How Low Could The Bucs Payroll Go?

January 16th, 2010

Perhaps the Bucs can get a fifth-round draft pick for Mr. Clayton and spare fans his seventh season in Tampa

Every Bucs fan is obsessed with what Team Glazer will do in the offseason. Free agency starts in just seven short weeks.

Former NFL executive Pat Kirwan, also a former Bucs scout (1983-1986) and now a host on NFL Sirius Radio, says fans should watch for teams to take advantage of the soon-to-be-eliminated salary cap in the uncapped 2010 season.

Kirwan, in a recent chat with the Miller and Moulton show on 770 AM in Fort Myers, explained why many teams are likely to cut underperforming high priced veterans and some will spend as little as possible, as the salary cap floor will be eliminated.

Will Michael Clayton survive?

“To remind everybody, there’s going to be the removal of the floor [of the salary cap]. There are going to be owners who are going to feel not compelled to spend to the floor, which they were forced to do in some cases. They’re going to go lowball,” Kirwan said. “All of a sudden to dump Jamarcus Russell is not going to be a cap hit. So if you’re not taking a cap hit and taking on all that forwarding money, then you’re going to see guys dropping contracts of overpaid players. If you owned a team, wouldn’t you want to get out from under some guys without the penalty of the cap charge?”

Kirwan also firmly believes there will be no work stoppage in 2011.

“I don’t believe for a minute it will get to that. I think the players, you know, all we have to do is remember what a player’s career length is, let’s call it five years. And I’m being generous there. The average guy is probably 3 1/2 years. Is he going to give up, not just the money, but 33 percent or 27 percent, whatever that percentage is, of his career time just to make a point? I don’t think they’re going to do it. I think there’s enough money that’s going to be on the table to get a deal done. But we’re going to be uncapped next year. …100 starters who would have hit free agency who are not going to hit free agency. Those guys have to get to their labor leaders and get this deal done. …There will be a lot of pressure to get the deal done.

Joe doesn’t believe there will be a work stoppage — maybe at worst an 11th-hour deal and an abbreviated 2011 preseason.

As for the Bucs payroll, Joe would be stunned if there isn’t more focus on youth and a subsequent tightening of the belt at One Buc Palace.

18 Responses to “How Low Could The Bucs Payroll Go?”

  1. mpmalloy Says:


    2010 should be a great year then.
    The Glazers can reduce their debt and focus more on Man-U…
    …the down side is the Bucs will fall to complete irrelevance and
    be a running joke in the NFL…..

    …but who cares?…the fans are a bunch of poor, mullet-wearing
    rednecks anyway right?

    GO MAN-U!!!

  2. justin F Says:

    every news article i read about this team gets me even more mad when will any good news come out about this team we go 3-13 and we have not made one coaching change yet real smart idea lets keep the whole staff that sucked it up for another year main reason for that raheem being the cheapest in the nfl and now paying him to do 2 jobs for the price of 1 hc – dc what a joke this team is to the city of tampa

  3. JDouble Says:

    Clayton has only recieverd half of his $10 million garranteed. We don’t pay a cap penalty if we cut him, but that loser will still be owed about $5 million.

  4. Jake Says:

    I hope you are wrong Joe but if you are correct than we will be back to the days of crowds of 20,000 per game.

  5. JDouble Says:

    Just more negative propaganda. The Glazers know that good teams are built threw the draft. We have drafted like absolute shit for a decade now. Why would we be spending as much as good teams, when we have no 1st round probowlers? What about the two first round picks we gave up for Gruden? That’s two huge contracts we don’t have on the books. You don’t build teams thru free agency folks. Free agency is for when you need to over pay for one or two guys that can push you over the top.

    If you wanna hate on the Glazers for something, how about for sticking with a horrible scouting department? They abviously suck and Dennis Hickey should have been replaced long ago. As far as the Glazers being too cheap…I think it’s bullshit. We were just in cap hell, completely maxed out to the cap limit, three years ago. They been smart with thier money and have got us back to a position where we have room to rebuild a team that was allowed to get old and fall apart.

    If they don’t do anything this off season then I might change my mind, but as of right now I think the Glazers are smart business men who spend their money wisely….not cheap bastards that don’t care about the team.

  6. CharlieB Says:

    While I’m not going to argue that we certainly have a cheap team, I would beg to differ about them spending all of their money on Man-U. Man-U fans constantly complain that the Glazers spend all their money on the Bucs. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, and that’s if both sides are complaining about the other, then the situation is probably at a middle ground.

    Obviously, we’re lackling talent and depth of scheme. You also have to keep in mind that we have a young team. Young players don’t garner large contracts and there is no need to pay them extra just so it looks better to fans. I think Olson needs to go, but we don’t have the luxury of interviewing him to see what he’ll do differently given more than a week to plan for a season. Raheem obviously knows what he’s doing as a DC, so we just need some more talent from the drafts to shore up our week DT situation.

    I’m most looking forward to a new WR coach. How many times last year did it just seem like no one got open? The sounds like both a lack of talent and poor coaching to me.

  7. js Says:

    There will be no salary floor next year either. That’s key. The Glazer’s are going to reduce salary even more.

  8. JDouble Says:

    Look at it this way, since 2002 when we won the superbowl, we have lost Lynch, Brooks, Sapp, Rice, McFarland, Spires, Quarles, Alstot, Kelly, and probably more I’m not thinking of. Since losing all these guys that would demand big contracts, who have we drafted to take thier place? No 1st round pick in 2002, or 2003. 2004 we get Clayton, then Caddie in 2005. Niether have earned a big contract. 2006 we get Joseph and he actually desreves a big contract. 2007..gaines adams. 2008 Aquib Talib and he also deserves a big contract. The last year we get Freeman and it’s way to early to tell what he will do.

    So basicly we lost all the guys I named and got Joseph and Talib. Who exactly should we be spending the money on? You guys act like the Glazers should pay shitty players big contracts just because. It is our drafting that is the problem, not the Glazers being cheap.

  9. aldo Says:

    interesting point of view JDouble, aldo, right here in colombia, we follow soccer preety much, and last nite i was talking with a friend, huge fan of manchester united, and he was telling me about the glazers be cheap on that club, so if we think that and they think too, i guess is just about we want much more but is not a bad administration.

    now, talkin about FA and draft, i dont know if im ignorant or something, but at least we can try to give our bad player for some picks, no mattr how up or down is that round, look if we got diamonds like sammie we can found much more!!! we can gice players like ward, or that shitty 80 WR that we have.

    greeting from colombia and sorry for my english :p GO BUCS!!

  10. Eric S Says:

    JDouble-I will agree with you that the draft is very important. You can’t have a winning team without successive good drafts. I will disagree with you on other issues.

    Take the SB team for instance. You realize how many key contributors were acquired through free agency or trade. Quite a few. On offense-B. Johnson, Pittman, Joe J., McCardell, Keyshawn, K. Jenkins, Christy, Oben, Dilger/Dudley. The D was mainly built through the draft, but they did get a key player through free agency in Simeon Rice. So you have to get some players through other means other than the draft to win in the league. Without these players mentioned above, there would be no Super Bowl for the Bucs. Simple as that.

    Some of the players that were let go were regrettable, but some can be understandable at the time. Lynch was coming off a major back injury, so the Bucs didn’t think he was worth the money. I disagreed with the move, but I could understand with the salary cap hell that McKay put us in. Quarles, Rice and Spires disappeared from the face of the planet after they were let go. Quarles and Spires never played again. Rice played a few games and did not do anything. Alstott retired because of injuries. We didn’t force him out. Even though I still hate the move, Brooks never signed with anyone else. Kelly had a rotten year this season. No big loss since Barber and Talib both played well.

    Looking at our drafts the last few years, they aren’t as bad I thought. The first couple of drafts under Gruden weren’t good. McKay really missed the mark on those. Allen/Gruden did better in recent times. Geno Hayes looks like a star in the making. Talib is a shut down corner. Just need to keep his head on straight. Joseph and Zuttah are solid OL. If Sears comes back, he is a very good OL. Stovall is decent. Sabby can be a decent nickel guy. Rudd has had a good career. Cadillac has given us a few good seasons. Sure he hasn’t lived up to his draft status, but he certainly isn’t a bust. Jackson is a good S if he stays out of trouble. So the draft hasn’t been a complete waste the last few years. There are good players that we acquired.

    The Glazers used to be good owners. Not sure how any Bucs fan thinks they are good owners presently. They basically haven’t spent any money the last few years. We’ve had oodles of cap space and nothing was really done with it. I do believe the ManU purchase has negatively affected the Bucs. Before the purchase, the Bucs made big transactions like Keyshawn and Rice. Now they are few and far between. I hope the Glazers spend some money on free agency. I worry quite a bit that they will go the other way and not spend anything.

    BTW our best offensive player was Kellen Winslow who was acquired by trade. Can’t just rely on the draft.

    Let’s go to the playoff teams for more evidence.

    Saints-Brees, Bell, Shockey, Vilma, Sharper, Fujita, etc are some of the players the Saints acquired through other means other than the draft. The two big ones being Brees and Sharper who were signed as free agents. Oh imagine that.

    Ravens-Mason, McGahee, Foxworth, Birk, Gregg, Carr, etc are people acquired through free agency/trades.

    Jets-B. Edwards, Scott, Richardson, T. Jones, Pace, Leonhard, Sheppard, Woody, Feeley, Faneca are some of the players not drafted by the Jets.

    Cardinals-All that needs to be said is Kurt Warner. There are other offensive and defensive starters like McFadden, Berry, etc that have been acquired by free agency as well. But Warner was the big one.

    Cowboys-Brooking, Hamlin, L. Davis, Williams, Sensabaugh, Olshansky were all acquired through free agency.

    Vikings-Favre, C. Taylor, Berrian, Hutchinson, Shiancoe, Winfield, Allen, M. Williams. Once again quite a few key players.

    Chargers-Rivers, Scott, Dielman, Floyd, etc were all acquired through other means.

    The Colts were the only team that was primarily built through the draft.

    So my point is that you have to use free agency/trades to get a championship. By the Bucs own experience, they would not have won anything with just draftees. That is all. Case closed.

  11. Louie Says:

    Eric, great analysis. The next few months will be very telling for the Glazerhouse’s. Will they spend any money now that there will be no minimum? Or, will they cut spening even further? 2010 could be worse than this year if they don’t start spending some money.

  12. mpmalloy Says:

    It’s funny that people have the impression that Dungy drafted better than Gruden………because Sapp, Brooks and Lynch were drafted by Sam Wyche…
    ……AND Rich McKay….so give Rich props.

  13. JOSH P Says:

    Eric S.. Quarles retired due to an injury not because of his play on the field!!!

  14. JOSH P Says:

    Sabby has no business on a football field by the way!!!!!!

  15. JOSH P Says:

    cap space and the money to spend on free angency are two different things

  16. Jake Says:

    Eric S. great post! You hit it right on the head. It has to be a mix of draft and free agency. Its not one or the other.

  17. Eric S Says:

    Josh P-Quarles failed his physical, had a million dollar bonus due, was 35 and Ruud was ready to take over. All of that contributed to him being waived. If you remember many fans were upset by this (The Big Puppy almost had a coronary because of this). My point was that the Bucs didn’t exactly lose anything because he didn’t play again!!! Not sure what your point is. I think people can come to that conclusion by my post that he was getting up there in age and couldn’t bring it like he used to. I don’t get where the confusion was in my part about Quarles. And I did say Sabby could be a decent nickel player. Not a starter. I guess I should have footnotes with my posts, so they are more easily understood.

  18. JOSH P Says:

    if Sabby gets burned as a starter why wouldn’t he get burned playing the nickel position??? the guy is in the wrong place all the time