“Clear Mandate” To Spend In Free Agency

February 22nd, 2012
“Let’s just buy a couple of real linebackers and see what happens”

Yes, Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik has said the Bucs will be active in free agency this year. And there are three common reactions to that among fans:

1) Duh. The Bucs sign a free agent or two every year. What does that really mean?
2) Hooray!!!
3) Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Joe understands what generates all those reactions, and Joe would fall into the first group.

There’s been endless speculation from all corners of the country about what the Bucs actually will do when the bell rings on free agency, from big splashes to a lot less, but Joe tunes most of that out. Why? Because nobody knows anything.

However, Joe can’t ignore an interesting choice of words from a preview of tight ends in free agency from the Buccaneers themselves, via Buccaneers.com. Here’s the snippet claiming the Bucs’ brass has a “clear mandate” to spend. 

Still, with a new coaching staff being put in place under Head Coach Greg Schiano and a clear mandate to make use of a favorable free agency spending position, the Buccaneers can’t be considered set at any position. With free agency opening in exactly three weeks, Schiano and company will be poring over 2011 game film, upcoming Combine information and the pro scouts’ evaluation of the pending market, seeking to identify where upgrades can and should be made. Tight end, like every position on the depth chart, is worth examining in regards to the free agent market and how it might affect the Buccaneers’ roster.

Whoa! Last Joe checked, “mandate” carried the following definition from Miriam-Webster: : an authoritative command; especially : a formal order from a superior court or official to an inferior one.

So who’s issuing authoritative commands to spend in free agency at One Buc Palace? Joe suspects only Team Glazer carries such power. Of course, the author of this piece on Buccaneers.com might have mistyped and could now be on an unemployment line as a result, but Joe doubts that’s the case.

It’s going to be very interesting when the bell rings on March 13.

48 Responses to ““Clear Mandate” To Spend In Free Agency”

  1. Meh Says:

    Put me into camp #3 – seeing is believing. But I’m optimistic we’ll finally grab some good talent in free agency. I’m not sure they have a choice if they care about their reputations.

  2. J 2.0 Says:

    I with Meh, regardless of all my “fantasy football” desires of signing Mike Wallace.

  3. eric Says:

    Looks like were gonna be mining us some fools gold!

  4. Vic Says:

    I don’t worry about the Glazers. It’s easy to forget that they sat back and owned and watched this team for every year it was great. They know what it’s supposed to look like. There’s no benefit in fielding a piece of garbage team. That’ doesn’t mean they’re great football people, but I feel like they want to win a Super Bowl and have an honest plan to get there.

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    I imagine if we’re significant players, the defense is addressed mostly, WR for offense. We need to be aggressive and quick. Being ‘thorough’ as we did the coaching search won’t work in FA.

  6. OAR Says:

    Depends on who you ask Joe. I bet Elton John has a different difinition for “mandate”

  7. OAR Says:


  8. jvato24 Says:

    Its no longer .. I wonder what will Happen ?!?!?!?

    They HAVE to sign FAs … HAVE TO !!!

    If they go into next season with the requirement to hit a Salary Roof …
    and they go in 65-75 million under the Cap and what is predicted to be a smaller FA marker because of the roof.

    The Bucs would literally have to give HUGE contracts to their own players .. Some of which probably hadnt earned it ..

    The Bucs must fill the cap so they have probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 Mill for next season

    Not a question of “If they will” anymore … It is WHO wil it be ?!?!!

  9. Meh Says:

    jvato, I forget the details, but the salary floor is rolling average. They don’t have to hit it in a single year. I agree with the rest of your comment, but if they wanted to cheap out they could pull it off for a few more years at least.

  10. OAR Says:

    Have to or not? They should and they need to, period!

  11. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    This pretty much jibes with what I’ve been saying the past 3 years

    The Glazers, good business men that they are, were not going to be spending cash when the rules of engagement (pending labor strife) were unclear.

    These owners want to win….I firmly believe that. They have spent money in the past, signed big name FA’s, and now that we know what the rules are moving forward it is time to get back into the game.


    I guess I’m from Missouri, cause you’re going to have to show me.

  13. Snook Says:

    I’m at #3 too. There’s no floor until 2013, right?

    I don’t agree with the whiners that are always crying “The Glazers are cheap”… but I’m also realistic and know that they just don’t throw dumb money around very often either. So we’ll see.

    Plus, by the time free agency opens up, most of the big names will be tagged or re-signed anyways.

  14. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Here’s a question:
    Depending on who we get as QB Coach, if Jimmy Clausen is released should we sign him as depth?

    I know, he will likely NEVER be a starter, but if the Bucs have someone to work with him, who knows how things could work out? I’m not saying he should be competition (he doesn’t come close atm), but if a good coach can turn him around, he could be trade bait down the road.

    The contracts could contain very hard to meet incentives, which would result in the cap money rolling over into the following year. So they COULD go on the cheap. I don’t think they will this time around.

    Personally, I’m hoping they don’t go from one extreme to another. Find a middle-ground, plug the holes and only go after 1-2 big name guys so long as it doesn’t “break the bank” in future years.

  15. Meh Says:

    Pete, we’re in a great position to do that. With so much cap room we can front load contracts, bring in some real talent for once, and not hamstring ourselves moving forward. If they are willing to spend, it is now or never. We can bring in a lot of talent without screwing ourselves over this year.

  16. Dew Says:

    I read somewhere else that we signed a previous 3rd round pick TE yesterday. Anyone else see that? Also, if you say you’re going to run first with this offense you can’t do that well with K2 playing TE. We need TE’s that can block and catch a pass.

  17. Buddhaboy Says:

    Jimmy clausen pickles? Seriously dude. Worst comment to date.

  18. jarrett Says:

    Buddhaboy,Worst comment to date,While it is out of left field, and pretty dumb, have you seen capt tims comments.

  19. Meh Says:

    Dew – he’s just a camp guy. Very unlikely he makes the 53 man roster. He won’t be taking Winslows job.

  20. Patrick Says:

    Sign David Garrard, he’d be the perfect veteran backup

  21. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:


    You’ve said over and over and over again for the past two years that you have no interest in stories about spending, salary cap or potential free agents, yet the past two days have seen 5 or 6 stories on just that

    Can you at least admit now that you’re getting a little excited?

    Creamsicle, that’s really an inaccurate claim. Joe is disinterested in accounting (aka salary cap) unless it relates to the Bucs having to cut a player(s) or being forced to spend. The Bucs are in neither position. –Joe

  22. deminion Says:

    Rdy to see!!!!!!!!

  23. Dew Says:

    Chase Coffman is his name as he just tweeted happy to be a Buc. I believe he was a former 3rd round pick and while I wasn’t suggesting he would replace K2, I am saying we need more balanced TE’s than K2 for the run game.

  24. HolyBuc Says:

    Vincent Jackson WR, Brandon Carr CB, Curtis Lofton LB, Kellen Davis TE, and Tyvon Branch S. If your going to spend you might as well spend.

    I think this is the second time the official buccaneers have implied spending. I remember seeing a tweet from them and I found it on their timeline:

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @TBBuccaneers
    Fair enough, but be ready to believe. “@TampafaninVA: @TBBuccaneers We’ll believe it when we see it…I’m not gonna hold my breath”

    That was in response to someone saying they won’t hold their breath. They most be planning on going fairly “big” in free agency. I can’t remember any of the Bucs organization being this open about spending and not at least trying to manage expectations.

    If they aren’t going big they could probably start downplaying involvement so fans aren’t disappointed if they only spend let’s say 30 milllion. They way they are going now with all this talk people are going to be dreaming big. Fingers crossed.

  25. eric Says:

    I havent been this pumped up since we signed Alvin Harper……………….

  26. jvato24 Says:

    PFT says Falcons may let Curtis Lofton hit FA. THe Bucs must strike at MLB .. Hawthorne, Tulloch, Lofton would make our D better and let Foster move to a more natural position.

    With all the talk I always hear Nickerson brought to the team. Time to bring in a VET MLB. That position demands a leader i think.

  27. HolyBuc Says:

    LMAO!!!! It’s sad I will admit it to being at bar when Alvin Harper signing was announced and me and some buddies celebrating like we won the superbowl.

  28. lowlife Says:

    Putting this on their own website and Dominik proclaiming they’ll spend in straight up fashion is really setting them up. Either fulfilling their promise or for a huge letdown and fan/media uproar.

  29. Chris FWC Says:

    Carl Nicks for PREZ!!! or LG.

  30. Bobby Says:

    Can’t believe some people actually still doubt that they’ll spend in FA…… These are people that clearly don’t understand the reality of the CBA, and more importantly, the reality that the Glazers will be more involved now that they know the direction of the NFL for the next nine years or so.

  31. Chris FWC Says:

    Chase Coffman was a stud a Mo.

  32. Northend Says:

    Whats the story on vilma???is he due to be cut??he would be a great vet to add to another lb signing(tulloch,lofton,connor,hawthorne).i wonder if a guy like osi or mathis will be brought in ro rotate a pAss rush(since we r using the nyg model of team building.vets like vilma,abraham,mathis all would bring a seasoned stabalizing locker room presence.

  33. Dave Says:

    It all sounds good, but I do not expect a big “splash” and do not really care if they make one.

    They need a free agent DB, LB and line depth on both sides of the ball. I expect a WR so they can then focus on a CB and LB in the early parts of the draft.

    I also expect a speedy RB, either in the mid rounds or through free agency, to complement Blount.

    They do those things, they can be turned around very quickly.

  34. Dew Says:

    @Meh. Chase Coffman as a senior in 2008 he won the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s best tight end. He became the first Missouri player to win the award. He had 90 receptions for 987 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. And he was drafted in the 3rd round in 2009. Sounds like a promising sign to me.

  35. jvato24 Says:

    The more I think about taking Curtis Lofton from the Falcons .. The better this offseason would be.

  36. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Dew

    Coffman is pretty much a camp body. He’s battled multiple injuries since he’s been in the league, he never caught on at Cincy, who was in desperate need of a TE before they drafted Gresham, and is a one dimensional pass catcher. I don’t see him lasting too long when we’re probably going to go for bigger run blocking TEs for this “physical” offense we’re about to run.

  37. Macabee Says:

    I am not worried about whether the Bucs will spend. I’m worried about whether they will have to overspend to get top-rated FAs to sign with us and will that discourage us from going after the A-List.

  38. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I wasn’t kidding about Clausen. We’re talking 3rd stringer project.

    BTW, JJ can get things done as the #2 if required. I suspect we’ll bring in camp fodder.

    Can anyone tell me about Tim Hightower, the RB? He is supposed to hit free agency. The name seems familiar but I can figure out why.

  39. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Can’t figure out why Ai mean.

  40. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Pete

    Rudy Carpenter has more upside than Jimmy Clausen lol

    Tim Hightower: Formerly of the Cardinals. Overachiever. Not overly big or fast. Hard runner. Ok in the passing game.

  41. stevek Says:

    Question for Joe and all,

    Will the Glazers pony up and spend on some quality FA’s?

    2 CB’s, 1 LG, 1 WR, and a MLB.

    We should sure up our roster and sign some guys to fill in for prior poor signings.

  42. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ stevek

    “Quality” is the operative word. I’m sure we’ll sign somebody but color me skeptical on us signing a top guy at any position. From what I’ve seen we didn’t even kick the tires on Stanford Routt.

  43. stevek Says:

    @ Sensible Buc:

    Right on, I too am a skeptic. I will believe it when the Glazers sign both: Cortland Finnegan and Brandon Carr.

  44. Capt.Tim Says:

    Several ways to to interpret this new mandate.

    I’m gonna take a positive spin on this. I’m going to take it that this rediculious” build thru the draft only” plan was Dominck’s, and not an upper management proclimation. After seeing it fail miserably, the Glazers put him on a short leash( tied around his neck, with a trap door under it), and told him official that he better do his Jon, and get Schiano some talent to work with!!

    That’s the version that makes sense. And hopefully means that the Glazers are still committed to having a winning team. If that’s the case, there is still hope, and Dominick is the anchor dragging the team down. If ownership is only interested in making maximum profit, with minimum expenditures, then we are all wasting our time hoping for a good team.

    But I don’t believe that. Hopefully, we will see some committment soon.

    Jarrett- two years ago, you said we wouldn’t win a game. Last year, you said we were a lock for the playoffs!

    Now, all they’ve done is hire some inexperienced coaches, a few good offensive guys, and a suspect defensive staff

    And you’re running around cheering like we just won the SuperBowl, instead of coming off a 4-12 season.

    If you had any self respect, you’d quit broadcasting your ignorance on here. A monkey could flip a coin, and have been right more often than you.

    Dont you know ANYTHING about the game? Read a book or something!

    But there is one thing for sure- if we want an opinion on what’s Dumb, you’d be the expert we’d consult! You’ve proven to be a guy that knows dumb!

  45. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    This is off topic. But if we traded with Cincy for their 2 first rounders for our #5 pick in the 1st. We could draft the best DB/LB available with #17 and trade the #21 pick to Pittsburg for Mike Wallace. Or say screw it and draft Kendall Wright at #17 and still trade #21 for Wallace. 2 straight up speedsters to go with Williams and Benn. That would be insane!! This is all hypothetical and all but I hope to see Mo Claiborne or Justin Blackmon in a Bucs Uniform next season!! But it makes you think about what we could do with those 2 1st from Cincy!!!

  46. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Do anyone know what round Chris Rainey is being projected to go in?? If it is the 5th round or 6th. I would say draft him. He could be our home run threat out of the back field. I still like LaMichael James in the 3rd round personally!

  47. gotbbucs Says:

    @ FunkyMunkey

    Soooo…why would Cincy trade all the way up to #5? That’s kind of an important part of that equation, without that you might as well not try to think all this crap out, and don’t say Trent Richardson cause nobody is trading up that far to get him.

  48. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    IF you are Cincy “trading up that far” would make perfect sense. They’re already rumors of them trading up with their 2 1st round picks to get TR3. And it makes sense to do so. They have their QB in Dalton. A topnotch WR in Green. Now they need the stud RB to allow their passing game to truly produce on a high level! It makes sense for both teams. Cincy does not have many holes whereas we do! For them to get Trent and us to get the extra 1st makes this possible for both teams. And it works out on the point scale which is a huge part of draft trades!