Bucs Winning Lean

November 26th, 2010

Esteemed Bucs beat writer Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune has pounded his calculator and makes a case today that money doesn’t necessarily buy a high-caliber NFL team.

Of course, his story focuses on the Bucs’ puny $80 millionish payroll in 2010, and looks at the rarely talked about cost-per-win statistic. Joe suggests you read the entire piece.

Just last year, for example, the Giants ($137.6 million), Dolphins ($126.9 million) and Texans ($122.6 million) ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in player payroll, according to USA Today, yet finished 8-8, 7-9 and 9-7, respectively, and out of the playoffs.

The same pretty much held true in 2008, when the Raiders ($152.4 million), Cowboys ($146.4 million) and Vikings ($133.4 million) ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in player payroll, according to USA Today. The only team from that trio to make the playoffs was Minnesota.

This season, meanwhile, mirrors that one. The Redskins ($178.2 million), Cowboys ($166.5 million) and Saints ($145.0 million) had the three largest payrolls at the start of the year, according to Pro Football Talk’s figures, yet only New Orleans is on pace to reach the playoffs.

The Bucs are right there with them, though, with an identical 7-3 record, while Kansas City and Jacksonville are a game behind at 6-4. Granted, the season may not end that way, but the standings at this point reaffirm that success can’t necessarily be bought.

Joe’s never been one to think high priced free agents that drive up payroll are satanic, or a “dark path” as Joel Glazer once said. You just have to pick the right guys at the right time. High-stakes gambling, which in many ways is what Team Glazer has done successfully in England.

But none of that matters much now. The Bucs are 7-3 and have parlayed their rebuild and reload plan into a huge success, barring a total collapse to finish the 2010 season.

As Joe has written before, if the salary cap returns in 2011, the Bucs will have to spend a mountain of payroll money just to get to the new salary cap floor. It surely will be a wild, fun offseason for the Bucs, if that’s the case.

5 Responses to “Bucs Winning Lean”

  1. Chargedcbh Says:

    I never thought about the salary cap floor, give it all to Rhonde for his farewell year. That WILL BE VERY interesting to see how they would spend.

  2. Justin Says:

    I’d restructure Blount, M Williams, and Freeman. Do what the Rays did with Longoria and front end their salaries and extend them a couple of years

  3. Pete Dutcher Says:

    We’re assuming the cap floor will be a lot higher than what we spend right now. But what if it isn’t that much higher? What would the cap floor be right now if there was a cap?

    We must be somewhere near it, right?

    But the big question I have to ask is….will there even be a salaray cap? Or a CBA? There is mighty powerful talk that the players union is voting to disband in order to block the lockout.

  4. Justin Says:

    Actually I read if they have the same salary cap as in 2009 the Bucs would need to spend around 20mil. I believe the salary cap then was 123mil and the min is 87% of the max.

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    Reaching the Minimum won’t be a problem soon. We actually have alot of young, talented players that are gonna require big contracts to keep them. That’s the thing some fans don’t understand. We have low salary payout, because we haven’t had any young pro bowlers demanding top money. The team had high salary issues two years after our Superbowl. But as the talent left, the salaries Dropped. Soon we will be worried about going over the cap, as these young guys start collecting accolades and intrest around the league