schiano for taking one for the team and getting a guy who for whatever reason was on a path to be a franchise killa’ instead of its franchise QB. Might be a great guy off field, but defenses figured ‘six flags’ out. Back on topic, Dom shouldn’t bear most of the blame for Free…he just listened to some bad advice

  42. havingfitz Says:

    What a weak response from Dominick. So many others things already mentioned above and he piles on a guy who was a good player before he was injured and whose personal life was full of tragedy.

  43. SteveK Says:

    Eric,

    How do you know Greg wasn’t presented with: win in 2013 or you’re gone?

    I would try to get Revis too, if l have Myron Lewis and Gosh Freeman on my team.

  44. Rob Says:

    Yeah… it’s been covered but Brian Price getting hurt isn’t a mistake. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not something Dominik screwed up. Put me down for giving Michael Clayton a giant contract.

  45. Eric Says:

    @SteveK

    That kind of demand from the Glazers would be out of character. More likely Dominik and Schiano convinced them Revis was the final piece of the puzzle.

    With a crappy d-line (aided by allowing Bennett to leave), Revis did us no good at all.

    In my book, that is hardly great talent evaluation-especially when the man fielded the worst offensive team in pro football.

  46. Buc'n Enough Says:

    Biggest Mistake was accepting the GM job!

    What a Looser…he sent this Franchise back 5 years..

  47. Jason honeycutt Says:

    1.only signing a punter
    2. Not signing grimes,sproles,drc,smith lb from jags,
    3.price
    4. Benn

  48. kaput Says:

    Being a GM can be a crap shoot.

    At least he didn’t resign Freeman, as many were hoping he would.

    Clayton was awful, for sure.

    I think the biggest mistake he made, and it was an annual occurrence, was to be several million dollars under the salary cap. He sent the team fighting with one hand tied behind its back, almost literally.

    And we’re still 12 million under!

  49. Jason honeycutt Says:

    Also not getting freeman off the sniff

  50. duthty rhothdes Says:

    Revis by far was a huge mistake that he should have acknowledged, I mean we get one year of Revis for a ton of money when we could have drafted maybe Dee Milner to play CB or maybe DJ Fluker as a franchise LT, oh well rockstar out

  51. Architek Says:

    His decisions just highlighted he was a front office and administrator – not a talent or football guy.

    His biggest mistake was not identifying that gap in himself and finding the perfect compliment to his weakness.

    The bad players and coaches are and were just symptoms of the root cause.

  52. SteveK Says:

    Eric,

    Dom and Schiano complemented each other well.

    Glad Dom got the boot too. It would have been ludicrous to **just** fire Schaino.

  53. DaMayan Says:

    I don’t get it: Why does he relate an unfortunate series of events in which he had no influence to a mistake? He can only say his handling of the situation wasn’t good or that the pick wasn’t good. But you can only make decisions based on the information available at that time. At that time Price was a good player with loads of potential.

  54. Sweets Willie Says:

    Letting Chip Kelly slip away! Then seeing him take the Eagles to the playoffs. Rockstar is still here if our coach was Chip.

  55. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    There are so many “Big” mistakes that i could go on and on all day long. The only thing that kept him out of the Undisputed Worst GM in Franchise history was Washington offering more guaranteed money for Haynsworth. He is such a bad GM he can not pour a draft beer, I would not let him sign a check over to me without something going wrong. If panthers did not tank it for #1 draft pick in 2010 and Falcons tanked it last year, The Bucs would have finished dead last in the division for the last 5 years!

    But the Biggest mistake was changing Philisophy year after year after year.

  56. Architek Says:

    Very True Buc Realist

  57. Johnny Dejay Says:

    Biggest issues:

    1) Hiring Schiano
    2) Hiring Morris/Bates/Jagodzinski
    3) Every draft pick except for GMC
    4) Overpaying for every Free Agent
    5) Cutting Buccaneer Legends and replacing them with scrubs

    The guy had zero eye for coaching talent or player talent.

    On the plus side, he did revolutionize the way contracts are structured and left the Bucs in great shape on the Salary Cap, which will make rebuilding easier.

  58. Buc1987 Says:

    Biggest mistake : allowing the Joe’s to call him a rock star on their site.

  59. Bucamania Says:

    1. Re-signing Michael Clayton
    2. Re-signing Quincy Black
    3. Hiring Schiano
    4. Not re-signing Michael Bennett
    5. Drafting Freeturd
    6. Drafting Price and Bowers
    7. Overpaying for a freakin punter

  60. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Biggest mistake: Not hiring Joe as my own personal PR man.

    or did I?

  61. Joe Says:

    2) Hiring Morris

    Dominik didn’t Morris.

  62. rdbucfan Says:

    His biggest mistake is/was refusing to admit his mistakes and not doing anything to correct those mistakes. He didn’t even admit to a mistake when he answered the question. He said biggest disappointment not mistake. Like someone else stated, the list is too long.

  63. Dee Says:

    I would’ve kept Kai Forbath instead of Koenen. He costs too much. Not surrounding the 2010 Freeman with any Elite targets. & hiring coaches was his only glaring weakness

  64. pick6 Says:

    i am sure many teams have had horrible offseasons, but the first offseason for dominick & morris has to make the all-time list for bungled offseasons. the veteran bloodbath could’ve been handled better, but i get the intent. after that it was embarrassing
    -signing leftwich, and being happy about it
    -derrick ward signing, clayton extension…thank god we lost out on haynesworth
    -trying to make jermaine phillips derrick brooks’ successor
    -hiring 2 coordinators, 1 who gets fired after training camp and the other midseason
    -telling defenders to put on weight for a 2 gap scheme and then abandoning it midyear
    -the disappearing draft class of 2009, headlined by trading up for freeman
    -3rd string reps for freeman all training camp, ditching mccown right after he took all the 2nd string reps

    it’s hard to imagine more bad decisions packed into one offseason

  65. Atlanta Buc Says:

    Huge Free Agent Mistakes!
    1. Nicks; Not properly vetting/evaluting medical, for a toe condition that probably was already there from his years of playing on turf in New Orleans.
    2. Goldson: Not only do you not understand what kind of safety he is; totally a hitter/enforcer, not much for pass defense or ball location awareness; but you take him knowing new NFL rule changes will affect his style of play and then you draft Barron, another similar type safety the same year?
    3. Revis; We paid 16 million to rehab a free agent mercenary, in a year when we had many other needs for multiple positions and depth. Plus he gave up high valuable draft picks as well!
    4. Bennnett: What the heck? we could not sign one of our own, a valuable and proven good DE for peanuts money? Excuse was a bad knee? What? How come this type of medical concern was not shown when we paid to get Nicks with a lot more guaranteed money? Oh well, the Seahawks love the Rockstar and even resigned Bennet again, with that same supposedly bad knee!
    5. Clayton: I had forgotten about this stupid deal, thanks for all reminding me!

  66. Atlanta Buc Says:

    New Free-Agent Idea!!!

    We resign M. Clayton to come back and play a little guard for us, since we are so thin at the position! Dom did say he was a great blocker! Maybe we could get him at a big discount this time, since he took us to the cleaners on his first Dom free agent deal!

  67. csidedave Says:

    Man this page is full of bad memories. Great stuff everyone. Two that I would add:

    1. Drafting punter Brent Bowden in the 6th round. Who drafts a punter these days? And he didn’t even make the team. That led to the signing of Koenan and his big contract.

    Last year telling Schiano he had to start the season with Freeman when Schiano told him Glennon was his guy. Maybe this was demanded by the owners but can you imagine what Schiano was thinking when he couldn’t even find Freeman 2 hours before the Jets game? I have to play THIS guy? Not that Schiano didn’t deserve to fired.

  68. johnnytheMOON Says:

    Mark Dominicks biggest mistake was accepting the Job …when just 5 years after your first 2 drafts there is like 1 players left …You are Horrible.

  69. NewTampaChris Says:

    I think his biggest mistake was failing to acquire defensive depth last offseason when the market was very depressed. There were DBs and DLs to be had at reasonable prices. Watching #50 and #91 last year was painful.

  70. BucTrooper Says:

    “No, if Joe had to pick Dominik’s biggest mistake, it was giving woeful receiver and blocking icon Michael Clayton a huge payday. Clayton may have been the most hated Bucs player at that time and Joe is convinced many Bucs fans never, ever forgave Dominik for that signing; they’re still PO’ed to this day. The moment many fans learned of the signing, Dominik was dead to them.”

    I agree 100% without equivocation in any manner or form and I was saying this in the car as I listened to that bit on the radio yesterday. He looked at Michael Clayton’s non-performance and said, “Yes, I’ll take more of that.”

  71. stanglassman Says:

    He probably didn’t mention Freeman because it wasn’t a mistake unless you include not putting enough talent around him, no franchise stability and poor coaching into the equation. He defiantly had the skill and intelligence to be successful in this league because he showed it for years. I think you guys are starting to believe your own BS revisionist history. With good coaching and talent He could have been one of the best picks and that’s why Dom didn’t mention Freeman. Please remember I’m not the one who brought him up again.

  72. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Derrick brooks. That is all.

    Well done. –Joe

  73. Ur Mom Says:

    Two points:

    Eric Wright-nuff said

    Revis-signed to a contract so bad, Dom made the best CB in the game untradeable. No small accomplishment

    Thank you and goodbye.

  74. BUCSFAN68 Says:

    stanglassman Says:

    May 16th, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    He probably didn’t mention Freeman because it wasn’t a mistake unless you include not putting enough talent around him, no franchise stability and poor coaching into the equation. He defiantly had the skill and intelligence to be successful in this league because he showed it for years. I think you guys are starting to believe your own BS revisionist history. With good coaching and talent He could have been one of the best picks and that’s why Dom didn’t mention Freeman. Please remember I’m not the one who brought him up again.

    _____________________________________________________________

    100% correct

 
 

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