The Bucs Are/Aren’t “Cheap”

November 28th, 2009

An interesting story that was too much for Joe on a slow Saturday morning appeared today in the St. Petersburg Times that seemed an attempt to discredit an earlier story in the Wall Street Journal that the Bucs are less than thrifty.

Given the fact the high priests within the politburo of the Poynter Paper seem perpetually irritated at the Wall Street Journal in general (“those satanic  capitalists!”), this doesn’t surprise Joe.

In short, the article attempts to explain the financial gymnastics spreadsheet warriors use to play games with the NFL salary cap, both for good and for bad.

“The first rule of getting out of salary-cap problems,” said Mark Dominik, the general manager, “is to stop spending.”

Which the Bucs did.

From the 2004 season to the 2008 season, the Bucs ranked 32nd of the 32 teams in the NFL in total dollars spent on players, according to The Bucs in those five years spent almost $120 million less on players than the team that spent the most. The Dallas Cowboys spent $566 million.

At the same time that the Bucs were paying less than every other team in the league, they also were drafting worse than most. Of the Bucs’ 47 draft picks from ’04 to ’08, only 17 are still with the team — an abysmal rate.

This is Dominik’s first year. He opted not to blame his predecessors for any poor decisions they might have made, at least not explicitly, but when asked earlier this month how many years in a row the Bucs have drafted poorly, he stared at a reporter, smirked and paused for effect, then said:

“That’s a good question.”

Look, Joe doesn’t think, at least this season, that the Bucs are “cheap.” Mark Dominik himself has thrown millions of dollars of good money away in just a few short months on players that are either grossly overpaid (Michael Clayton) or are no longer with the team (Mike Nugent, Luke McCown).

Joe learned back in high school that, if one is so inclined, one can twist numbers virtually any way in order to prove a point.

Joe just knows there is one set of numbers that not even the most astute of spinmeisters can bend:


4 Responses to “The Bucs Are/Aren’t “Cheap””

  1. Louie Says:

    “From the 2004 season to the 2008 season, the Bucs ranked 32nd of the 32 teams in the NFL in total dollars spent on players, according to”

    I don’t care what anybody says, when you’re last in spending on players over the last 5 years, you’re either cash strapped or cheap. Either way, it all adds up to 1-9.

  2. Gino Says:

    Priests at the Politburo of the Poynter Paper—-that’s damned fine alliteration there Joe!

    Well here’s another nugget of wisdom besides the fact that the numbers can, in fact lie—and that is you can’t polish a turd-and the Bucs right now look like a steaming pile of brontosaurus droppings.

  3. paul Says:

    The St. Pete Times story is just full of what-ifs and the Wall Street Journal story was just facts.

    They said in the St. Pete Times article that they can roll the money from the 2 players that they released, into the next year’s cap.

    The opposing speculation was that they did this just to meet the salary cap floor and be able to be cheaper than even allowed by the NFL.

    The only thing I’ve seen is the latter. Mark Dominick can say what if all he wants, but until I see them spend this money and not be incredibly close to the cap floor, I’ll believe the Wall Street Journal.

    There wasn’t even any reason for them to do that little loophole anyways, as Dominick explains. They weren’t even threatening to hit the salary cap to warrant this money switching thing.

  4. Joe Says:

    Thanks Gino. Joe knew you would like that. 🙂