New Era

June 3rd, 2015

glazer and licht

Fans screamed at former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik for not spending enough in free agency. When he did, fans turned on him for buying the wrong players.

Man, sometimes you just can’t win.

When Lovie Smith and AC/DC-loving GM Jason Licht went all drunken sailor with the Team Glazer checkbook last year, fans rejoiced. But the team went 2-14 and won the Chase for Jameis.

This year, the Bucs didn’t spend much cash. Frankly, given the success of free agency the past three years, it was a wise move.

Instead of trying to bag the big fish, the Bucs went the secondary route, buying players who fit — and understand– what they want to do defensively. Smart move.

Writing for The Sporting News, Jason Fitzgerald believes you won’t soon see the Bucs trying to buy a playoff berth.

After a few years of poor returns on some pricey investments in free agency, the Buccaneers pulled back in 2015 and began the process of gutting the roster. Despite rarely using signing bonuses in their contracts, the Bucs rank in the top three in the NFL in dead money due to the excessive guarantees given to players like Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins who were released after just one season with millions of dollars in guarantees on their contract.

Tampa ranks near the bottom of the NFL in top-player spending, despite allocating over $26 million to Gerald McCoy and Vincent Jackson. Both of their defensive and offensive allocations rank in the bottom five across the league and this year they spent most of the offseason targeting some budget players, most of whom were defensive players formerly of the Cowboys. Tampa’s front office remains committed to contracts that contain relatively steady cash flows, which has led them to overpaying players in year’s past in free agency.

The team is using 2015 as a reset of the franchise with veterans being replaced with young draft picks, primarily on offense. The Buccaneers looked to rebuild the entire core of their offense with their first three picks being spent on a quarterback and two offensive linemen. If those three players work out it will give the Buccaneers significant cost savings at expensive, cap killing positons.

Cap, schmap. Joe doesn’t two hoots about the salary cap and probably never will. Until demonstrates that X-amount of dollars spent = Y-wins, Joe won’t care about the salary cap. It is empty background noise.

But a potential change in philosophy by the front office does interest Joe a great deal.

What primarily determines how well a team is rebuilt isn’t the budget, but the success of the scouting department and front office.

Sooner or later, the won-loss record reflects how well a team drafts. It is one of the NFL’s greatest truisms.

15 Responses to “New Era”

  1. Tom Edrington Says:

    The Knight from the Third Crusade to Indiana Jones:

    “Choose wisely…………”

  2. bucco brice Says:

    The draft failures are the ONLY reason this team hit rock bottom. Since 2003, ONE player drafted beyond the 3rd round could be called a solid starter > tanard jackson…and that didn’t turn out so well in the long run. You have to get some help from the lower rounds. We haven’t had any for a long long time.

    The busts are plenty > clayton-wr[flash in pan], c.williams-rb[another short service career], g.adams-de & a.sears-ol, dexter jackson-pr!!!, FREEMAN!, price-dt & a.benn-wr, bowers-de, barron-s…Holy toledo!, looking at the draft history you wonder how things aren’t worse really….failure after failure…

  3. Harry Says:

    Don’t know if it was just me, but what I read into this was the Bucs can’t draft for sh!t and aren’t good a choosing high end FAs.

  4. Dean Says:

    You are absolutely right, Joe. The cap means nothing, if you can’t find players that can start and help your team.

    Right now, the Bucs have $20 million 700 Thousand left in cap money. That’s the 4th highest in the league. They have to spend most of that. The only thing that will eat into that figure is Lavonte. I’m guessing 8-10 mil coming off this year’s cap.
    We still could pick up a couple of impact players with the remainder, but I don’t see any top prospects being cut right now.

    Tough when you got the money and can’t find anything to spend it on……………

  5. Joe Says:

    Thanks Dean.

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    Picking up Dallas castoffs doesn’t inspire me at all. If they pan out the cowpokes must be headed for the Super Bowl. If this 2.0 version of rebuilding fails, the Bucs will take that much longer to become other than a bottom tier contender.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m absolutely fine with middle-teir FAs who want to play for us and will work hard to earn a starting job…..and appreciate their paychecks…..there are several players now on the team that fit that category…..McDougald, McDonald, Lansanah, Wright, J. Smith, G. Johnson….and several other new FAs……even players like Rainey & Louis Murphy…..

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    I thought that the Bucs did go after some of the higher price Free Agents, but the Top Free Agents did not want to play for the bottom team in NFL.

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    You guys may be right, what is not good enough for Dallas might be Buc upgrades. On the article after this one all I get is oops by clicking read more or the comments total. Must be this what now might be considered to be an antique phone.

  10. drdneast Says:

    Buc Realist, I don’t know if the Bucs even offered The Wiz a deal, but it came out later the guy has a lingering shoulder problem.
    I know they went after a couple of DE’s, but they were in no way the second comings of Reggie White.
    Fact of the matter is there weren’t a lot of stud players in FA this year, unlike the Eric Wright’s and Anthony Collins we have acquired in the past.
    Ion the funnier side of NFL life, I understand McClown doesn’t think there should be a QB competition in Cleveland.
    Let me get this right, McClown is afraid of competing with A QB who can’t even hit a wide open heckling fan with a 32 oz. water bottle. To funny.
    Good luck Cleveland.
    Also, Carolina just paid a QB over a million a game who had a record of 5-9 last year. Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer had more wins than that and they ran him out of town to sign a QB who had one win all year against a team that had a secondary torched which was coached by the great Raheem Morris.
    Isn’t life great in the NFL.

  11. The Buc Realist Says:


    There were some lineman that the Bucs went after. I know that they only gave Tampa the time of day to leverage their contracts with other teams.

    also we all know that there is a huge difference between the Top free agents and Nfl stud players!

  12. CalBucsFan Says:

    Posted this on one of your other articles a few minutes ago Joe, but now after reading this one see the comments even more relevant here:

    Thanks to that horrifying season last year, I’m especially looking forward to the upcoming Reaper visits across the NFL later this summer as camps break. It’s normal that some solid veterans are given pink slips, not because their performance has fallen off, but due to cap issues. There should be a few quality OLmen available to come on board to at least add to the depth chart, if not start and mentor the rookies. And the Bucs get first dibs at every one of them. Kind of like a second round of the draft, the last great reward for the puke known as the ’14 Bucs season before a new era begins.

    Sure hope Licht gets it right, if so it should be the last time the Bucs are in such a fortunate position for the next decade or two. Go Bucs!

  13. bucs4lyfe Says:

    gm’s that draft well don’t have to get desperate in free agency that’s pretty much the way it goes

  14. Tampa Tony Says:

    Joe still giving excuses for the Pop Star. Ha ha I love the unintentional comedy joe provides on this site

  15. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    It seems as though some NFL Players play really hard, to become free agents, and get their big payday, but then they quit 🙁
    You could see that Collins flat quit on the Bucs, after we made him and his grandkids wealthy.