Bucs May Dabble In Free Agency

February 20th, 2011

"Mr. Glazer, it's strange, every time I hear the name 'Albert Haynesworth,' for some reason I have a flare up of psorasis."

Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, to the horror if not bewilderment of many Bucs fans, is intent on continuing the Bucs’ winning ways for years if not decades.

One way to do that is ignoring free agency, which makes many Bucs fans crumble their empty beer cans in their fists. A significant group of Bucs fans want if not demand the Bucs to go shopping like a hyper teenager afflicted with ADD armed with an American Express, even though this process has been documented time and again to fail. (Good afternoon Mr. Snyder… Mr. Jones).

Dominik points to the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers and, to a lesser degree, the Philadelphia Eagles, for the most part, which consider acquiring big ticket free agents akin to an outbreak of the shingles.

So far, even though a number of Bucs fans don’t want to hear it, and try to bury their heads in a pillow, Dominik’s plan is working.

But eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune is of the mind Dominik may just veer from this mindset. The Bucs’ pass rush is so impotent (no, Joe won’t use his Connie Chung analogy today) that Kaufman believes there’s no way it can be fixed just through the draft.

Despite their 10-6 record, the Bucs applied little heat off the edges in 2010 and defensive end ranks as a top priority for a team with the 20th pick in the April draft. This college crop is deep at the posiiton, but the Bucs would be wise to consider adding a proven veteran who can force quarterbacks into mistakes and hasten the development of young defensive tackles like Gerald McCoy and Roy Miller.

Tennessee’s Jason Babin would be an intriguing addition if the Titans don’t franchise the 30-year-old defensive end with a relentless motor.

Babin, a converted outside linebacker, registered 12.5 sacks last season coming off the left side. That’s almost half of Tampa Bay’s total of 26 sacks for the entire year and Babin earned his first Pro Bowl berth, adding 58 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Given the fact there can be no player movement whatsoever until there is a new CBA, which may not come until September, Joe would be stunned if Dominik stepped aside from his philosophy and plunged into a free agency bidding war.

Thus far the Bucs — specifically, Dominik — are doing quite well turning up their noses at overpriced if not over-aged free agents. Joe doesn’t see Dominik walking down this path.

32 Responses to “Bucs May Dabble In Free Agency”

  1. Tom Says:

    Funny you mention Philly, since I seem to recall their best player last year was former free agent signee Michael Vick. Charles Woodson seemed to pan out for the Packers too.

    But assuming there is a salary cap next year, and subsequent floor Dominik will have no choice but to spend a few dollars here and there on FA’s whether the Glazer’s are kicking and screaming about it or not.

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    They have said it numerous times. They are following the same plan as last time to win the SuperBowl. 1) Build a solid team core 2) sign a few key free agents 3) win SuperBowl. I don’t know why anyone thinks theybwont sign free agents. Theyve said they would! They just weren’t gonna build the team with FAs. They have build a great core. Time tobshop. I expect them to try and sign “O” from the Rams, the safety they recently released. I also expect a DE and A LB or two. The time is now to start Josh’s run for the ring. Get some players in here, and let’s start winning some playoff games.


    Mentioning Vick as a free agent pickup is misleading. The Eagles signed the guy for next to nothing because he was coming out of prison. The opportunity to sign a player of Vick’s caliber at such a low cost doesn’t come around every offseason.

    We spent way more money on D Ward and M Clayton than Philly did on Vick.

    Pointing out 2 successful FA pickups doesn’t justify the entire practice…

  4. Jamie Says:

    I dunno, both Ray Edwards and Jason Babin seem suspect to me. Babin’s a one year wonder, after at least a half-dozen season of NOTHING, and Ray Edwards has had the three of the best d-lineman in the league surrounding him for the past couple years. I don’t really like either of them for the Bucs, given what their asking prices will likely be.

    I’d be much more interested in someone like Matthias Kiwanuka, a guy who’s got a lot of talent but hasn’t had the opportunity in New York.

  5. Tom Says:


    The concept that you can qualify what a makes a free agent outside of them being a free agent is misleading. Cris Carter was signed by the Vikings in the 1990 because he had a drug problem and was cut by the Eagles, so he wasn’t really a free agent then or it somehow didn’t count because he wasn’t released because of another reason? Foolishness.

  6. Wonder_boy Says:

    I hope Dominik does stick to his plan because so far I’ve seen an over achieving fun team. Why do people think running a team for the “now” works. As a buc fan I believe that our Superbowl run in 2002 was the exception to the rule that free agents will fill the gaps for a champion. We had so many pathetic high draft picks that didn’t pan out in the late 90’s and most of the 2000’s and that’s why we couldn’t build through the draft. Right now we have a great young quarterback and many young pieces to enjoy for several years. Lets leave it up to our new decision makers since their plan has shown more promise in these two years than any team in the league. To think that desperation is now will not help us at all. Yes, I do agree finding some nice pieces in free agency will help fill the gaps that the draft won’t, but I disagree that we need to spend just to find names that had success with other teams. Let’s just thank Albert Haynesworth for helping Dominik realize that and lets follow Dominik’s new plan.


    Glazers kicking and screaming over spending some money??? Some people just don’t have a clue and just accept the negative BS the media feeds them.

  8. impactplayerx47 Says:

    I don’t know that Mark Dominick will address DE in the free agent market but I don’t think he’s afraid to go out and get a guy he wants (let’s not forget we offered Albert Haynesworth MORE money than the Redskins did a few years ago because WE wanted him).

    @Jamie I like Kiwi too! I think he could be a great addition to the team (hopefully with a stud in the 1st at DE as well) and could really help the development of GMC, and B-Price.

  9. MOBucs Says:

    I like Ray Edwards a lot, but he will command one hell of a contract. Dom did offer Haynesworth a $100+ million, so he may be willing to offer Edwards a sizeable contract. When a new CBA is reached and a salary cap floor is established, the Bucs will have to spend some money regardless.

  10. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:


    Well the Bucs signed 3 FAs last offseason which was higher than the league average, but you’re not gonna hear anyone give them credit for signing Jon Alston, Sean Jones or Keydrick Vincent now are you???

    Vick’s signing was a once-in-a-lifetime gamble that paid off for Eagles and you’re using it to justify building through free agency. You’re the fool.

  11. Tom Says:

    The fool is the person who wants to make different classes of free agents based on WHY they became a free agent. Seriously, it’s like saying a draft pick shouldn’t count as a steal because they should have gone higher etc. Why can’t you accept a case in point?

    Once in a lifetime gamble? What was Charles Woodson then? Or Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia, Drew Brees. Or are you going to rationalize each one of those too.

  12. Tom Says:

    “Well the Bucs signed 3 FAs last offseason which was higher than the league average”

    Where the hell did you find that nugget? Can you please cite that or do you like to randomly make up numbers to fit your argument as much as you like to disqualify others based on how you see fit?

  13. Fear The Glo Says:

    I have no problem with them hitting the free agent market. Especially this year because free agency might be the biggest ever.

    I have a problem with it when they try to “build” through free agency and fill in the gaps with the draft. That’s when things go down the crapper.

    Not every free agent is Fat Al Haynesworth or Antonio Bryant. There are some good players to be had at a reasonable price every year.

  14. gitarlvr Says:

    Ray Edwards isn’t suspect. There are some who think he was better than Jared Allen last year. He’s had two years in a row now of steady production and is just hitting his prime. And In the 2009 playoffs he exploded for four sacks so he’ already a proven playoff performer despite his young age. As far as the money its not like he’s going to get Julius Peppers type money. I hope people aren’t suggesting the Buccaneers sign no free agents at all. Every team signs a free agent here and there at least. There are other defensive ends that will be cheaper than Ray Edwards that could provide the Bucs with some production. I hope people aren’t counting on our drafted defensive end(s) coming in and being productive right away because the odds of that are low.

    fear the glo- You said it exactly man. The Bucs already have built a 10-6 winner through the draft and then there is this one coming up. If they sign a free agent or two this offseason that hardly qualifies as “building” through the free agency.

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I agree, Gitarlvr. I think Ray Edwards would be a great pickup for our team. Is there any doubt he would be better than any of the DE’s we have now? Would it even be close? I’m all for building through the draft, it has been shown time and time again as the way to build a team. However, if you can go out and get a young, guaranteed starter at the biggest position of need, then that’s the time where you go the free agency route.

    I think the hardest thing about free agency is to know whether or not the player is going to get his check and stop working. It happens time and time again in the NFL (cough, cough Derrick Ward). But I think if you do your homework (just like you do your homework on a player’s character coming out of college), then you can mostly avoid that problem.

  16. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Ray Edwards is an animal. If “dabbling” in free agency costs serious money the Glazer’s will not partake unless CBA changes force their hand (like creating a legit salary floor).

    I have never heard so many fans / sheep give this ownership group so much credit for NOT signing a free agent. You sheep act like, b/c the bucs made a losing bid on Haynesworth, that they are legit players in free agency.

    I heard that although the total value of the contract was competitive it gave the bucs early and cheap outs (so in effect it was like a 2 or 3 year deal ) and wasn’t competitive at all since real players were paying a huge signing bonus and basically 5+ years.

    It sounds great to make a 6 year 100 million dollar offer but if the signing bonus isn’t competitive and the team has options after three to kill the deal before big money kicks in on the back-end it is not a competitive offer.

    Dom’s record in non-rookie FA is bad: Mike Nugent, Angelo Crowell, Mike Clayton (25 million dollar deal with 10+ guaranteed!!!), Leftwich to name a few – he will probably be gun shy.

    Anyone who thinks that Glazer’s are spending competitively must be related by a lot less than the six degrees – you must be like Joel, Bryan or whatever the other bozo is named. They won their super bowl, locked season ticket holders up for as long as they could ride that out, while tearing down the team by restricting salaries, bought MANU on borrowed money and are viewing the franchises collectively instead of independently for banking purposes which I think is unfair to this market,

    The Glazers are hardliners for favorable CBA change, and we will see what happens if they get concessions. The hope is that they will be guaranteed MORE profits so they will invest in player salary – but I doubt it b/c the PR plan of selling the community on the 5 year ridiculous “build through the draft” plan in the era of FA has fooled most of you.

    I heard a respected football person say that you can sum the truthful “build through the draft plan” like this: DRAFT A FRANCHISE QB.

    The Colts, Steelers, Packers, Patriots all have changed their organizations by one correct pick. The Saints acquired theirs via FA. The rest of the roster is important by very interchangeable. The bucs seem to have hit on Free, now start filling in the rest with the best available regardless of the PRICETAG. Never happen here.

  17. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “The Colts, Steelers, Packers, Patriots all have changed their organizations by one correct pick. The Saints acquired theirs via FA. The rest of the roster is important by very interchangeable. The bucs seem to have hit on Free, now start filling in the rest with the best available regardless of the PRICETAG. Never happen here.”


    That is possibly the dumbest statement I have heard from you in at least a week. Really, so Polamalu and James Harrison are interchangeable? Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Dwight Freeney are interchangeable? Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings can be replaced? You, my friend are a fraud of a football fan if you really believe that. There is no doubt QB is the most important for most teams, but to say that the other parts are interchangeable is completely false. All 4 of those teams you mentioned draft extremely well (probably the best in the NFL), so it is not a “1 correct pick situation” as you claim. Stop talking out of your arse for a minute and think about what you write before you write it. Nobody is going to take you serious when you just spout out nonsense.

  18. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Yes Hawaiian: As an example: James Harrison was a UFA that was cut three or four times by the Steelers. He was not an early round draft pick that was thrust into the starting line-up b/c of draft status.

    I believe that Polamu (who I like) is not the reason that the Steeleers defense is so good.

    Reggie Wayne is top notch, but Payton has shown that he can win 12 games andd advance through the playoffs with just about anyone. People previously argued that Marvin Harrison wasn’t replaceable until Pierr Garcon (a late round pick) proved that he was. The same holds true for Wayne – he is replaceable. People use to say Bob Sanders is indispensible – well did you see what happened last week. Dallas Clark was replaced very well by (I forget the kids name).

    Jennings is a big play threat but there are a plethora of those guys out there – I could argue that there would be virtually no drop off if Jordy Nelson became the starter at that position and a young player (Titus Young) stepped into Nelson’s role as the third receiver.

    Pass rushers like Freeney and Matthews (and Harrison to some degree) I place a little more value on that the other non-qb positions – the only thing as important as the passer and pass pro are ensuring that the mannings and bradys don’t have too much time. So, I will concede that top levell pass-rushers influence the game a lot but still not nearly as much as top level qb’s.

    The Steelers lost this year’s super bowl b/c the Packers qb was better. The Steelers clearly had the better D but on that night (and really through the playoffs) the better qb won. That is usually what happens.

    To be clear: I am not saying that having good complimentary players is not important, I am saying that HOW you acquire and develop them isnt important. You can just as easily draft a Payton as sign a Brees. Thus, you don’t need to build through the draft (that just happens to be the cheapest way to do it). Hence, why the Glazers chose it.

  19. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Okay, then Thomas, you are an even bigger idiot than I thought. To say that it is not important how you acquire your players is ignorant and foolish. It’s really not even worth arguing. No matter what the Glazers and Raheem do, you are going to want them to do the opposite. You will never be happy, so in all seriousness you really should find another team. It’s not going to change. I will guarantee you that even if we win our division and make it to the playoffs, you will still complain. You will still find something that you don’t like, and you will still be posting every day in the offseason about how cheap they are, how Raheem can’t coach, how our players are thugs, etc. etc. You know it, I know it, everyone on this board knows it. But go ahead and deny it, I wouldn’t expect you to man up and tell the truth.

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    So Thomas 2.2 inches is an idiot? Wow – who knew? Lol!

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    Free Agency is by no means a bad thing but it can be if you don’t really watch what you’re doing. As a fan it’s fun to here about your team signing a guy five minutes after midnight on that first day of free agency but those are ussually the guys that don’t end up panning out. I prefer for the team to wait until at least the 2nd wave of signings start if not later because those are normally the guys that are signing prove-it deals and are looking to come in and earn a big contract.
    Sean Jones is a great example of free agency when it works. He is a solid player that had good experience coming in and fit right into the team as a good role player. Simeon Rice was a prime example too.
    The truly great players do not normally make it to free agency, unless of course it’s a situation like Drew Brees where the player had major medical questions or a Mike Vick deal where it’s a last chance type of thing.
    Ultimately, I like the idea of trading for proven players rather than paying out big money up front for FA’s. Traded players show up under contract and I think that’s a little bit easier for players curently on the roster to accept than having a new guy show up that’s earning more than everybody else right from the get go.

  22. BamBamBuc Says:

    With a salary cap in place, it IS important how you acquire players. Free agents cost big money, and too many create a salary cap hell for a team, especially when trying to re-sign their own young drafted players to new contracts to prevent from losing them to free agency.

    The concept works well… draft good players, resign them to longer contracts while they are restricted free agents or before they become unrestricted (if they are worth keeping). Don’t create too many holes to fill on the team by continuing to draft well and signing your own players. Fill in one (maybe two) holes with free agency only when necessary.

    Players like Brees don’t come along every day. Many never become free agents, they are traded by the team that owns their rights before they become free agents. That costs money AND draft choices. So, you spend loads of money and lose out on potential future talent. This was the case with many wide receivers this past off season. Sure, they may have helped the team immediately, but at what cost?

    Build through the draft, fill through free agency…. minimally.

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    If you only build thru the draft,you get 7 players every year. It ‘ll take 8 years to fill out a 53 man roster- if EVERY PICK is a hit. 8 years is longer than the average NFL career.
    We won the Superbowl with a ton of FAs in 2002. I believe that is the Formula the Glazers will follow, now that we have build a solid core thru the draft. It’s what they’ve said they will do. No mystery

  24. Gary Says:

    Its pretty simple, we all know they will sign someone. It all comes down to whether or not the 2 or 3 players we get have a playmaker among them.

  25. Dave Says:

    I don’t see babin walking.
    I want Mathias Kiawanuka or Ray Edwards. Both are young 27ish with huge upside

  26. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Sorry, guys, I’m with Joe on this one.

    In my own opinion, there is no chance the Bucs sign a 30 year old free agent to the team (unless it’s a player already here).

    I think the cutoff is 28 years old for Dominick to even consider. That would give 2 years for other younger players to develop.

    Even so, I suspect the Bucs will move plenty in Free Agency…once Undrafted Free Agents are available. They might even go after players that are came out last year at some point.

    At most, I could see one decent vet signing…but even of that I’m skeptical.

    I’m not even sure I would be mad if they didn’t sign a big free agent. One more year of going young would suit me fine, especially this year given the lockout.

    That said, if there were any position I would like them to go after in Free Agency, it would be a strong MLB. Other than that, do it in the draft and Undrafted FAs or trades.

  27. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    If the bucs win the division and make the playoffs, so long as it is not at 7-9 like seattle, i will not complain about the constitution of talent on the roster. So long ad rah’s coaching and defense doesnt keep them from being better – i wont complain.

  28. eric Says:

    A good dependable veteran third down WR would help 5 IMO, and some mid-level FA’s to provide competition and depth would help the team. I seriously doubt the bucs will pursue a blue chip starter in FA, that would be “fools gold”.

    Wouldn’t mind an experienced back up Qb either, not sure JJ could step in and win if Freeman missed time. Could easily ruin the season.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I call BS on that!

    Thomas 2, you’d complain if Rachel Watson was sitting on your face.

  30. thomas 2.2 Says:

    BigMac: I sure wouldnt but my wife would! lol

  31. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “If the bucs win the division and make the playoffs, so long as it is not at 7-9 like seattle, i will not complain about the constitution of talent on the roster. So long ad rah’s coaching and defense doesnt keep them from being better – i wont complain.”


    There sure is a lot of stipulations to you being not complaining, don’t you think? Sounds to me like you kind of kept the door open to continue to be the arse hole you always are.

  32. BigMacAttack Says:

    WTF Thomas? Are you back on your meds? That was funny.

    1 pill every 12 hrs, not 12 pills every hour.