Joel Glazer Talks Free Agency Investing

April 2nd, 2015

joel glazerIn 2009, Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer used the term “dark path,” when referencing free agency.

During a private sitdown with Glazer at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix last week, Joe dove into those unforgettable words.

The NFL has changed quite a bit since then, and the Bucs have used different approaches to building the team, but the message remains the same. Going back six years, you used the term “dark path” referring to free agency. Joe had fun with that on the website because it was such a bold visual, but it turned out to be prophetic, really. Free agency is a dark path if you fail in the draft. Is free agency still a dark path, can you elaborate on your feeling there?

Joel Glazer: I think if you ask anybody, myself, my family, Lovie [Smith], Jason [Licht], to a man we would agree our true belief is successful organizations build through the draft. And you have to draft well and succeed at the draft. Free agency is a complementary situation. You will never free agency your way to the Super Bowl. My personal view hasn’t changed on it. Gotta be successful in the draft. That’s the way you’re going to build a sustainable, successful organization. Free agency, when you’re at a certain point, that’s when you should use it to fill those holes and get to where you have to get to. All that being said, you know, Jason and Lovie came in last year; we’re going on their second draft this year. So when you’re able to fill more holes — and it does take time — you only get one draft per year, only X number of players. So sometimes you got to do things you don’t necessarily truly believe is the way to do it, but you gotta do it to try and further the team. Then if it doesn’t work out, make sure you learn from those mistakes.

If Joe can take some liberty and translate Glazer’s last few sentences. “We rolled the dice last year and bought a bunch of players and it largely blew up in our faces. But it was worth the risk to deliver fans the best team possible as we recover from prior bad drafts.”

(You can read more of Joe and Team Glazer right here.)

27 Responses to “Joel Glazer Talks Free Agency Investing”

  1. JBucs1016 Says:

    Sounds to me like Mr. Glazer is implying that he wants to trade down and draft more players, unless he is talking about the past.

  2. Que589 Says:

    Joe I agree with your paraphrase (interpretation) 100%.

  3. JBucs1016 Says:

    I hope his paraphrase is correct

  4. Skyline Crew Says:

    Problem is, only a few teams have actually been successful at building through the draft. It really is a crap shoot…er science to be able to do it. The successful ones usually have a HC that has been there for a long time. When you have a new HC every other year it is hard to build through the draft because they may not like players or see the team going a new direction or they are just a bad coach. I think we have seen it all here.

  5. jimmy53 Says:


    You are grasping at straws pal. Get on the bus! It’s gonna be Winston #1, and the Bucs are gonna be better for it for years to come.

  6. JBucs1016 Says:

    Im all for Winston 2015 is gonna be a good year

  7. bucrightoff Says:

    Lovie didn’t build anything other than a veteran recycling facility in Chicago. His drafting track record is, to be kind, abysmal. Not really the guy you want to build through the draft with, his talent evaluation skills are too poor to expect a long term winner to be built.

  8. Dean Says:

    One of the bright spots in the maneuvers that were made by the Bucs so far this offseason, concerns depth. They have built some depth on the roster, especially defensively and that may allow them to take a little different approach in the draft.

    We may very well see the Bucs moving UP in the draft, after the first pick of course. They don’t need to add as much depth to the squad, so look for them to package picks 4-7 rounds to move back into the first round, pick up a another second or third round pick (hopefully both). It could be a real exciting draft, with some real wheeling and dealing going on.

  9. Connor Says:

    Yes Joel Glazer, but see there’s this little problem here……..YOUR TEAM SUCKS AT DRAFTING.

    And free agency is good if you simply sign the RIGHT PLAYERS.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “Recover from prior bad drafts”…. that spoke volumes….and is as clear as the nose on your face……Dominick’s drafts were an absolute disaster……virtually nothing but GMC & LVD to show for them…..maybe Banks.

    Lovie & Licht didn’t help by running off Zuttah & Penn…..

  11. Skyline Crew Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Is Joel the face of Bucs Ownership? I don’t see or hear much about his other family members doing anything. Did he draw the short straw so to speak and got the Bucs?

  12. Jimbo Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan “Lovie & Licht didn’t help by running off Zuttah & Penn…..”

    Donald Penn was awful towards the end and he is still awful. Zuttah is a bit of a different story. He wanted to be a center and we said no, so it isn’t like we could have kept him at guard. May have been a better center than what we had last year though.

    The only player lost that I can’t get over from the past 3 season was Michael Bennett getting let go so easily.

    I can live with the rest.

  13. BirdDoggers Says:

    The past several drafts have failed to produce a core group of players to build off of. Without a doubt, bad drafting has been the organizations biggest issue. The draft hasn’t even produced good depth. Hickey is gone so maybe things will change.

  14. bucrightoff Says:

    Dean Says:
    April 2nd, 2015 at 10:56 am
    They don’t need to add as much depth to the squad.

    No offense, but you’re crazy. Bucs need at least 14 new STARTERS. So saying they have depth is insane. I don’t know how else to put it. It’s amazing that there’s people (and apparently a lot of them) who truly believe the Bucs are just a player or two away from contender status. This is why we have an impatient fanbase, wholly unrealistic expectations.

  15. Elle Says:

    This isn’t the first time he states such things, especially the “build through the draft” bit. And yet here we are, wondering if they’ll ever be able to draft and develop players on a consistent basis. To be honest, this is getting a little tiresome. Rhetoric needs to be backed up by facts. So far, the facts state that the Bucs haven’t been in the playoff since 2007.

  16. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Football really is not that much of a science lol and requires some luck / timing it seems. THere are only a few regimes that have had continues success and its usually because they had a franchise QB and nailed a draft or 2.

    The Seahawks essentially nailed 2-3 straight drafts and got a franchise QB in Wilson. Those drafts gave them key O-lineman and the crazy secondary they have now. Adding Lynch & the DEs they grabbed fortified it furthur.

    Patriots have had Brady and always been able to trade back and just stockpile a lot of picks. THey don’t pick much better than most teams but they pick more often typically.

    Colts have had Peyton Manning & Andrew Luck. Even with bad drafting they’d be competitive.

    Most common denominator will always be the elite QB. But if you nail 1 draft at other positions it can really help your team (assuming you have a good amount of picks).

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    lmao @ the idea that the Bucs need 14 new starters. Go play Madden or something on xbox.

    You really think every NFL team is stacked with that much talent at every position? My god man.

    Go find me a roster and I’ll find the holes in it. The seahawks just lost a pair of starting o-lineman they have yet to replace and are considered the deepest roster in the league. Look at the Pats starting WRs; or RBs and tell me they are any better than ours (they are significantly worse). They just lost Revis/Wilfork/Browner. And these were super bowl teams.

  18. Bear the Bucs Says:

    Actual, one good addition on both the defensive and offensive line would help this team a lot. After QB, the closest to the line of scrimmage, the more important to the team

  19. The Buc Realist Says:

    Joe, instead of drawing out an interview with all the question that just point to one question! Just ask Glazer the One question

    “How far back did Dominick set this Franchise back?”

    there, then Mr Glazer can get back to work!

  20. Skyline Crew Says:

    I’ve been saying if we nail just ONE o-lineman in this draft that can anchor our team for 10 years or so that would help. We have a revolving door on our o-line and it isn’t helping. We need an anchor on the o-line. If we do get a franchise QB in the future that will help as we won’t have to worry about that position and can address other needs. Just like the Cowboys did when the went o-line in the 1st round 3 drafts in a row. They are much better because of it. Doesn’t hurt that they have Romo and Dez either.

  21. bucrightoff Says:

    14 new starters is pretty much dead on. Factor in age (and you have to unless you wanna run out 30 year olds on their last legs…those teams usually do well right?), and it’s accurate.

    4 OLineman at least
    2 WRs (this is VJax’s last year)
    2 DEs
    1 LB
    1 CB
    1 Punter
    1 Safety

    So sorry, 12. Because that’s so much better….regardless, people seem to think the Bucs are a .500 team the last 4 years rather than 3 of those 4 years having 4 wins or less.

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Joel Glazer knows the Bucs current condition can be boiled down to 2 sarcastic words….

    THANKS DOM!!!!

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Dude you’ve gone off the deep end Bucrightoff.

    We don’t need 4 completely new starting offensive lineman. That sounds like disaster. Overhauling an entire unit is very dangerous (see last year). You’d be incredibly suprised how much better the unit would look with 1) just one or two massive improvements and 2) a qb who is more dangerous to opposing defenses and knows how to set his protection.

    We need 2 new starters on the O-line in my opinion; and could use developmental talent beyond it. I’d consider Pamphile already developmental talent at RT. Anything more than that is kind of an insane type of expectation for a single year. Mankins/EDS/Dotson are serviceable O-lineman and better than other starters on other teams. They aren’t elite but they can be starters. Yes the O-line is bad and the weakest link on the team but jesus.

    We don’t NEED a single new starting WR this year. It’d be NICE to get a better slot guy than Louis Murphy but he is a vet that has played well for awhile. Once again – look at the Pats or Seahawks WRs and tell me we need 2 new starting WRs. INSANE. We can get the equivalent of the Pats/Seahawks WRs in undrafted rookies basically or late round picks. INSANE to say we need 2 NEW starting WRs. Do you think every NFL team has some stud 4th WR? Like seirously wtf are you talking about?

    We could probably use another LB but I’m fine with the group we have. Ill call that a 1/2 starter that would be nice but not as much a need or desperate position. I mean hell we have an all pro manning one of the spots lol.

    We are also fine at CB. Banks / Verner are proven capable staters and Spencer has been a solid nickle. We also still have Mike Jenkins and Leanord Johnson for depth. We can’t have 3 deril revises.

    Safety – agree on this. Not sold on Conte but McDougald played well and the hawk is still on the team. So things aren’t as dire as you suggest.

    Punter – easy to replace with some dude off the street essentially.

    Seriously man that’s crazy to me that you honestly believe we need that many new starters. No team has that much talent in the NFL. Not a single team. It’s like you are playing Madden and want everyone rated in the 90s at every spot. It’s insanely unrealistic.

    We won 10 games in 2010 and the roster was full of no names and much less talented than this one. So no; it isn’t that crazy to expect massive improvement with a big upgrade at QB and a couple positional talent infusions.

    O-line is bad. Definitely. But beyond that this team isn’t some talentless joke. They were literally a top 10 defense the last 10 weeks of the season.

  24. LargoBuc Says:

    As far as the offensive line is concerned, If we can get a true left tackle then our offensive line would be set, other than lacking a little depth.
    I think we have a far greater need at defensive end. It’s really our thinnest position. If Randy Gregory falls as far as scouts believe, he has that Simeon Rice thing going on. A more realistic option would be Preston Smith. Not as athletic as we need but a strong presence could be a steal in the second.
    For free agency, we didn’t sign any home runs, but we added depth with players that know the system.

  25. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Skyline Crew Says
    ‘Problem is, only a few teams have actually been successful at building through the draft.”

    Any team that has success has done it. That’s not a “few” teams.

  26. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    lmao @ the idea that the Bucs need 14 new starters. Go play Madden or something on xbox.

    I’m with you LC and LargoBuc as well. If we move up and draft a franchise LT and sign Connelly our offensive line will be competent immediately and still have some upside. Yes we’ll have to replace Mankins and Connelly but if we get even two good seasons from them that’s two more drafts to address other positions.

    DE may not have stars but their is potential in Smith, Fatinukin,Gholston and others.

    But the position we improved the most that will have the biggest impact on the field, aside from Fameis of course, is OC. Koetter could have probably accounted for 4 or 5 more wins last year.

    And I’m hopeful that Koetter and Bajakian can at least count to 12. There’s one of those wins.

  27. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Building thru the draft only works if your good at drafting. But Bruce Allen, Dominik killed this team with their lousy drafts. Yet one of those gms is hailed as a rock star?!?!?