Wish List

February 9th, 2013

OK, for NFL fans in general, and in some respects for Bucs fans, an alarm bell will ring at 4 p.m. March 12, and the unrestricted free agency season begins for 2013.

Joe suspects many Bucs fans envision sort of a scene from Black Friday, when the doors of a Target are flung open at 4 a.m. and Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik races through and just grabs whatever he can reach and throws objects in a shopping cart.

This has led to many Bucs fans already having their shopping list, sort of like kid with a list as he or she waits in line to talk to Santa Claus each December. One such Bucs fan e-mailed his list to Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune for approval.

Q: Every year, I put together a wish of the free agents I would love to see wearing red and pewter. I start by fixing the horrible secondary. Patrick Chung from the Patriots could line up next to Mark Barron. Sean Smith could help our porous secondary. Martellus Bennett could fix our tight end problems. How about this one? We could sign Jake Long to play right tackle, which would eliminate the need to draft a RT. Kyle Vanden Bosch could provide insurance if one of our DEs goes down. With any of those above moves, we could have way more flexibility in the draft to take the best player available, instead of reaching for a need.

— Andrew Athans, Arnold, Md.

A: I agree with your premise that these deals would alleviate the need to reach for prospects in the draft, but they might also bankrupt the team. None of the players you mentioned will come cheap. If you narrowed your focus to two of these you’ll probably be closer to what the Bucs will really do. They’ll definitely address all these areas of need, but probably not in the way you suggest.

— Woody Cummings

Well, here’s Joe’s take on just some of the suggestions by Mr. Athans:

First, no way will the Bucs go out and grab Jake Long. Will the Bucs look to upgrade right tackle? Probably, but don’t expect Dominik to break his budget doing that. The position may be a draft target Dominik as opposed to free agency.

Would Michael Bennett’s brother look good in a Bucs jersey? Sure, but what if his brother signs with another team?

Of course, just about any warm body not named “Myron Lewis” would be an upgrade at cornerback. Look for Dominik to draft a corner (maybe two) and add one or two via free agency. And yes, he will have to overpay for a corner, just like half of the teams in the NFL will do because talent at the position is so coveted yet so scant.

Vanden Bosch is quite simply over the hill. Joe has read enough about him that Dominik should only sign him for a rock bottom price, if available, and use him as a backup; nothing more.

Last year Dominik made waves in free agency. Don’t expect that type of a wake next month. Dominik can’t play Santa every year.

14 Responses to “Wish List”

  1. Justin P's Dwindling Radio "career" Says:

    I expect 3 Mid-Level Free Agents (if we land 1 big Free Agent, I’ll be happy). And a strong draft…this team will be set-up for a SuperBowl Run!

  2. Meh Says:

    I expect 2-3 cornerbacks from a combination of the draft and free agency.

  3. Justin P's Dwindling Radio "career" Says:

    OMG!!!!!!! Gil Brandt just said “Warren Sapp got into the Hall of Fame because he played in a 4-3 defense….and it causes QB”s to hold onto the ball longer….so Sapp got more sacks because of that”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I no longer listen to that OLD BASTARD

  4. Macabee Says:

    Free Agency is going to be a buyer’s market with the huge number of FAs hitting the market this year. That number gets even larger with the number of cash-strapped teams that are in cap hell who have told a number of top-level players to cut their salaries or be gone.

    As all of you know the Jets have fired a shot heard around the league at Darelle Revis. The Raiders have given an ultimatum to Darius Heyward-Bey. Many analysts believe that the Saints are not going to be able to hold on to Jermond Bushrod. The Lions have already started to clean house. The Panthers have given notice to several players most notably Chris Gamble their starting CB. The Chiefs are talking about releasing Tyson Jackson. The Eagles are not going to pay Asomugha 15mil next season. The world champion Ravens are in cap hell and have no less than 13 UFAs, many of whom are key players like Ed Reed and Paul Kruger and some that aren’t like Anquan Boldin that may be allowed to walk – just to name a few. Several more NFL teams have also announced that they are going to let some of their key UFAs test the market this year.

    This is not the year to be timid. Mark Dominik could be sitting there with almost 44mil in cap space if Quincy Black and Eric Wright are not retained as expected – could be closer to 50mil if other non-UFAs like Myron Lewis and Cody Grimm are released. This should be a very interesting FA if the Bucs are serious players as they have intimated. If the players needed are there, we should go for them without overpaying. We don’t have to spend all of the money, but we need to spend a good deal of it if we’re going to be competitive this year. This could be a wild but enjoyable ride.

  5. 4everBucsFan Says:

    ^^^^ One thing is for sure though, every team will have to spend at least 89% of their adjusted salary cap within a 4 year period according to the new CBA.

    So like you said Macabee, if they have close to 50 million in cap space, the chances are good that they will spend at least 35 to 40 million this year, and carry over 10 million for next year.

    Now, after extending and taking care of our own guys first, we will probably be limited to signing maybe two big Free Agent contracts. The rest will be used on the draft and moves during the year.

    We will sign 2 maybe 3 FAs

  6. Legarrettes Blunt Says:

    Joe, I was the one who emailed in this comment to Mr. Cummings. I am very aware that you cannot financially make all of these moves. I was just wondering which one of these moves would make the most sense. Any of the players above if signed would majorly adjust our draft strategy.

  7. Dylan Says:

    You didn’t even name the most realistic one. Mark didn’t clearl up all that space to not sign atleast one big name guy. There 35 mil under cap. I see how mark rolls and he likes young guys if he is gonna throw money, she guys entering their prime or in there prime. A name id pay close close attention to is jarius Byrd from buffalo. 26 years old, tackling machine, turnover machine, and only allowed 1 TD to his side of the field this entire year. That’s a guy if your going to blow money (which all sign points to the bucs doing, they did make all the cap room) throw it at him. Barron and Byrd would easily form one of the most feared saftey tandems in the nfl. Then sign a couple average corners maybe try for a Sean smith, and obvi draft some accordingly. With those two safety’s and some solid corners you deff would notice a difference in the pass defense and all around defense for the bucs.

  8. Saskbuco Says:

    Macabee and Dylan with great posts,Mac always has great insight. Dylan your post nailed it, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment on Jarius Byrd, IMO he should be the top FA the bucs should go after. Also great point on Dom, he didn’t load up with all that cash to not land someone significant. Was the same last year, it def helps to negotiate when you know you have the biggest bank roll. I’m sure FAs pay attention to cap spaces and who has money to “throw” at them. We can address pass rush and CB in the draft, we get Clayborn back and if we get a pass rush this will really help the secondary. Even a Trufant late 1st, bucs could move down and acquire more picks or Ryan in 2nd or McFadden in the 3rd, there was another very good CB from senior bowl from a small school who’s name has slipped my mind here that bucs could take a serious look at. If we can land Byrd, sign a mid tier CB, draft a CB and address pass rush our defesne can be top 10 and result in a min of 3 more wins next season. To top of the perfect draft would be a slot WR as I would like to see them look at TE FA Cook if the cost isn’t too high. So sign Byrd, Cook and draft a slot WR and CB not too much to ask is it?? Yes I’m sure will never happen but it’s too fun to make wild guesses, it’s the offseason.

  9. Jarret Says:

    So would that make the Glazers the elves?

  10. Andrew 1 Says:

    excellent posts from Macabee and 4everbucsfan.

  11. 4everBucsFan Says:

    You don’t see me throw player names around very often at this time of season but it seems everyone on here does and respond to those that do the most. So here we go, I thought I’d join in.

    I think we will sign 3 FAs. These are 6 I would look long and hard at.

    WR Danny Amendola (slot)
    TE Marcellus Bennett
    OLB/DE Paul Kruger
    CB Sean Smith
    CB Cary Williams
    S Jairus Byrd

    In our draft, if we don’t trade out of #13 or if Dee Milliner happens to fall to #13 and we also re-sign our own Michael Bennett, we will make our first pick on an offensive tackle thats available Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson. If we don’t sign Bennett it will probably be a defensive lineman. But again we need competition, but to do it we need to accumulate picks. Don’t be surprised that the Bucs trade out of the #13 spot for additional picks.

    Once FA and the combine raps up, we will have a better grasp on what to expect and need on draft day. Just throwing names out there now is so random and useless. But hey, that’s my opinion.

  12. PRBucFan Says:

    He can’t play Santa every year true, but I fully expect him to play Santa again this offseason.

    One name that hasn’t been mentioned is Grimes and if ATL doesn’t retain him I fully expect and hope we pursue him.

    IMO one of the best CB talents out there before the injury.
    I don’t believe it’s one he can’t return from and continue where he left off.
    If we can take one of the better CBs off of a divisional foe I expect Dom to pull the trigger.

  13. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    Byrd and Barron would make for a great safety tandem for the next four-five years at minimum barring injury. I know you all hate this guy but Aqib Talib was at the Citrus Park mall Saturday night, he signed an autograph and still lives in the Bay area. Talib please come back to Tampa!

  14. NY Bucs fan Says:

    What about walker TE for the 49ers he does it all