Forget Veteran Free Agents

November 2nd, 2011

Clinton Portis is not coming to the Bucs, so writes eye-RAH! Kaufman.

The bye week was good for Joe and bad for Bucs fans.

Joe relaxed during the bye week by spending an afternoon watching the Red Zone channel and bouncing from game to game while enjoying his NFL Sunday Ticket, all the while consuming copious amounts of adult beverages loaded with hops, without a care in the world.

Other Bucs fans spent the bye weekend looking under every rock imaginable and around every corner for a running back with a name they recognize, or touting running backs from colleges previously they had never heard of before, via the magic of YouTube.

Joe can’t count how many times he received e-mail, Twitter messages and Facebook queries for the Bucs to pick up Clinton Portis, Tiki Barber, Larry Johnson or the flavor of the day, Tashard Choice.

Joe was moderately surprised he didn’t hear from a Bucs fan clamoring for Shaun Alexander if not Eddie George.

(Just last night Joe had a back-and-forth with a fan on Twitter who asked — no, demanded — the Bucs sign Choice. When Joe tried to politely suggest there may be red flags with Choice given the fact 30 other NFL teams passed on Choice, said fan shot back “I don’t care about other teams, I care about the Bucs and the nearly infinite cap space unused when our 3rd down back goes [on injured reserve]. They need running back depth.” [FacePalm])

Hold up, says eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Bucs fans can simply forget about the Bucs signing a veteran running back. Or wide receiver. Or any veteran skill player. So long as rock star general manager sits in the chair reserved for the Bucs head honcho of football operations, fans can just save their breathe and the wear and tear on their fingertips pleading for veterans to bolster the roster. It will not happen, Kaufman writes in a Bucs question-and-answer feature.

Q: Are the Bucs looking into free agency to restore missing links in our offense? Terrell Owens is a good veteran eceiver and can open up our young receivers as a possesion receiver sure he wouldn’t cost much. Also, how about a veteran free agent running back like Clinton Portis? Our offense needs help fast! We are missing the deep ball and we should be averaging 100+ yards on the ground. This is what we need to be a playoff caliber team.

Tyrone Odom, San Diego, Calif.

A: Age is a major factor for the Bucs when it comes to looking for outside help. They are the league’s youngest team by design and Owens and Portis don’t fit into the master plan for the franchise. There is also a reluctance to go outside the organization for free agents. Right or wrong, the Bucs want to groom their own players and give youngsters a chance to step up. That philosophy isn’t about to change in the near future.

– eye-RAH! Kaufman

Dominik has said that time and again and for reasons Joe does not quite understand, many Bucs fans simply refuse to believe him, or are reluctant to listen.

Per Kaufman, if Bucs fans are banging the drum for picking up veteran free agents, they may best be served starting their own Yahoo fantasy team to soothe their pangs.

26 Responses to “Forget Veteran Free Agents”

  1. Ian P Says:

    When you have to start Kregg Lumpkin and you have NOBODY behind him, you go out and you sign a veteran. Period.
    The reason Dominik didn’t sign a RB during the bye is not because of some youth philosophy. Tashard Choice is only 26. Lumpkin is 27.
    It turns out, it’s because he could see the good progress Blount was making.

  2. Brad Says:

    I believe that philosophy will cost not only Dominic’s job but Raheem’s as well. I get building from within and thru the draft and believe its the right way… But to totally ignore free agents, veterans is just stupid and arrogant. I believe Dominic is reading his own press clippings (apparently a problem for the entire organization) and thinks he can do no wrong or worse hasn’t done anything wrong. This is reaching the level of frustration that fans felt when Dungy refused to change offensive coordinators and we had to watch the offense struggle year after year. With that old defense we should of hoisted the Lombardi trophy more than once. This team clearly needs that veteran leadership that Nickerson brought when he joined the Bucs. I don’t get why Dominic cannot see that.

  3. Dave Says:

    I love what they have done and look forward to the draft next year… but at SOME point they HAVE to fill a spot here and there with a vet to help the team get over the hump.
    This bye week was the perfect time to grab a RB. I have never heard anything bad about Tashard Choice and we all know he can produce.
    They are still REAL THIN at RB so I just do not understand why they would not take a chance on a YOUNG RB who has proven he can get results.
    It’s called depth with proven backups, eventually they have to try it.

    I absolutely get what they are doing and buy into it completely, but Choice seemd perfect: young, inexpensive, proven, and a good change of pace.

    Makes no sense. I hope Blount stays healthy for the rest of the year

  4. Chad Says:

    Well number one, Choice was claimed off waivers not signed. So even if we wanted him, there is no way we could of got him (Redskins are 3-4).

    The other reason, is the fact that Choice was injured at the time he was waived. He also has a ton of fumbling issue.

    I agree that we should pick up some veteran free agents to fill in here or there, but Running Back is not one of them. Look around, this league is full of young undrafted running backs making a huge difference for there team (Blount?). Filling the RB position is not what is use to be. Give Mossis Madu a shot, he might be the next big thing.

  5. Patrick Says:

    Tell me, why the hell can’t we sign any veterans?!?! It’s for depth, for crying out loud. If Blount goes down, we have no running backs! Get rid of Lumpkin already, he’s a nobody. He doesn’t contribute anything to our offense.

    Portis and those other dudes that you mentioned Joe don’t have to be in our future plans to be brought in. At least all of them have been there, done that and have a damn track record of success. Who cares how old they are? If they can bring depth and help us move the ball, sign them! Look who we have right now! Bring one of them in just to give us a little stability then get a good one in the draft next year. How would that hurt us?

    I like Dom, but I wish we could just assign him to drafting players and get someone that would fill holes that need to be filled and upgrade weak positions on our team that are obviously weak spots. Oh, and someone not giving big contracts to medicore/below average players (Clayton, Black). Instead of wasting $ on Black, we could’ve brought in Sproles and boosted our rushing attack, providing a weapon to our offense.

  6. justin Says:

    why go out and sign any veterans when we can sign practice squad players if u dident know by now practice squad players win suberbowls

  7. Jake Says:

    This isn’t about Dominik. This is all about the Glazers. He is simply following his bosses wishes and I am pretty sure he likes his job and paycheck. Building a roster through the draft is about the least expensive way you can build your roster these days. This is especially true with the new rookie wage scale which resulted from the new collective bargaining agreement. This is all about the benjamins and this whole strategy of avoiding veteran free agents from other teams ,as if they are diseased, is nothing more than a ruse. The whole “plan” is nothing more than spin and propaganda the end result of which are empty seats in RJ on Sundays, ufortunately.

  8. Freeman4President Says:

    WOW, hostility… Tashard Choice can’t stay healthy for 2 straight snaps, never mind 2 straight games…no real help, as to anyone else not signed…there is a reason they have been worked out by other teams and aren’t on a roster! If Portis sneezes too hard he will be a vegetable, Tiki, do I even have to say it?, and a whole lot of nobodies are the only other things on the market right now, promoting a guy who has been in the system all year is the right move….
    NOW, I do have an issue with the failure to sign a FA RB in the off season, as well as a vet LB (man S. Tulloch would look great in a bucs uni right now) but in mid season you aren’t getting anything better than what you have.

  9. Nick Says:

    Albert Haynesworth…..3 tackles

    I’ve heard T.O. would sell tickets. If we need T.O. to get more fans in the stadium, there is something wrong with our fans.

  10. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    Don’t forget Choice can’t hold onto the ball either.

  11. Leighroy Says:

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that Tashard Choice had a way better situation in Washington to go to, than to come to Tampa and be Blount’s backup?

  12. Jake Says:

    No Leighroy, it hasn’t occured to anyone since Choice was awarded to the Redskins based on a waiver claim. He wasn’t the one who decided where he wanted to play. In fact the Redskins were the only team placing a waiver claim on him.

  13. macabee Says:

    I think Dominic will go after a FA or 2 in free agency next year as he did this year (Free and Koenen). And in 2013, the CBA requires a floor limit of 90% of cap meaning we will probably see even more. While I am on record here stating that I disagree with the religious adherence to a “no free agent” philosophy, I don’t believe that is the case. Whether it’s a Glazer edict or a Dominik badge of honor, it is their core belief and they are not going to stray to far from it. Oh yea, we should stop using Tashard Choice as the example for passing up a good FA pick. Anyone who understands the waiver wire process knows that for the Bucs to get Choice, 19 other NFL team would have to pass. Since the Redskins got him at pick 16, it is a moot point.

  14. Dave Says:

    The Glazers don’t have the $ to spend on any veteran free agents.They are using the youth movement as a smoke screen.To be successful in the NFL today, you have to draft well and also bring in the right free agents to build your team.The Glazers are cheap & this is the same reason they agreed to play in England again this year.Follow the $ people.

  15. Dave Says:

    Thank you Freeman4President and Chad.

    I am not one to jump on with the “sign him now” mentality with every free agent that comes along.

    I was merely trying to find out WHY T Choice was not a viable option. I knew he was young, proven, inexpensive, provided depth, and I never heard of any personal issues.

    I did not know he was so injury prone and had fumbling issues.

    That is what I wanted to know.

    Hopefully Madu and Spann can step up if called because Lumpkin has shown nothing.

    I would rather give one of these kids a shot than sign Portis at this point.

  16. Mauha Deeb Says:

    “Dominik has said that time and again and for reasons Joe does not quite understand, many Bucs fans simply refuse to believe him, or are reluctant to listen.”

    It is so nice to know I am not alone when it comes to the realization of “the plan”. Why people question Morriss’ and Dominik’s words must be left over sentiments from the Gruden/Allen era. You could never trust a word Allen and Gruden said.

    I enjoy the new honesty and “play no games” mentality. Why do others continue to push the past and fight the present? Well, some people have a hard time handling change.

  17. Mauha Deeb Says:

    LMAO I just saw the other post about gruden right now. Funny that I wrote the above comment then immediately see another post talking about something similar to what I was i.e.”Gruden is inherently dishonest”

  18. Nick2 Says:

    I like Dom but I think his hands are tied by the Glazers. If you go on a case by case basis you can make an arugment against signing each free agent but if you are telling me the only free agent worth value that would not disrupt our “youth movement” was Koenen than I will laugh at you. Dom obviously has an edict from the Glazers to spend as little payroll as possible. Dom said he was going to resign some of our own players who deserve deals. And just who would that be at this point besides Blount and obviously Freeman??? Wooops I just pointed out another money saving move. “Well at the end of the year we really didn’t have many of our own players worthy of a new contract.” Thats tne next words out of Doms mouth.

  19. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Nick2 Bennett, a RFA next year, will get a huge deal next off season. Zuttah, a UFA, will get a huge deal before the end of the season. Blount, RFA next year, will get a huge deal next offseason.

    They are spending the money on their own guys who perform(even on some who do not). They parrot this over and over yet people fail to hear it.

  20. Nick2 Says:

    Mauha Deeb lets not talk huge deals yet please, the last one we spent a huge deal on was Quincy Black. How is that one working out???? Bennett looks pretty good but how many sacks does he have?? 3??? Thats not the making of a huge deal halfway through the season. Zuttah has value but lets not talk huge deal.

  21. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Bennett is playing the best run defense of any DE in the league right now. He is the best DE on a team deep at that position and will get a huge deal with the Bucs. Guaranteed. Clayborn, Bennett and Bowers: number one DE core in the NFCS and top 10 in the league.
    Zuttah will get a huge deal as he is playing better than all but one lineman on the team. If Joseph can get a deal, certainly Zuttah can get something similar while outperforming him at a younger age.
    Blount will get paid. I am not going to explain why.
    These three guys are young, productive, and are team raised. Of course the Bucs are going to sign them. They have been following this pattern for 3 years and talk about it all the time.

  22. Nick2 Says:

    Ok hmmm I don’t think any player on our defense is playing best run defense at his position in the league. If he is please tell that to Matt Forte who ran at will in London. I think he was waving goodbye to most of our defense the entire day. Why they stopped running him was Mike Martz issue.

  23. Nick2 Says:

    And Forte runs around the edges so a defensive end would have a shot.

  24. Nick Says:

    Ray Edwards….18 tackles…2 sacks

  25. Mauha Deeb Says:

    @Nick2 Do not understand the Ray Edwards thing. Bennett has more tackles(22) as well. Bennett has been penalized once to Edwards three. Bennett is playing far better than Edwards this year.;

    As far as the “running around the edge”, a significant portion of edge gaps are on the LBs and DBs. Edge running is meant to bypass the DL and attack the second level immediately. Success on edge running and placing blame on one DE is like a receiver catching a TD and blaming a guy who was on the other side of the field.

    And just for reference, I was talking from watching the games and looking at the statistical data of where people run against this team. They rarely run at Bennett with any success at all. PFF even has him rated highest in run defense of any DE.

  26. MTM Says:

    Clinton Portis is not coming to the Buc’s? Say it ain’t so. I will go ahead state that no one is being signed through free agency, especially if the Bucs need them. They will continue to build through the draft and pay as such. Then over pay for the players they have. I cannot wait to see the cap floor in place.