How Will The Bucs Reach The New Salary Floor?

July 28th, 2011

Joe’s been whacked with the question in the headline so many times and so many ways the past few days. It’s getting annoying.

First, Joe doesn’t necessarily trust the varying figures reported as to how much the Bucs have to spend to get this new real-cash floor. Are the intracacies of every existing contract out there for all to see? Absolutely not. Sure, the Bucs will have to spend a lot more than they have in past years, but exactly how much is a mystery.

Second, how the Bucs might be able to renegotiate existing deals and configure new contracts — essentially the fine print of the cap in this new labor agreement — isn’t common knowledge.

Maybe there’s more room than in past years to frontload contracts and not have a “cap hit” spread out across years. Joe has no clue. For example, Quincy Black’s sweetheart deal might count $8 million against the 2011 cap. Again, nobody knows.

Lastly, Joe hasn’t busted out a spreadsheet, but guys like Connor Barth and James Lee catching roughly $1.5 million raises, plus other guys who re-sign (Tim Crowder, Cadillac Williams & Adam Hayward anyone?) will quietly help the Bucs climb the cash ladder.

Will the Bucs get to where they have to be moneywise without spending on a splash free agent from outside the organization? Probably. Mark Dominik left that inference out there in his news conference Tuesday.

Then there’s also that possibility of the Bucs holding back cap cash to renegotiate/extend Josh Freeman’s deal later this season with a pile of frontloaded money into 2011. Again, without knowing the legalese of the cap, there’s no way to answer the question. But that’s not a bad option, since it would provide more spending flexibility in 2012 and beyond.

A guy like Josh Johnson also is an interesting option for the Bucs to extend midseason before he becomes a free agent. Actually having a “career backup,” as Raheem Morris called Johnson, might be wise, versus just talking about it.

All Bucs fans have is Dominik’s word that he plans to build through the draft, re-sign “homegrown” free agents (minus a certain linebacker, it seems) and mimic what the Steelers and Packers do.

Thankfully, real answers are coming.

28 Responses to “How Will The Bucs Reach The New Salary Floor?”

  1. Atrain WD40 Says:

    Signing our own guys… Awesome but, We need a little help to make that next step and I hope Rah isnt fooling himself with Ronde and Talib. This could blow up on us mid year.

  2. scubasteve4930 Says:

    Im not concerned with our offense as much as our defense. We could use another WR (james jones, roy williams), it would only given Freeman another weapon. I like Briscoe but from what ive been hearing, his lazy offseason might affect his production.

    I think all of our positions are good except for CB and depth on the O-line. If we make a move on J. Joseph, ill be content. But there is no way that we can compete in our division with the other 3 teams ( yes, even the panthers!!) making moves like they have been. Too many good receivers for us to cover. Atlanta will beat us by 40 if we stick with the CBs we have.
    Ronde is great in zone, but is too slow to keep up with top end receivers. Talib may get suspended (that will deff hurt us). Sean jones is avg (2 pass deflections, 1 pick). Biggers is has his flashes but allowed 150 yrds to calvin johnson last year. Myron Lewis has serious potential and im hoping he steps up to the plate this year.

    Ah – Frustrating to see all of these teams adding quality, besides us.

  3. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    If reports are correct and the bucs need to spend in excess of 50 million to meet the floor – giving 1-2 million dollar raises to a few players and signing Joseph, Trueblood, Ruud, Black and Caddy to substantial raises will not get them close to the 50 plus million – unless they gave them all front loaded contracts with huge signing bonuses.

    I think that there is an “unreported” grace period for meeting the new floor.

    If I were Dom I would be concerned about what is happening in Carolina – they drafted Newton , a huge upgrade, they are locking up there core players (johnson and williams), signed a UFA in Olindo Mare and are interested in UFA’s Zach Miller and others.

    If Dom isn’t careful and improves the talent of this team, especially the defense, we will find ourselves the 4th best team in this division real quick, instead of the third best.

    So far all they have done is sign their draft picks and Jane Black, I am sure that DJ and True will follow, hopefully Ruud – but that just brings you back to 2010 par at best.

  4. chargedcbh Says:

    From my understanding of the new CBA, each team does not have to spend 90% this year, that starts in 2013. That 90% must be reached league wide. There is no real penalty for not spending all the money. I very well could be wrong, please correct me if I am.

  5. chargedcbh Says:

    Also, they don’t have to hit a certain % of salary right now. I think it’s by the end of the season, going into 2013. When each team has to be at 90%.

  6. Travis Says:

    every NFL team use his 99% of the 120mil cap BY THE END OF THE YEAR.
    so expect us to sign out own guys and 2-3 mid level guys for like 3-4 mil per year and resign 3-4 of own own player by years end to cheat the system.

  7. Dave Says:

    I have seen NFL network say the Bucs need to spend about 40 million. My guess is somewhere n the year Freeman gets a new deal worth about 10 years 100 million.

    I expect Davin Jospeh’s deal to be worth 6 mil a year

    A few other Buc FA’s thrown in, a couple other restructuring’s throughout the eyar, and a couple FAs signed should get them close.

  8. OB Says:

    Don’t forget Williams, Blount, Grimm, etc who should get new contracts with the money for a lot of years. I bet this is where most of the salary cap money will go.

    Joe your thoughts?

  9. sunrisejeff Says:

    OB: If I’m not mistaken you have to have 3 yrs of duty before you can restructure so Blount and Williams wouldn’t be able to redo their deals yet.

  10. Travis Says:

    those 3 years were for players starting THIS year, Blount Williams, Grimm, or anyone else the bucs want to resign they will be able to, as long as they were signed before the new CBA

  11. JohnnyBoy Says:

    Ruud is all but gone, and I think we are looking at replacements for Trueblood, like Clabo of the Falcons. That will bump up the salary some.

    As for more CB’s, I think bringing in Johnathan Joseph would be a great move, old enough to have experience, but young enough to have a good few more years in him. He is a more athletic corner, fitting in perfectly with our zone coverage scheme, and runs a scheme which is pretty similar to ours already, so there isn’t a huge learning curve. If we get him, he can line up as the number 1 corner in Talib’s almost certain absence (courtesy of Warden Goodell), which would make it so Biggers doesn’t have to match up against the opposing team’s best receiver. Then when Talib gets back, we have Talib at 1, Joseph at 2, and Ronde at nickel, with Biggers and Lewis filling in the gaps. Now that, is an outstanding secondary.

  12. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    2.2 says the Bucs are only on par with their 2010 talent level. What a crock of bullsh-t. The following players are an upgrade: Clayborn over White; Bowers over Crowder/Moore; Foster over Ruud/Hayward; Stocker over Gilmore; Black over Asante/Jones; Gaitor over Mack; Bradford over Williams/Graham.

    Those upgrades mean our defensive line, linebackers, secondary, tight ends and running backs have all been upgraded. Only a biased fool would ignore multiple upgrades to support his own ridiculous argument. Go home.

  13. sunrisejeff Says:

    Aaaa ty Travis for the clarification……still trying to wrap my head around all the CBA ins and outs.

  14. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Thomas 2.2 — Though it’s painful to resond to your jibberish, are you really trying to sell that Carolina is a team to watch because they signed Cam Newton and a kicker, and brought back guys from their crapass team. Please. They’re destined for five wins at best this year.

    @OB — You want Joe’s thoughts? Joe just wrote a whole post. 😉 Let’s see what hapens and see if Dominik offers hard numbers before the season starts. If he ends up holding a cash carrot out there for current players, then maybe he publicly uses it to motivate before opening day. …

  15. Travis Says:

    Honestly I was wondering the same about the 3 year rule, but I heard them clarify that on the ESPN 3 hour free agency special monday when speaking about the Bucs. They also said look for the Bucs to lock up Freeman for a huge deal around December, and give a wait and see appraoch for Williams and Blount. This is Blounts last year of a 2 year deal, and Mike is making peanuts as a premier WR.

  16. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    FLBoyInDallas Says:
    July 28th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    2.2 says the Bucs are only on par with their 2010 talent level. What a crock of bullsh-t. The following players are an upgrade: Clayborn over White; Bowers over Crowder/Moore; Foster over Ruud/Hayward; Stocker over Gilmore; Black over Asante/Jones; Gaitor over Mack; Bradford over Williams/Graham.


    Wow, you’re delusional. Every rookie is better than their veteran counterpart?? You must’ve never played a sport in your life.

  17. Nick2 Says:

    From what I understand the Bucs need to spend just to reach the salary floor which is $108 million (90% of 120 million dollar cap.) The number they must spend over last year to reach that floor is $47.2 million. The thing that everyone is ignoring is that the Bucs do not need to hit that number before camp opens or even the season starts. From what I understand that is the money they must spend at some point during this upcoming season. So…. if the Bucs renegotiate Freemans or Blounts deal later in the year that will count towards the cap or if they bring in a high dollar free agent later in the year before the trade deadline then that will also count. So bottom line is they don’t have to hit that number right away just they must spend that much this year.

  18. Travis Says:

    What “high dollar free agent” is going to be available later in the year?
    None… The only free agents available during the year are washed up vets or crappy players who cant make teams.

  19. Coburn Says:

    The other thing people are ignoring Nick2 is that the only real penalty is dishing out a bit of a bonus to 53 players. I really don’t see an issue with staying 10-15 mil under the ‘floor’. You spread that thinly over 53 playrs and you may end up giving everyone 250k for one year. No future impact on cap, no major impact on negotiations down the road as it’s nice for bottom roster guys, but nothing major for big guns. No one gets overpaid and puts team in cap problems, no one gets jealous and wants a similarily overpaid deal. I don’t think Dom has any issues with not reaching the floor. I have a feeling a handful of other GMs feel the same way. Pay a bit of cash to maintain future cap space, not a bad trade.

  20. Brandon Says:

    Bucs have until March 2012 to reach the 2011 limit. As of right now, teams can’t extend 3rd year or earlier players so freeman can’t be extended, but he can BEFORE March 2012 and AFTER the 2011 season is over. And yes, his contract would have to be frontloaded like crazy.

  21. FLBoyInDallas Says:


    In fact I played both high school football and baseball as well as college baseball and currently a top-level adult baseball league here in Dallas. I would say it’s you who’s probably the desk-sitting fat-ss. I’m 40 now and can still deadlift you & half your family. Nice try, though.

    Instead of using asinine criticisms why not stick to the topic at hand and point out which one of the comparisons I made is definitely not happening? Or are you too threatened by a relevant discussion?

  22. Thomas 2.2 Says:


    I believe that excusing this refusal to upgrade the team with quality UFA’s is jibberish.

    There is no guarantee that ANY of these rookies will pan out. At this stage, it is impossible to know if any rookie is an upgrade from the starter the year before.

    Nobody with a brain believes that Foster will be better than Ruud in 2011.

    There is no evidence that this buc team is improved.

    I do believe that the Panthers are improved – if for nothing more than by virtue of subtracting 2 of the worst starting qb’s ever (moore and clausen) and adding an amazing (but raw) talent in Newton (along with a healthy steve smith and deangelo williams, and a return of theie defensive studs i.e. thomas davis who missed all of 2010).

  23. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    “There is no evidence that this buc team is improved.”

    If you were really an attorney 2.2, you would understand that you cannot have prima facie evidence before an event actually happens. Your argument would only be sustainable after the 2011 season, not before.

    Nice try, however.

  24. thomas 2.2 Says:


    You clearly don’t understand what “prima facie” means. It means, essentially “sufficient evidence” for sustaining a cause of action.

    This is a blog, not an actionable event, which necessarily requires debate about future events. If we were left only to argue the past hear – Joe would have virtually no traffic for 1/2 of the year.

    Further, I said that there is “no evidence” that this team is improved. By adding only rookies, and apparently substracting vet starters, and apparently not adding vet starters – you have “no evidence” of improvement because you havent seen the rookies play at the nfl level yet. If you downgrade a weakness, as an example Defensive End, and hypothetically you add Julius Peppers – you have evidence that the position is upgraded.

    Many say rookie d lineman don’t really contribute meaningfully until year 3 – see GMC last eyear.

  25. thomas 2.2 Says:

    here . . .
    (before someone criticizes me). again for the record I don’t proof but often see typos and grammatical errors when I check back to see who is blasting my realistic opinions.

  26. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    2.2: I fully understand what prima facie means, and if your cause of action on a blog is maintaining that the Bucs are not improved then you are lacking sufficient evidence. And yes, on the flip side anyone who tries to “prove” that the Bucs are improved is likewise lacking evidence. There is no way to tell except to let the season play out. There’s a difference between making a prediction and taking a firm stance as if something is fact.

  27. m.wesley Says:

    Thomas first you talk about our rookies then praise a young Newton,you trash Mccoy and then states it takes three years for a lineman to develope. What you are telling me is that none of our second year players will develope,and why do everyone sit there and act like an idiot saying Foster will start at MLB,Mackenzie sat behind the great Ruud for a year and studied he went to the mans hometown and got more tutoring,if it means this much to some of you to ignore the obvious just to bit.. and moan go ahead and Thomas you I know is just bullsitting because if they were making a mistake you would love it so you can get that thorn out of your sidecalled Morris,but the fact is the kid is not making many mistakes with players.I just have to say take a look at your boy Bruce Allen went for one nursing home to another he went from runningback home now hes at the old recievers home now thats your kind of guy no money left on the payroll fo that genius bet you sure miss him

  28. Captain Stagger Says:

    I hate you M. Wesley…why do you say everything I want to say before me 🙂

    So funny that Cam upgrades Carolina, but Bowers and Clayborn do nothing here?

    If Ruud does not return, your starting LB’s will be Mckenzie in the middle, Foster on the strong side, and Black on the week side.

    Also for scuba steve who said that if we stay status quo we wont be able to hang in this division….really? What was the strength of our defense last year? How did our secondary rank last year? And don’t give me that “Barber is a year older” crap, because whatever step he may loose, Biggers and Lewis will gain, so it’s a wash.

    Per Dominicks spending habits, ie, building through the draft:
    This is the same blue print used by the Packers and Steelers, both perennial playoff contenders, yet some of you fools are suggesting we follow the Snyder and Jones plan……when was the last time the cowboys and redskins were relevant?

    Patience is a virtue, and like it or not this is a long term plan, with a goal to build a lasting team, not a worst to first, and then back to worst team.

    Besides, I’m a draftnik anyway, so I love this plan. So just sit back, grab a cocktail and let’s enjoy watching these kids grow up.

    Harris and Teo in 2012!