Bucs Might Be Forced To Double Payroll

January 13th, 2011

Update: post clarified at 5:07 p.m –  Disney statistical gremlins have checked in with blogger Pat Yasinskas of BSPN, the outfit’s NFC South guru, and dropped a look inside the Bucs’ paltry 2010 payroll totals.

The Bucs have checked in as the team with the lowest payroll –$58.7 million — entering the 2011 offseason, per Yasinskas’ comments on 1040 AM today during The Fabulous Sports Babe Show. Also in a post on BSPN.com today, he wrote that the league average payroll entering 2011 is $97 million.

A look at the Bucs free agents and it’s clear the Bucs officially shed around $20 million with those contracts expiring, so 2010 payroll probably was close to $80 million.

Yasinskas went on to chat about what Joe has been writing for months: a return of the salary cap is expected with a new collective bargaining agreement and the Bucs would be forced to spend a mountain of cash just to reach the minimum allowed payroll of around $110 million.

While Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris talk about big name free agents as if they are satanic beasts that would corrupt the organically grown squad the Bucs have built, Joe’s really not buying all that. These great personnel men are after the best fit for the Bucs — not price tag shopping.

Yes, the Bucs want to re-sign their own free agents, like they did Donald Penn, but are they really going to pay out the nose for Barrett Ruud and Davin Joseph? One could make a case the Bucs don’t need either one.

Cadillac Williams won’t cost that much as a No. 2 running back, and Ronde Barber won’t break the bank.

Given this salary data, Joe will be somewhat amazed if Dominik finds a way not to sign a big-name free agent for 2011.

40 Responses to “Bucs Might Be Forced To Double Payroll”

  1. BucsNBeer Says:

    Unless some change is made to the rules, which is possible, the salary floor appears to be a joke. They’ll just give Davin Joseph a 60mil/year incentive to kick a field goal, get blocked, recover it, and then score a touchdown on the same play.

  2. Jonny Says:

    Very true BucsNBeer, IF a floor was set, we have folks at OBP that are masters at doing these deals to fill that space. Everything is done except for signing quality FAs.

  3. Snook Says:

    Bruce Allen had very creative ways of meeting the salary floor in his last few years in Tampa. I’m sure Dominik picked up a few tricks of the trade.

    That’s one thing Allen was good at… several times he put incentives in contracts that would never be met but still counted towards the cap and would roll over into next year’s as well.

    Not worried about Bucs meeting floor if needed. Plenty of players here that need to be signed/extended.

  4. Hunter Says:

    Did you guys see the ESPN documentary on Raheem Morris, interesting stuff…..

  5. d-money Says:

    I hope some of that money goes to lock up Mike Williams and Legarrette Blount.

    Another season like 2010 for each of them and they aren’t going to be happy with their 4th round and undrafted free agent contracts.

  6. Gavster Says:

    I agree with almost everything except… I most definitely think ronde barber can break bank. One of our better run stoppers WE NEED HIM BACK. He holds all the cards and could get a nice 1-2 year deal.

  7. Lucas Jackson Says:

    The new CBA will include an interim floor for 2011. The Bucs are not alone if the average in 97

  8. big007hed Says:

    What about the Bucs going after Nhamdi Ashmougha? I mean Talib and Nhamdi would be an amazing CB tandem while not straying from the younger theme but also getting a big name free agent!!!

  9. Capt.Tim Says:

    I am with Joe on this one. If the Glazers are following the same “plan”as last SuperBowl, the it’s time for signing some FA’s. I don’t believe the Glazers have any other goal than building a SuperBowl team. I fully expect to see a Vet DE, OG,LB, S,and CB this offseason. I expect several of them to top talent available. As I’ve stated before, signing free agents on a rebuilding team made no sense. This team is now a legitimate contender. They will sign the right people to continue the drive for the title

  10. Jerry Says:

    That’s not entirely accurate. Incentive conditions will not count against the cap unless the condition is met. The salary cap is based on what a team is SPENDING on players per season. The tricks a lot of teams use is front-loading or back-loading contracts. You can pay a signing bonus all at once or spread it out. The incentives are more of a way to sweeten a deal with a player. But those incentives will only count against the cap if they are paid out.

    The Bucs would have to spend like $50 million. They can use a good portion of that to lock up some of their current roster for the long term (especially Blount). But there is no doubt they would have to bring in a coulple big names in free agency. And I wouldn’t mind that for the defense. That unit needs help and needs depth. With the all the really good QBs that are on our schedule next year, if we can’t stop the run and generate some type of pass rush…we are toast.

  11. d-money Says:

    Lets throw #5 another $20 million or so just to keep him happy.

  12. bucfanjeff Says:

    They will re-sign a lot of their own, and if they don’t like any FA’s, expect them to rip up Freemans deal after next year and lock him in long term.

  13. Runstuffer Says:

    If the Bucs have to double their salary we could be looking at an Asomugha and Talib pairing. They would also more likely sign Mankins of New England then the oft injured and overrated Joseph. No real great defensive ends to speak of, unless Seymour comes on the market, but not really sure how he would fit into the grand scheme coming from a 3-4 his entire career. They would also have to re-up with Freeman, Talib, Williams (on the cheap), Blount (on the cheap), Jackson (on the cheap with the caveat that if you screw up we get it back, no money up front) and any other player they can lock into a long term for value.

  14. Lucas Jackson Says:

    Capt. Tim — just like you I am a big fan, but the Bucs challenge this offseason will be to dampen the expectations of people like you. As much as I love this team, they are a long way from being a “legitimate contender.” I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think so.

  15. Theodore Says:

    Too bad it’s too late to sign Carl Crawford.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Lucas- this is a qb driven league. The only real secret to being a contender is having a franchise Qb, and protecting him. We have one of the very best, and did a decent job of protection. As long as Josh Freeman is in our huddle, we are a contender- period. It would be foolish not to take advantage of this window. If you’re worried, Lucas, don’t be. If Josh plays at the level he did this year, we can beat anyone.

  17. Hunter Says:

    Nnamdi Asomugha turns 30 years old in July. I wouldn’t call that young in football…… (He would be 31 when the next season comes)

  18. gitarlvr Says:

    If Dunbar hires on with Bucs….here comes Ray Edwards too!!! I hope!!!

  19. Hunter Says:

    @gitarlvr: I agree, the best part is that he is only 26….

  20. KFc Says:

    THey need to throw a crazy offer at Charles Johnson from Carolina!! He would rather play here

  21. Bucs4ever Says:

    Asomugha is 30…so WHAT?? how old is ronde and still performing? how is Charles Woodson? He just won the Defensive Player of the Year at 34yrs old…comeon now..i’m all for not overspending for ‘old players’ and going with the youth movement, but this team has a chance to be great and spending on Asomugha would sure be worth it! we would have more than 40$ mill to dish out.
    Asomugha has not allowed a TD in 3 flippin years…Him + Talib = unpassable

  22. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Talib would have 10 INT’s every year, because nobody throws the ball anywhere near Asomugha.

  23. Jerry Says:

    This idea that you dont touch anyone near or at age 30 is stupid. You don’t build a team with 30+ year olds (which is what the previous regime did), but you can fill holes with them. The Bucs have a very young core, especially on offensive at the skill positions that will be here for a long time. There is nothing wrong with bringing in a vet or two here or there to fill in the roster gaps.

    2010 was a very good draft for this team. However, keep in mind that draft was a very deep draft. A lot of teams did very well with their draft selections because the talent pool was very good. The 2011 draft is not near as deep. So to expect Dominik to do just as well with the 2011 draft is not realistic. We also got lucky. Mike Williams fell to the 4th round. Blount was released from the Titans and no one else picked him off waivers. You dont get lucky like that every year.

  24. Guest#27 Says:

    “a return of the salary cap is expected with a new collective bargaining agreement and the Bucs would be forced to spend a mountain of cash just to reach the minimum allowed payroll of around $110 million.”

    BS. The whole premise of the CBA is to reduce the cap, for both the team and the rookies.

    There is NO WAY ON EARTH that the Floor, if there even is one, will be $110 million. Why? Because the entire economy has experienced a shift in overall valuation. No way will the salary floor be that high. The owners won’t allow it.

  25. gitarlvr Says:

    Common JBF.com free agency myth-

    All free agents are guys over 30 who are\will soon be washed up and will destroy the Bucs “youth movement”.


    Ray Edwards- 26
    Lamarr Woodley-26

    Both of those guys are playoff tested veterans who have just recently entered their primes and might not have even reached their full potential yet.

    JBF.com free agency myth #2-

    The Bucs don’t have a need for additional veteran leadership to help them make a serious playoff push next season.

    For all we know Ronde Barber will retire this offseason leaving the Bucs with exactly no playoff tested leadership(Sean Jones? I think he’s been but not exactly a leader). Even if Ronde comes back he’s only one guy. Do people really think that a new crop of rookies next year is whats going to push the Bucs over the top for a deep playoff run????? Or do some people honestly prefer to wait for some nebulous time in the “future” when all the youngsters have reached their full potential and are ready to make that run??? Having a few additional experienced vets(especially someone like a Woodley who has won it all)would be invaluable to such an inexperienced team.

    Signing a couple of guys like an Edwards, Woodley or Asomugha could easily be the difference between the Bucs taking the next step or regressing from next year’s tougher schedule due to once again relying on rookies to fill glaring holes.

  26. gitarlvr Says:

    Myth #3- Bill Belichek is god and he never relies on free agency to build his team so neither should the Bucs


    2007- His holiness, the pope of football, Bill Belichek daringly gambles his “draft built” teams future by trading away 2nd, 4th and 7th round draft picks for Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Not only did he not destroy his teams future, they went 16-0 and were one miracle catch short of winning the Super Bowl.

    Now Welker and Moss were traded and then signed, so not technically free agents but thats splitting hairs. The point is even the Patriots go the veteran route sometimes and when done properly, it works.

  27. Lucas Jackson Says:

    Capt. Tim — what happens if #5 gets injured?

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Lucas- did you watch the patriots fall apart with Brady a couple of years ago. Or imagine the Colts without Manning. Without your Franchise Qb, you fall apart and lose. Why? That’s why I constantly question the sanity of Detroit. They actually have a great young QB, but refuse to draft linemen to protect him! They draft DT’s, and Stafford continues to get ground into the turf. The one guy who can turn that team around is walking around in a sling, while they continue losing at a record pace. It’s insanity!

  29. Joe Says:


    Bucs fans slobbering over Dominik breaking out the checkbook for high-priced free agents is like Joe believing he has a shot of picking up Rachel Watson tonight.

    Dominik has said repeatedly he will build through the draft and sign a free agent to plug a hole here or there. Joe’s pretty convinced the Haynesworth saga and the Ward failed experiment has scared Dominik off big name free agents. Throw in the fact no one knows what the salary cap will be until the CBA is signed, Joe would be shocked if any high-priced free agent landed in Tampa Bay this year.

    As for Woodley, not sure that would be a good fit. Not saying he wouldn’t fit, just not sure. Pittsburgh runs a defense that is dramatically different than what Rah runs. Easily could be a square peg/round hole deal.

    In regards to Asomugha, Joe’s perplexed why people think the Bucs would be remotely interested in him. One of the strengths of the team is its secondary. If one believes the premise that Dominik will go after a high-priced free agent, which is a dubious belief at best, wouldn’t he go after a need instead?

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    In both cases, I’m slobbering my @$$ off.

  31. Joe Says:


    If there will be a salary cap there will be a floor. Players will never agree to a cap without a floor.

  32. Lucas Jackson Says:

    so the update was to correct that the $50+ mill figure was post 2010 season?

  33. Guest#27 Says:

    But that floor in no way, shape or form will be 110 million. Come on, use a little common sense.

  34. Joe Says:


    Joe has zero idea what the floor will be and isn’t going to lose sleep over it. Joe just knows there will be one.

    Joe’s not an accountant so salaries and salary cap floors and stuff like that quickly chases him to the cheerleaders page on Buccaneers.com.

  35. Guest#27 Says:

    ;-). I’m just sayin, sorry to come off as irritated.

    But 110 mil as a floor is the reason why the owners are gonna put up a fight in the CBA.

    I am wondering if the Glazers want the Bucs to mimic the Minnesota Twins model if there is no floor though.

  36. gotbbucs Says:

    just a wild guess, and i have nothing to back it up, but i cant see the players union settling for anything less than 100 million for a salary floor considering an 18 game season sounded like a done deal.

  37. Joe Says:

    🙂 I’m just sayin, sorry to come off as irritated.

    Same here Guest#27 🙂

  38. gitarlvr Says:

    Joe said-

    “Given this salary data, Joe will be somewhat amazed if Dominik finds a way not to sign a big-name free agent for 2011.”

    So I am confused. You do or don’t think Dominik will make a play for a big name free agent?

  39. Sgt Mike Says:

    I think what Joe is inferring is that with a Salary floor, whatever it may be, the Bucs will shore up some of there lower paid stars to longterm deals and plug in a few solid bets from the free agent market. Dominik is scared of Big name FA’s like Haynesworth from a couple of years ago. He definitely is going to go for the high percentage FA and look past the money grubber all about me type of player. Maybe they could spend some money and send Olson to OC school or something. Don’t they have an online course at Univ. of Phoenix? Just something to help him solidify his game planning and decision making process.

  40. Dave Says:

    I see them signing everyone but Ruud and Trueblood. I also see them paying a touch extra for most and extending or offering new contracts to some key guys to help bridge the gap.