Spend To The Max, Says Lovie

January 14th, 2014

Lovie looks forward to flashing Team Glazer’s cash at free agents

The Bucs are not known for spending up to the NFL salary cap limit. Through the past couple of regimes, somehow they found themselves with millions of dollars of unused cash. 

Joe wishes he had that problem.

Last year at this time, the Bucs, per ESPN, were “in the best cap shape in the division” after carrying over about $10 million in unspent dough from 2012. For years during the Raheem Morris regime, the Bucs hovered near the salary spending “floor.” The Bucs had loads of unspent cash in 2010 when they opted to pass on Julius Peppers — the guy Lovie signed in Chicago — while Tampa Bay rolled with Stylez White at right defensive end.

Right now, the Bucs are way under the salary cap entering 2014, whereas the Saints have massive cap issues, for example. Lovie Smith believes in spending. He wants players, not good-looking savings accounts, so he told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com last week.

“We need to get our new general manager in here, but just as a general rule, you know there’s a reason why there is a salary cap.  And we want to use all of our resources to get as many good football players in here. It’s kind of as simple as that,” Lovie says.

“We want to be right up; we don’t want to have a lot of money in reserves. No one does. I mean you want to use money to get as many good football players. And it takes money to get good football players in here. So that’s our approach.”

Lovie went on to say he looks forward to impressing potential free agents with first-class facilities, premium pay and doing everything “top of the line.”

That was all very intriguing, and it’s an area where Bucs fans and Joe can hold Lovie accountable.

84 Responses to “Spend To The Max, Says Lovie”

  1. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Sounds like our new GM, I mean, head coach, is ready to break the bank for a top flight DE. Hey, we did it with Rice and it helped that defense go from really good to elite.

  2. Nick Says:

    Realistic prediction: Jared Allen, Devin Hester, Tillman. Good start entering the draft

  3. Solinor Says:

    Lovie for GM!!

  4. rayray1 Says:

    Also sounds like someone who was told to win ” now “. Hope it doesn’t turn into a re run of the Gruden/Allen years with high priced older talent @ the end of their careers.

  5. Ian_620WDAE Says:

    actually Simeon Rice signed a 1 year prove it deal (similar to Bennett in Seattle) before he got the big contract. Doubt we go that route this time as I see Lovie and Frazier opening up the wallet to get Jarred Allen

  6. d-money Says:

    I’m all for spending as much as you need to to get the right players but you also have to be smart about it.

    Don’t get into a situation where you have to cut and/or can’t re-sign players that you don’t want to lose because you are over the cap in 3-4 years.

  7. stevek Says:

    Super Bowl here we come, and we won’t be able to blame it on the cap space we are so used to not utilizing.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Really Doe

  9. SAMCRO Says:

    About time, we’re well known in player circles for being notoriously cheap on spending. I think that has an over whelming effect on bringing a lot of quality free agents in here through the years. Players want to play for teams who commit monetarily. The teams who spend send the message they are committed to win.

  10. Macabee Says:

    Per Pat Yasinskas, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are about $16 million (that’s including carry-over money from 2013) under the projected salary cap for 2014.They can make that number even greater by restructuring contracts or releasing players. Here are the Buccaneers with the 10 highest cap figures for next season:

    Darrelle Revis $16 million

    Gerald McCoy $13.19 million

    Vincent Jackson $12.432 million

    Carl Nicks $9.357 million

    Dashon Goldson $9 million

    Donald Penn $7.733 million

    Davin Joseph $6 million

    Jeremy Zuttah $4 million

    Mark Barron $3.945 million

    Michael Koenen $3.25 million

    I see easily another 10 mil through trades, cuts, or restructures that could be added to cap space from that group. Throw in a couple of Rutgers players sans Wright, another pair of unnecessary RBs, a few inept WRs, and a gaggle of bit players that never should have been signed, you could add another 3 or 4mil and Lovie will have a nice little pocketbook to go shopping with.

  11. Jacko101 Says:

    Revis is hoggin too much cap

  12. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Bucs should take a look at Henry Melton. Just had a run in with the law and torn ACL but the guy is young and was a complete monster and could be signed on the cheap by Papa Lovie. Could really open things up for McCoy with Spence rotating out. Gotta do better than Derek Landri as #3

  13. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Jesus. $12.5 mil for VJax?? Our 31 year old downfield threat speed demon?

    Trade while you can.

  14. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Are the Bucs still paying for leaky Rip Van Freeman’s salary? Just curious.

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    (Per: Former Sports Agent -Joel Corry )

    NFL teams were informed at an NFL meeting on Dec. 11 that the 2014 salary cap is preliminarily projected to be $126.3 million. This is a 2.68 percent increase over the current $123 million salary cap. When the 2014 salary cap is set in late February or early March, it could be as high as $128 million.
    Each team’s actual salary cap (known as adjusted salary cap) is typically different from the NFL’s set amount because unused cap room can be carried over from one year to the next and other adjustments can further increase or decrease cap space.
    For example, the Redskins have the lowest adjusted salary cap this year at slightly more than $110 million because of a $36 million salary cap penalty split evenly over 2012 and 2013 for violating unwritten spending rules during the uncapped 2010 season.

    According to rough estimates we should have between $17-$20 Million

    Releasing the Following Players ( All-Non Guaranteed Contracts)

    -Donald Penn: $7,066,665
    -Davin Joseph: 6,000,000
    -Jeremy Zuttah: 4,000,000
    – Michael Koenen: $3,250,000
    +(Cap Savings: $20,316,665)

    Running total=$37-$40 million

    Then if you take into consideration that if we don’t release or trade Revis or Goldson. Instead push their 2014 salary-cap hit into bonus money before the end of this season. We’re somewhere in the $50+ regeion

  16. Patrick in VA Says:

    Heard Byner is coming back. Pretty happy with that choice. He didn’t deserve to lose his job

  17. Bucs55 Says:

    We need to think about resigning Mccoy , Foster , Davis , dotson

  18. ROBERT6 Says:

    I got a bad feeling this is rah rah 2.0

    not excited as I have heard nothing special so far……

    the things that stand out are no real NFL OC experience, hiring his son to coach safeties, hiring some guy who rolls drunk through wendies, hiring the only idiot in the country who could buy what free was selling.

    yall get all excited iffin ya want too….but from what I’ve seen this dog cant hunt!

  19. Bucs05 Says:

    We need to save to resign some of these players we have

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Patrick in VA


  21. PRBucFan Says:

    I doubt any of those lineman get released LUV

  22. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @Seany last yr was his last year on contract. Talk about screwing the pooch.

  23. Macabee Says:

    Patrick in VA,

    Not questioning that you heard Byner would be returning, but Lovie had signed Tim Spencer, his old RB coach from Chicago. Something may have happened, but nobody has officially reported it yet. I would check my sources again to be sure!

  24. PRBucFan Says:

    He’s going to the Redskins Patrick not TB

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I hear you, I just don’t see why not though.

  26. PRBucFan Says:

    It’s been reported but it’s from TB to Washington

    “Source tells me former Bucs RB coach Earnest Byner set to return to the Redskins”

  27. Patrick in VA Says:

    Ah. My bad. Heard it on redskins sports radio on my way home so I guess that makes sense. Maybe I was just heating what I wanted to hear. I’ll sit quietly now

  28. PRBucFan Says:


    Happens to us all broski

  29. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @Patrick in VA

    smh, lol It cool brotha. We appreciate the attempt on giving us some up to the minute intel

  30. sneedy16 Says:


    Dotson just resign dirt cheap for the next 3-4 years.

  31. oldfart44 Says:

    Do any of you think there is any chance that we could get Jairus Byrd in a trade sending the walking personal foul to Buffalo.

    Probably would cost more money and a few other issues. Just wondering.

    Based on anything I have read he is superior.

    I am very optimistic. We should improve with this much better coaching staff.

  32. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Pick Sammy Watkins and then we will have 4 very inexpensive skill positions.
    QB, RB, WR, TE

    Go into FA for what you don’t get out of the draft…..CB, DE, TE & a younger Oline
    I presume we will get another QB through the draft or FA to compete with Glennon

  33. sneedy16 Says:

    If the Bucs want to spend I would spend on Julian Edelman for the slot guy. Guy gets open and catches about everything.

    Sign Branden Albert and cut Donald Penn.

    Sign Greg Hardy or Michael Johnson for the RDE seeing that we might be getting Micheal Bennett back for the LDE (I hope).

    Sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to team up with Revis. I would say Alterraun Verner or Brent Grimes, but they won’t come cheap. Sign Jairus Byrd and cut Dashon Goldson, because the guy is one hit away from a multi-game suspension.

    That’s my fantasy offseason.

  34. sneedy16 Says:


    He is a free agent this offseason so he should be available if the Bucs want to sign him.

  35. sneedy16 Says:


    That would be amazing if they can get Sammy Watkins in the draft.

  36. lev Says:

    Bring in depth with middle priced free agents and then dump the players who are eating all our money and are on the decline. Revis and Vjax are older and eating a lot of cap but they are also producing. Although I believe Vjax is taking more money then he should a lot of people would disagree.

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    LUV, sorry I questioned your cap math. Clearly, you’ve done some homework(nice quote by the way).
    A $3 million dollar punter who’s good for a shank every other game-OK
    Penn and Joseph, I’m on the fence. I mean, what do we do if Nicks doesn’t return(which looks more and more likely). Surely we need a servicable OG. And that leads me to Penn, he’s been a stalwart. Unless there’s a stud available, that could be a downgrade.
    Zuttah I think has more value due to his flexibility to play multiple positions. Given the rash of injuries, I’d like to have a fall-back.
    I completely disagree with bringing in Tillman, Nick. The guy is 32. I’m sure there will be younger talent available and we need to build up the roster not replace retirees every other year. Allen and Hester, maybe.

  38. Bucs4lyfe Says:

    wow imagine that……i know it’s new to alot of people but winning teams dont usually have loads of cap room laying around, theres a reason superbowl teams dont stay together, they’re worth more money…..hopefully we have no more quincy black, michael clayton type contracts

    how many teams have a veteran team that has the potential tampa has and still has loads of cap room, dominick was an awful gm but great capologist

  39. Macabee Says:


    Not wanting start a fur fight up in here (oh, really), but if anybody is thinking about trading Dashon Goldson for Jairus Byrd now that Gill Byrd is the Bucs DB coach, here is something to consider.

    If the Bucs think that Goldson is a marked man or he will never adjust to the new rules, there is somebody out there that may be interested. That somebody is the SF 49ers who is almost certain to lose SS Donte Whitner to FA. Goldson is a FS, but is even bigger than Whitner and can play both positions and knows the SF defense. And Goldson still likes SF as he visited them on-site during his 2013 suspension.

    Jairus Byrd is a better FS on paper. His 4 year career stats exceed Goldson’s 5 year career stats in every category. He is a 3 time pro bowler and a 3 time all-pro FS. And Byrd is not a marked man. If it were possible to get Byrd (Dashon money would certainly do it), a trade of Goldson will not be difficult at all – almost a certainty. And the Bucs would get a draft pick to boot!

  40. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Do not forget we need a OLB. Casillas and Watson are now FAs. As tempting as Sammy Watkins is, Anthony Barr would be a killer addition and fill a couple gaping holes.

  41. sneedy16 Says:


    The problem is Byrd is not under contract. Unless the franchise him he’s free to walk.

  42. Macabee Says:

    FYI, the 49ers have 13 draft picks in 2014, 3 in the third round. Don’t know who the GM will be, but I could get this deal done! lol.

  43. BirdDoggers Says:

    The way to building a consistent winner isn’t spending money on high priced free agents. Dominik spent some serious cash the past two years that resulted in a safety that arguably did more harm than good with his penalties, a guard that might not be able to play another game, a corner that is no longer on the team and a receiver that will soon be past his prime.

    The best players on the team were drafted. They are the ones to spend most of the money on when their contracts come due. Building from the draft seems to be the best approach in the salary cap era. Supplement the roster with free agents that fit certain needs. Spending money just to spend the money is when the teams get in trouble. The high priced free agents are being paid for past performance, which doesn’t always translate to future success.

  44. Macabee Says:


    I was not clear. I didn’t mean trade with Buffalo. I meant trade Goldson to the 49ers and get Byrd in FA! I meant trade one FS for another – don’t think with Barron, we could keep both.

  45. sneedy16 Says:


    Oh ok. If they have the cap space I don’t see why not. They wanted Goldson anyways, but couldn’t afford him. I wanted Byrd anyways, because 2 strong safeties are a waste. Goldson was burnt regularly in coverage.

  46. Orca Says:

    Free agency is always a crap shoot.

  47. Macabee Says:

    If the Bucs can fix Goldson, I’m OK with keeping him, he’s a big FS at 6-2, 208. He is intimidating, but he must be on the field. What if by chance, he gets another penalty, even unintentional, he going to get a much longer suspension than before.

    If you move one FS for another at roughly the same money, cap space is net net or unchanged.

    Buffalo franchised Byrd last year, not likely to do it again and pay a FS 10mil. They can however, offer him a new long-term contract that he may sign.

  48. BucsQcCity Says:

    Lovie should sit with goldson and ask him to go public and say he will adapt and change its tackling method. This would show to the nfl some goodwill from him. If he refuse then it’s time to call the 49ers to get a trade..

    Or maybe just a coaxh and scheme change will do but I doubt it..

  49. Kansasbuc Says:

    @ tampabaybuc fan

    You do realize that FA comes before the draft, right?

    I just we could get players we don’t intend to get out of the draft or, after draft, go back to FA and collect need players.

    However, all the good players would be gone before we get to the draft, most likely

  50. Eric Says:

    Good football players are good football players whether the team drafted them or not.

    I doubt the Saints wanna give Brees back or the Broncos Manning.

    With the disastrous offensive roster that Dominik left us, and no pass rush at all on defense, I don’t see where we have any choice but to go heavy in FA.

    We’ve tried the build only through the draft policy, with putrid results. Everyone uses the draft. We need to use all means at our disposal.

  51. joseph mamma Says:

    When Dominik and Morris kept spouting off “build through the draft’, I think they meant draft beer.

  52. pick6 Says:

    it’s not that simple. every year you need to come up with more money to pay the good guys you’ve drafted. spend to the max 2 or 3 years in a row and you suffer for it the following 5

  53. Eric Says:

    We’ve already suffered for five.

  54. PRBucFan Says:

    We have drafted our young foundation, now it’s time to start adding strong pieces through FA.

    I’m excited to see how this offseason unfolds.

  55. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Kansasbuc Says
    “You do realize that FA comes before the draft, right?”

    And you do realize many teams cut players right after the draft, right?

    For example, the Texans are going to draft a qb, so will release Matt Schuab. The Jets are going to try trding Sanchez for a pick. If no teams go for it, they will but him.

    For this reason, free agency is often considered to have two phases.

    On topic, I hope Lovie understands you DO NOT spend every dollar. Otherwise you end up being forced to cut very good players in as little as a year later. This would be a red flag to a gm prospect.

    And I really hope certain comenters do not look at that list and think cutting certain one will free up that much salary. The Bucs would still be on the hook for most of that.

  56. dee Says:

    Mike glennon all rookie team stand up mob.

  57. Architek Says:

    In Lovie we trust!

  58. bigpoppabuc Says:

    Oh god I hope Smith doesn’t go for something terrible like Sanchez. Rex Grossman 2.0

  59. Eric Says:

    The jets are going to but Sanchez. There is a switch.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Sanchez is horrific though. Naturally, Dom wanted to draft him.

    So glad we got Lovie. Look at the lions, going for Jim Caldwell and the browns can’t find anybody.

    Great work on the Lovie hire Glazers.

  60. Luther Says:

    If we win the Superbowl and suck for 5 years…I’m good with that.

  61. PRBucFan Says:

    I would not boycott the Bucs if Sanchez ever took snaps under center lol

  62. Macabee Says:


    What you’re attempting to describe is Dead Money. Your statement assuming that if the Bucs cut players on that list, they would still have to pay the cap cost is only somewhat true for Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks. And Carl Nicks is a special case. I’ll explain.

    Many NFL contracts include a signing bonus, which can be prorated on the salary cap for the life of the deal (up to five years). In other words, a $6 million signing bonus on a three-year deal counts $2 million in each year, in addition to the player’s base salary and any other bonuses.

    Some teams also use this mechanism to free up short-term cap space by converting a player’s base salary or roster bonuses — which count in full the year they’re paid — into signing bonuses, pushing off portions of the cap commitment into the future. We should thank Dominik posthumously for keeping us out of cap hell as a rule by not giving signing or roster bonuses.

    He violated this rule in December, 2012 when he restructured the Jackson/Nicks contracts to add 18mil to cap space. On top of their 2012 salaries, he gave Jackson and Nicks roster bonuses of 12.16mil and 11.75mil respectively and spread those amounts equally across the remaining years of their contracts, in Nick’s case 4 years because he signed a 5 year 41mil contract with 31mil guaranteed.

    If we cut Nicks we still have to pay 7mil, the guaranteed money for 2014 plus the prorated portion of the roster bonus, 2.93mil or the dead money. If we were to by some miracle trade Nicks, the 7mil would saved but the dead money would remain. And we will have to the prorated portion in 2015 and 2016 even if Nicks is long gone. That is why Nicks cap number is 9.93mil, not his 7mil salary.

    Anybody else on that list if they are cut or traded, that cap number is saved. Now do I have everybody confused? Lol.

  63. PRBucFan Says:

    13 Million of Revis 16 million dollar deal can be converted to signing bonus and added to our cap space in 2014 as well.

    We’ll be in nice position to grab who we want.

  64. stanglassman Says:

    I think Lovie will go get CB Zack Bowman especially if Tillman can’t be pried away from the Bears. Also if we don’t draft a Qb he may bring in Josh McCown who played great when Cutler was out. Also Corey Wootten and Henry Melton for upgrade/depth at DE and DT.

  65. PRBucFan Says:

    McCown has already stated that he’s leaning toward retirement

  66. lurker Says:

    now lovie is gonna screw the cap up. what a maroon. too much power will doom us because we will have a neutered gm. just say no to dead money.

  67. PRBucFan Says:

    Say no to drama Lurk my friend 😀 😉

  68. lurker Says:

    people hate on Dominick, but he did very well and left the organization better than when he started as gm, especially the cap. we also have no idea what power Dominick had and what the glazers’ mandates were, but there is nothing wrong with money in the bank.

  69. Arealbucsfan Says:

    We can get Cyril Richardson in the 2nd. Looks like the second coming of Carl Nicks imo

  70. Rob in Tampa Says:

    I foresee some tough roster decisions in 2 years cause were gonna have to resign McCoy and David and Martin and those guys are gonna command top dollar so if we splurge in free agency again this year beware because resigning our stars is coming Gerald McCoy is gonna want like an 80 million dollar contract and lavonte will want lik another 60 or 70 mill so be carful what free agents we acquire.

  71. BoJim Says:

    LUV said

    Releasing the Following Players ( All-Non Guaranteed Contracts)

    -Donald Penn: $7,066,665
    -Davin Joseph: 6,000,000
    -Jeremy Zuttah: 4,000,000

    Completly start over on the Oline?

    Maybe not a good idea?

  72. DMAD1 Says:

    Does anyone in here know how many draft picks we have this year? I know that we’re possibly going to give up a third rounder.

  73. Mumbles Says:

    No third (Revis), no sixth (Carimi) leaving 5 picks.

  74. Hank Says:

    Glad to hear Lovie talking like this. McCoy will be a UFA in 15. No doubt he will get a new contract this off season, which should free up some more space as well.

  75. patrickbucs Says:

    dee Says:
    January 14th, 2014 at 5:57 pm
    Mike glennon all rookie team stand up mob.

    His competition was Geno Smith, nice honor and all but do you think he would have won it if he played the year before? That doesn’t validate anything yet about Glennon; I’m curious if a QB they like is there at 7 if they draft him?

    We have lots of cap room thankfully to hopefully make some really much needed moves for starters and depth.

  76. stanglassman Says:

    Thanks PR last time you told me something you were wrong so I think I’ll just wait and see what happens. BTW I just said Lovie may try to bring in McCown if we didn’t draft a QB so no need to Know It All.

  77. Thomas Says:

    You dont win superbowls by having the best cap space year after year. You win it by bringing in better players.

    Bring in 2-3 guys for the defensive line, 1 cornerback or Lb and 1 vet Qb in free agency. Just dont way overpay for anyone. Then draft 1 Qb, 1 speed receiver, 1 Lb and the rest O-line.

  78. Thomas Says:

    Dont count on Mccown coming in- He is best friends with Cutler and had the best year of his career with Trestman’s offense. He loves it in Chicago and will retire rather than go anywhere else.

  79. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    McCown is overblown. Nowhere near any good. He had a few good games for once in his life, that’s all. I would take Luke back as a backup though.

    Sanchez. Has playoff experience.

    Still draft a qb in round one though, unless Clowney falls into our laps.

  80. Ty.justin Says:

    We need to be aggressive this year…trade back into top ten of first td pick a qb and Sammy both in top ten….trade goldson back to sf if they would take…revamp the oline…pick Byrd up as fa…give vjax the option of restructure or trade…12 mill is way to much…restructure half the contracts that are on the team to have some cap left…get a bruiser back to compliment Martin…let the qb battle begin..and then we will go places…

  81. teacherman777 Says:

    Byrd is a way better choice than Goldston.

    But Goldstons contract is guaranteed.

    So, its not happening.

    But man, Byrd is a fast FS, and our FS is slow.

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