The fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are about $35 million under the salary cap has, reportedly, rankled some Bucs fans who would prefer to see more of owner Malcolm Glazer’s money spent on improving the team.
The fact they were rankled has now irked Bucs G.M. Mark Dominik. Speaking to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, Dominik went to bat for his bosses Wednesday, using the firing of head coach Jon Gruden and Dominik’s predecessor, Bruce Allen, as evidence.
“People that say the Glazers are cheap don’t realize they fired Jon Gruden with three years left on his contract, along with Bruce Allen. They could have tried to ride that out,” noted Dominik (who would likely have a smaller office right now if they had).
Dominik dismissed speculation that the Glazers’ ownership of Manchester United (the other kind of football) created a financial drain for the Bucs. Dominik also rattled off the deals done that he feels counter the “Glazers are cheap!” argument.
“We drafted a quarterback [Josh Freeman] in the first round and everyone knows it’s an expensive contract. Jeff Faine became the highest-paid center in the league. We . . . made [Derrick Ward] the highest-paid free-agent running back.”
There were more, but you get the picture. And Dominik does have a point. The fact that the team is going through a rebuilding process naturally means there will be younger, lower-priced players on the team. And, given that the salary cap has risen from $84.5 million in 2006 under the old CBA to more than $125 million now, having abundant cap room isn’t as indicative of miserly spending as it once was.
As for bringing up the firings of Gruden and Allen as evidence that the Glazers aren’t cheap? He probably could have left those out, since firing Dominik eventually could provide further evidence that the Glazers aren’t extremely careful with money.