Bucs Preparing For “Aggressive” Free Agency

January 16th, 2009
San Diego scribes report L.T. is expected join the list of free agent running backs in 2009

San Diego scribes report L.T. is expected join the list of free agent running backs in 2009

Joe stays up late yearning for a free invite to the always-wild Maxim Super Bowl party, as well as a stud running back to team with Earnest Graham.

As for the backfield fantasy, Brandon Jacobs is the choice, if the Giants let him walk. But now LaDainian Tomlinson is sure to be on the market, says San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Tim Sullivan.

Since Tomlinson represents an $8.8 million cap hit for 2009, and since the Chargers could clear $6.725 million of that by deleting his salary, LT might as well be auditioning for the role of Maria Von Trapp.

Thus what would have seemed unthinkable less than a year ago now appears almost inevitable: that the Chargers will dump Tomlinson rather than continuing to pay him. Despite all of his accomplishments, and the career records still within his reach, LT is now dogged by the dangerous perception that he has reached the point of diminishing returns.

Joe thinks Tomlinson still has a Pro Bowl or two left in him. (Ahh, the dreaming is getting interesting.) Regardless, the Bucs need to improve greatly at running back, if they are being honest about their faith in the young offensive line.

Pat “Vacation Man” Yasinskas, who covers the NFC South for ESPN.com, reports the Bucs will be one of the most aggressive teams in free agency.

Joe’s not going to bet a nickel on that. But the Bucs are sure to go after at least one big name, after throwing big money at Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Phillips. And, while many might cringe and disagree, Joe believes Jeff Garcia will be offered some cash as well for 2009.

Tampa Bay has $40.4 million to throw around this year, reports Yasinskas. Compare that to New Orleans, which is over the cap, and Carolina and Atlanta, which are about $10 million and $20 million under, respectively.

Yasinskas also writes that Joey Galloway will “almost certainly be released,” providing the Bucs even more cap space. But Joe wouldn’t bet on that either. Galloway and Chucky could easily rekindle their old love affair in 2009, as Joe commented after Galloway’s final radio show on WDAE-AM. If Galloway comes to camp healthy, Chucky might just give him quite a hug.

4 Responses to “Bucs Preparing For “Aggressive” Free Agency”

  1. Dave Says:

    This is LUDICROUS to want to bring in another over-the-hill RB for countless millions. RB is the easiest position to transition to from college.
    If our GM were worth a crap, we could find someone that would be BETTER and cheaper than a rapidly breaking down LT. Charlie Garner redux!

  2. Jeff Says:

    LT + EG may be a good RB combo, but not for the $$$ that LT will demand. If recent history means anything, LT’s days of being an explosive game-changer appear over.

    The Bucs have such a plethora of positional needs that their money would be better spent on a younger, top-tier FA with more of an upside at any needed position.

  3. JoeBucsFan Says:

    Dave – Joe isn’t calling for L.T. He’s just dreaming here a little. Having a little fun. But L.T. still had 1,100 yards playing banged up all year. If he’s healthy, he’s a tremendous threat, and the Bucs wouldn’t have to overwork him with Graham around. Would rather them spend the money on L.T. than keep it in the bank.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Joe, the Bucs better not “keep it in the bank.” Hasn’t this upcoming free agent period been classified as a “spend it or lose it” period with the possibility of a salary-cap free year approaching?……..or is Jeff misinformed?