Bucs Have $18 Million To Spare

May 30th, 2013

dominikThe Bucs’ decision to not buy potentially higher quality depth and competition on the free agent market is one that baffles Joe somewhat.

At defensive end, for example, essentially the Bucs decided they are content to roll out defensive ends Adrian Clayborn, Da’Quan Bowers, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Aaron Morgan, fourth-round rookie William Gholston and fifth-rounder Steven Means (among other camp meat) to compete for limited roster spots in training camp.

At cornerback, well, the Bucs could have invested in another quality free agent, too. No, Danny Gorrer practically having a roster spot locked up doesn’t soothe Joe, neither does relying on a rookie, an injured superstar and the most unreliable Buccaneer of 2012 to lead the way.

Joe brings this up because ESPN recently reported that the Bucs have just under $19 million in available salary cap money for 2013. After they sign quarterback Mike Glennon, the only rookie unsigned, the Bucs will have more than $18 million to spare.


This is something Joe can’t answer. If Joe were the Bucs’ GM, Joe would have been eager to buy another cornerback with Team Glazer’s cash. But Joe does respect that rockstar general manager Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano may abs0loutely believe in their current roster and be completely satisfied with their depth. In fact, Joe hopes and prays that’s the case, since there’d be no reason for the regime to have regrets at the end of May — with a pile of money at their disposable.

The Bucs can roll some of this cash into next year’s cap — no, Joe doesn’t care about the accounting details. But a pretty balance sheet doesn’t excite Joe as much as a talented bench.

46 Responses to “Bucs Have $18 Million To Spare”

  1. Michael Weber Says:

    It’s not what excites Joe, it’s what excites the bosses.

  2. the_buc_realist Says:

    you have to give the boy-genius gm credit. He can’t put a second or first place team in the division, but know how to save money. I am sure all those second round busts he drafted will save the team alot of money for the future.

  3. Nick B Says:


    If they can roll the money over into next season that can be the difference in being able re-sign Mike Williams, Josh Freeman, and Gerald McCoy. All contracts that are(or in Freemans case could) be vital.

  4. Couch Fan Says:

    I dont mind that the Bucs didnt dip into free agency more than they did. The only thing I did have a problem with was that they let Bennett walk. We dont have much depth there and injury concerns across the board and you are gonna let your starting LDE (and leading sacker who busted his butt every year and only got better) walk and let him sign for peanuts with another team… Doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me.

  5. TimBukTwo@OneBucPalace Says:

    I don’t think we’re completely finished upgrading. Wait until they start really trimming rosters. There will undoubtedly be some quality backups sprinkled with some automatic starters released. Some will still be cap casualties.

  6. Joe Says:

    @NickB – McCoy and Freeman are each making around $10 million THIS season. Exactly how much more should the Bucs put aside to pay them next year?? The notion of budgeting to re-sign these guys is not a big deal in Joe’s opinion.

  7. Hrvoje Says:


    Correct if I’m wrong but I believe the Bucs have already roll over Nicks and V-Jax cap hits into the future. That’s why we cannot spend more money because if we do, we will be into cap mess in a hurry. Also unable to extend GMC, Freeman…

  8. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Yes, they will have to pay McCoy very well if he continues to dominate. We could very well see a record breaking contract for him. Same with Freeman if we reach the playoffs.

    I don’t agree with bringing in aging, albeit talented, veterans. They would most likely beat out younger guys and take away valuable playing time from players that need the experience to improve.

    If there is anybody we should have kept, it was Biggers. He has a wealth of experience now and would make an above average nickel/dime back while still having upside because of his age.

    Considering the overall age and contract situations of most of our players, I think it is a wise move to keep some cap space available. Not to mention that the front office has already scouted potential free agents for next offseason and may be eyeing someone in particular. (Same as they did with Goldson last year.)

    I know it is rough to count on guys like Clayborn and Bowers coming off an injury but you have see what they can do. You can’t have a starting caliber player waiting in the wings for every player who has had an injury.

  9. Oldguy Says:

    All good points. Got to plan for signing guys already here. But, also, I am sure that they are not done this year. IMO, they most need another veteran RT and maybe a guard for backup. When the cuts come on the other teams, those are the guys I’ll be looking for.

  10. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    If Freeman and McCoy each have an outstanding year you could be looking at an additional $15mil/yr between them. I can see Freeman making $20mil+ and McCoy making $15mil+ a season if they have great years. That alone would eat up most of the available cap space.

  11. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Although, I just realized McCoy isn’t a free agent until 2015. He has one more year on his contract than Freeman does right now. So then they really shouldn’t be setting aside cash for McCoy’s contract in particular. Although, Mike Williams is making pennies right now and will put a sizeable dent in the cap space if he is bumped up to even $5mil/yr.

  12. TimBukTwo@OneBucPalace Says:


    Don’t forget that next year’s cap will increase. I’m thinking in the neighborhood of 5 to 8 million dollars. Unless Freeman will be asking Flacco money, we should be able to spend some more this year if desired without heavy fiscal consequences next year.

  13. DC Says:


    We have 8 players that currently have (or will be) $50+ million contracts:
    Freeman (potentially)
    Mike williams upcoming contract (im guessing around $30 mil?)

    We have depth at all positions, whether it is proven depth or not. Rolling this $18 mil to next season wouldnt be a bad thing….

    Not too many teams can say they have to pay that many players $50+mill contracts. Dom has my support

  14. lightningbuc Says:

    Everyone knows I’m no fan of the alleged “rock star”. But in this case, Joe, just because the Bucs have $18 million in cap space, doesn’t mean Dominik has $18 million of the Glazers’ money to spend.

  15. BigSombrero Says:

    Yes like others have said, this is no mystery. We have a lot of players 1 or 2 years away from bigger contracts. 18 mil now might not even be enough in the coming years. Plus people keep on bringing up depth issues and honestly, I don’t see it anymore than any other team at least. Gorrer being on roster doesnt soothe you? Well the good news is he’s most likely our 6th option at best at the cb position. Cant have a 53 man roster of all pros.

  16. the_buc_realist Says:


    You did forget that the last 2 years that the NFLPA has negotiated to borrow money from future caps to get the last 2 years higher than it should have been. The players signed a very bad deal from there side, and the cap was actually going down from the new formula. The cap will not jump that much until the new Tv money comes in huge piles of cash.

  17. Deroa Says:

    Perhaps they have “18 million” because there is already 113 someodd million in contracts in place for next season, and that is without Freeman or Williams resigning. Seems pretty obvious to me and I’m not sure why them needing to rollover money to next year baffles you.

  18. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    An interesting piece on the possible salary cap for 2014:


  19. Biff Barker Says:

    I think they simply believe sufficient talent is on the roster at this point. They would rather have cap space and options for the second wave of cuts.
    @couch fan
    Bennett’s case is well known. He painted his own self into a corner.
    @bucs realist
    If Dom upsets you this much, you can always stick to watching kickball.

  20. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    The fact that we are even calling it “Flacco money” is bad sign. Flacco clearly is not the best QB in the league, despite being paid like it. If Flacco can get paid more than Manning/Brady/Rodgers then so can Freeman. (Whether he deserves it or not.) Freeman could very well command MORE than “Flacco money” in the unlikely (but hopeful) event of the Bucs winning a Super Bowl.

  21. Keith Says:

    I think Joe’s point is that the $18 million won’t help the Bucs win games this season. … It’s a lot more than ohter teams.

  22. stevek Says:

    Playoffs in 2013 better be a reality, if not 18 million sure could’ve helped.

    I hope we sign a DE/LB/CB depth as the roster’s trim down.

    It would be a crying shame to see Myron Lewis and Danny Gorrer getting torched again in 2013.

  23. Fatmosh Says:

    I don’t know about you Joe, but I’d rather keep our starters in 2014-2016 than add depth now.

    Nicks and V-Jax’s cap hits soar next year, and Freeman and Williams’ will too. This is a very smart decision.

  24. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    18 million sure could’ve helped.

    Tell that to the Cowboys and Redskins who spend every penny they can. Spending does NOT equal wins or post season.

  25. the_buc_realist Says:

    and not spending gets you 4th, 3rd , 4th and 4th in the division apparently.

  26. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Correlation is NOT causation.

    Do you really think there is any free agents we could have signed that would have made a dramatic difference on the outcomes of those seasons? Who? Who would have saved us from the terrible records in 2009 and 2011? Does Brandon Carr get us 6 more wins? Haynesworth? Who? You obviously would make a much better GM so, tell me. Maybe some of that tremendous knowledge will rub off on me and I can be more “realistic” like you?

  27. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Of course, signing those free agents back then that you covet so much would mean no money to sign/trade for Revis or Goldson or Vincent Jackson or Carl Nicks today. Who would you have signed that would be so much better than these guys?

  28. Dave Says:

    Smart to roll most because of Williams contract, Freeman’s contract coming, THen some D-lineman and LBs coming soon.
    Of course they can still sign depth all summer long too.

    No reason to ever zero out, just not smart to do

  29. Adam L Says:

    Dear Joe,

    I have an answer for you.

    “Draft-and-Pray” has been Dominik’s philosophy since Day 1. Think about it. What’s the best case scenario for this season?

    No injuries.
    Bowers, Clayborne, and McCoy all play at Pro Bowl Levels.
    Existing LBs essentially take the next step.
    Goldson and Revis are EXACTLY what’s advertised.

    And if Freeman puts up similar numbers to last year (sans a giant losing streak) the Bucs win 10-11 games as opposed to 7.

    There’s “Plan A” and NOTHING ELSE. We, as Bucs fans, are resigned to cheering for the Hand Of Fate.

  30. Curmudgeon Says:

    ^ Dumb.

    Need money to extend players in the future.

    I can’t believe there’s anybody complaining about $$$ spent after the last 2 years.

    It’s still better to build depth through the draft than to throw guaranteed money at an aging veteran at the expense of developing your young talent.

    The complaining never stops.

  31. Paul Says:

    I hope Dom saves some of that money and tries to steal Jimmy Graham from the Saints next FA year because Brees was greedy and took all of their cap room.

  32. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Planning for the worst case scenario all the time will land you with a team chalked with a bunch of starters with the about the same talent level as the backups. You either have great starters and young, cheap, un-experienced backups or you have mediocre starters and mediocre backups. You can’t have ultra talented starters with veteran, talented backups. There is this thing called a salary cap, you know?

  33. Rob Says:

    “I can see Freeman making $20mil+”

    I agree that his contract will depend on this year’s performance, but Freeman’s not getting Joe Flacco money unless Freeman has Joe Flacco results. It’s just not happening. If he gets this team into the Playoffs and plays consistently the whole year I could see him getting $12 to $15 per.

  34. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    Freeman’s not getting Joe Flacco money unless Freeman has Joe Flacco results

    That is what I said, “if”. If we don’t make the Super Bowl but DO make the playoffs then yes, “$12[mil] to $15[mil] per” sounds about right. I was simply talking about the possibility of the massive contract.

  35. BILL Says:

    Suppose Penn or Dotson went down in Week 1….uh oh.

  36. Bucfever40 Says:

    Joe, I buy into what you are saying 110%, but Joe…….MR. Joe, could you PLEASE stop with the “Rockstar general manager” moniker that you’ve applied to Mark Dominik, don’t ask me why this bothers me so much, I’m not even sure why, but bring back just plain old GM Mark Dominik, who I even like as a very good GM, but c’mon, ROCKSTAR? I don’t even know if you are being complimentary or just sarcastic because he may be everything BUT, with you. Please don’t black list me over this lol, you guys are the best there is, how ’bout we just call YOU Rock Star JoeBucsFan, that’s more like it!!!

  37. Joe Says:


    MR. Joe, could you PLEASE stop with the “Rockstar general manager” moniker that you’ve applied to Mark Dominik,

    Appreciate the kind words, but no, can’t do it.

  38. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I haven’t read the other comments, but I think they will roll over as much cap as possible, for one reason. Revis. If the Bucs need to offer Freeman and GMC big contracts next year, they would need that extra space because of what they gave Revis.

    This is why I think they draft another CB high next year…as a replacement for when they have to cut Revis.

  39. Bobby Says:

    This is why Dom is the GM and Joe runs a web site. Man, there is some seriously uninformed fans that post on here. Let’s try to remember kids….football is a business. It’s really NOT like fantasy football. You don’t just sink every penny you have into the business and leave yourself no cushion and you ALWAYS plan ahead.

    Buc_Realist is this years 2.2 Can’t wait to see him fade into the background as the season goes on. They always do…

  40. Curmudgeon Says:

    Maybe you could read the Rockstar name as sarcastic, if that helps… I think it’s so over-the-top anyway that it could be interpreted any way you like.

  41. scubog Says:

    I couldn’t care less about how much cap space is available. And I certainly don’t agree with the philosophy of spending it on veteran journeymen players who cost more, but not necessarily contribute more to the success of the team than a young prospect. There is simply no correlation between more $ spent equating to more wins. Put the elite QB salary on this team in place of Josh’s rookie cap hit and that $18,000,000 will be dissolved. But the rest of the roster will be the same. What if the NFL took the government’s approach and took the salaries of the best players and distributed it among the less talented? Revis could have his $ seized and given to say…..Myron Lewis.

  42. joseph mamma Says:

    This regime looks to save cap money so that when truly elite player’s become available they have enough money to pull the trigger. They draft young inexpensive rookies and sign expensive elite type free agents. To me that is how this team is being run now, like it or not.

  43. Big Rob Says:

    “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have $118.5 million committed toward next year’s cap”

    A cap this expected to be only slightly more than $120 million. We will need that cap space carried over to pay for new contracts next year.


  44. Matt Says:

    Well with the 7 mill yr deal for Williams this now puts us with $11 million. I think even if freeman gets us to the playoffs your gonna see him get cut then we have $19 million again . + maybe about $ 5 million more increase for next years salary cap. Also other guys will be cut or not resigned rather after this year . I would not be surprised if the bucs go after Clowney and trade tons of picks to oakland . Tampa could end up with close to $25 mill maybe next season to revamp depth , futures players, etc…Glennon may not be the face of our franchise but he might not have to be. I think he can be a Trent dilfer sorta guy. Clowney mccoy spence clayborn thats a nasty tandem

  45. Matt Says:

    Wouldnt mind Michael Johnson either …. He will command 5 yr 50+ yr

  46. Matt Says:

    Maybe raiders would take Carl nicks after this year they need good offensive lineman for a new qb . We need a DE. Idk im just rambling. Nicks toe injury makes me think he won’t perform. For $1 mill im liking johnathan casillas a lot !!!