Speed Bumps To Signing Free Agents

March 9th, 2015
Given the Bucs' lowly record and uncertainty at quarterback, it's going to take one helluva sales pitch by Bucs GM Jason Light to land any free agents.

Given the Bucs’ lowly record and uncertainty at quarterback, it could take one helluva sales pitch by Bucs GM Jason Light to land any free agents.

The Bucs signed a lot of their own Saturday, four in fact. Still, as Sunday grew dark, later thanks to the glory of Daylight Saving Time, some Bucs fans began to grow irritated the team had not come to an agreement with any free agents.

Yes, the Bucs were rumored to be in the hunt for Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga. Many, including Joe, want the Bucs to take a stab at Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski. As Joe is typing this Sunday night, nada.

There are reasons why the Bucs aren’t landing anyone (yet). It’s rather simple.

The Bucs, in case you just got back from Cuba, were 2-14 last year. Horrible. Worst team in the NFL. Why would a player who has a choice want to play for the Bucs? Joe knows this is harsh, but most players want to play for a team with a chance to make a playoff run. Do you think the Bucs are such a team?

So for the Bucs to land guys, they pretty much have to overpay (think sleazy Eric Wright). For example, if you are Trent Cole and you are visiting the Colts today, choosing between the Colts and the Bucs is a no-brainer.

And that brings Joe to the third reason why it is hard for the Bucs to land free agents: Imagine you are a free agent and you are talking turkey with Bucs general manager Jason Licht on the phone, or in person:

Player: So, Jason, who is going to be your quarterback next year?

Jason Licht: Well, um, er… somebody.

Player: Somebody?

Licht: Yeah, um, er, uh… well, we think he will be right-handed if that helps.

It’s kind of hard to finish a sales pitch as a general manager if you don’t know who your starting quarterback will be. It’s like Licht is Moe Howard in the iconic Three Stooges “Press… press… pull!” routine.

31 Responses to “Speed Bumps To Signing Free Agents”

  1. Buc'n Enough Says:

    Lovie Smith was supposed to legitimize this franchise so we should be able to attract Free Agents..he supposedly a players coach.

    My concern is that they have not let go of any of the deadwood yet that would elevate the cap space..that alone might attract any potential free agents.

    I am loosing faith in the GM quickly…..

  2. ADown88 Says:

    Now Jerry Hughes and Orlando Franklin are off the board… as well as McCourty. Ugh….

  3. Tom Edrington Says:


    Just a reminder that good teams do NOT let good players walk away…..

    Legit question……why would a really, really good player want to come here to begin with……goes to perception of the in-house regime and the stinky 2-14 performance and the possibility of a rookie quarterback…..

  4. Harry Says:

    I have a really bad feeling about this. Last year Lovie said he was going to spend right up to the Cap, but did NOT. Obviously since the Bucs went 2-14 they are going to have to overpay to get a talented player. They are only going to get a player chasing $$$$$. So why aren’t they doing that in the key areas we need help, like the Oline??

  5. robert 9 Says:

    they’ll trade the pick and address the OL and start glennon…..start crying now girls

  6. ADown88 Says:

    @Tom Edrington

    Sure they do. There are cap issues (Suh), system fits (Revis last year), disgruntled players for whatever reason, etc… I understand we have to over pay to get players, but I haven’t even heard our name rumored about any top guys yet… Not even one.

  7. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Robert has spoken…now let’s cry.

  8. Aaron Says:

    I’d like to see the Bucs over-pay for 2nd wave FA. It should at a min add depth but will be way cheaper than what these 1st wave guys cost. If they bust we wont be talking about how to eat 7mill after one season.

    I’m trying to be “glass is half-full” – I just don’t have confidence in Bucs Management or Lovie at this point to do anything right. Meaning, pick correct scheme fit players, coach them up, etc… we will see

  9. Hawk Says:

    Joe said:
    “It’s kind of hard to finish a sales pitch as a general manager if you don’t know who your starting quarterback will be.”

    THAT… is the silliest statement you have yet made, Joe.
    #1. Lovie has repeatedly said that Glennon is the QB of the future. There are coaches/GMs, in the league, that think highly of Glennon, so Jason could say, “Glennon”.
    #2. The Buccaneers have the VERY FIRST PICK of the draft. *IF* the Buccaneers are going to use it on Mariota/Winston, (as YOU believe) he could say we will have one of the top QBs in the draft running our offense.
    The FA may not like either answer, but it IS an answer. It is not like the Buccaneers do not have a QB on the roster, or have a low round (out-of-range) pick.
    Draft time cannot get here quick enough. The animals are getting restless… and a little daffy(pun intended).

  10. Eric Says:

    sign free agents………..bitch

    don’t sign free agents……….bitch

  11. Eric Says:

    Heard the same nonsense when they were hiring an OC.

    “nobody would want to come here”

  12. Tom Edrington Says:

    @ ADown:

    I said “Good teams” the Lions aren’t really a good team, and Revis was let go by the Bucs…….I said “good teams”…….

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    When you have a dinosaur head coach with a history of mediocrity what would you expect. people want winners not to be average or pitiful. hell these young guys don’t care lovie went to a super bowl when they were 8 or 10… who cares. what did he do last year. 2-14… he made a bad team worse and had a poor plan to replace the oline. he should have hired help for Arroyo but did not. mistake after mistake and we have not even gotten to game day management. His defense belongs in a museum. He plays not to lose instead of to win. I will not give lovie a free pass or live in the past like some of the blind supporters. i don’t care if he is a nice guy that is totally irrelevant. I want wins. it’s not like his mentor was much better he left 2 super bowls minimum on the table between the colts and bucs. Lovie needs Winston… believe that

  14. JFat Says:

    Slow the hell down, Jesus. This is all preliminary to actual free agency. Maybe their approach this year will be to sit back a bit instead of going out and setting the market. Some of the big names are off the board but I wasn’t really expecting to get them, McCourty was a pipe-dream for me at least.

    Funny that nobody wants to come here but Tampa was one of the 5 teams Adrian Peterson would want to be traded to. He’s probably the only player in the league that feels that way though.

  15. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    “Joe knows this is harsh, but most players want to play for a team with a chance to make a playoff run. Do you think the Bucs are such a team?”

    Jameis Winston WANTS to play for Tampa Bay.

    That is all.

  16. bucs4lyfe Says:

    That’s dumb Joe!!!!

    Free agency is about money and you could say the same thing about the jags, chiefs and raiders every year. These same irritated fans get to clamor for high priced free agents then call for lovie’s head if it doesn’t work out. We’ve been winners of free agency the last 4 years and how had it worked out? It’s time to show somoene your core players can play first that’s all. Only about 5 teams out of 32 have a confined free agent signing but I understand you’re need to exaggerate the situation. When they sign a guy this post will already be useless

    What exaggeration? If the Bucs are looking offensive help, and want a guy who isn’t all about money, then they have a speed bump because they can’t answer the quarterback question. And they’re 2-14. You think a guy like Trent Cole isn’t thinking he could have an outside shot at the Hall of Fame if he gets a ring?–Joe

  17. bucsfan4lyf Says:

    Top Free Agent Prospects

    DE Brandon Graham
    OT Bryan Bulaga
    S Rahim Moore
    ILB AJ Hawk

    If we can get these players, only Moore and Bulaga being the “top tier free agents” we would be going into the draft in great shape and would be picking BPA over NEED.


  18. bucs4lyfe Says:

    Most players want to go to a playoff team? So they visit non contenders just to drive up the price lol because it’s not about money hmmm playoff teams ask for pay cuts more too. Anyway Bryon maxwell to Philly they aren’t a playoff team, Such to Miami they aren’t a playoff team either. The best players don’t worry about that because their team could be with their help

  19. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    No QB
    Bad fan support
    30-70 in their last 100 games
    Bad coaching staff

    Again why would any good free agents come here?

  20. BirdDoggers Says:

    The Bucs haven’t been viewed as a contender for several years. One winning season in the Raheem era, sandwiched between losing seasons. It hasn’t stopped free agents from signing in Tampa. VJax, Nicks, Wright, Goldson, Johnson, Collins, EDS, etc., all jumped on board. Many of these players would’ve had the opportunity to sign with a perennial contender, but they chased the money.

    I think it’s a good thing that the Bucs aren’t involved in a lot of buzz the past few days. Chasing the high dollar free agents hasn’t worked. They need to sign good football players to reasonable contracts.

  21. mjc Says:

    Players know Lovie has one more season and he is out. Why come to Tampa

  22. WS99 Says:

    It takes time

  23. Tomcin Says:

    Joe is right saying FA’s normally sign with teams that have a chance for the playoffs. The Bucs aren’t even close to a .500 team let alone the playoffs. The players they sign and have to overpay are usually in it for the $$$. After they get there guaranteed money & salary they underperform , as the Bucs well know. Saying Philly & Miami are not playoff teams is ludicrous. They are a lot closer than the Bucs will be.

  24. DallasBuc Says:

    It takes time?
    It takes time for Lovie Smith to complete an intelligible original thought out loud.

  25. salish_seamonster Says:

    What fools are growing “irritated the team had not come to an agreement with any free agents?”

    Hello? This is a non-signing period! There are ZERO confirmed signings across the league except those that returned to their team. Everything else is rumor and speculation. EVV. REE. THING.

    So people are irritated? Really? My suggestion is to learn the difference between rumor and fact. Right now, there is only rumor.

  26. Buccfan37 Says:

    In other words expect a slow plodding rebuild. We all have time, until we don’t.

  27. cmurda Says:

    The Bucs need to land the cream of the crop offensive lineman in free agency and maybe one DE. The majority of players who have already agreed to terms are not all that relevant to us. Keep your eye on Greg hardy ( if the morons at NFL headquarters could issue their ridiculous punishment, that would be lovely), Lupati, Bulaga (circle this guy. I think he’s going to be ours), Sheard, Trent Cole. The DE free agent class is underwhelming if we don’t land one of the guys I’ve mentioned. That could be a position we build through the draft. We need to at least sign 2 O LInemen through free agency and draft 1 or 2 others. I don’t expect multiple splashes but I do expect that the FA’s we do sign will be significant ones. For the most part, we need a solid draft. That’s how we will be able to build a contending team. Then, and only then, will we have Free Agents willing to take a discount or really wanting to play in Tampa instead of money chasers. It’s high time we have a solid draft. Schiano and Dominik had a decent draft class but nothing to get overly excited about. When you have the #1 pick picking early in most rounds then there are no excuses. It’s do or die for Lovie and Licht.

  28. mark2001 Says:

    For those of you that think “fan support” is a big part of Free Agents choosing a team, you are fooling yourselves.

    It sounds nice, and we would like to think so…but these guys are professionals. Taxes, living conditions and entertainment, competitive status of the team? Yes….but fans? ROTFL.

  29. bucs4lyfe Says:

    On joe then it means you’re talking about a select few such as Trent Cole and Reggie Wayne who are at the tail end of their career, I think what I said still stands

  30. bucs4lyfe Says:

    See what kind of fans you attract joe lol you got people sayingS Rahim Moore and ILB AJ Hawk are top tier free agents lol nah that had to be a joke

  31. Fire Goodell Says:

    Some, if not most players are more interested in money, plus warm weather and no state tax.