No team made a bigger splash in the first 24 hours of free agency than the Buccaneers, who signed receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright to lucrative contracts. And now the Bucs are largely out of the free agency game and turning their attention to the NFL draft.
Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Dominik said today that the Bucs’ plans for their first-round pick, fifth overall, will be all about improving the roster immediately.
“I think we’re tired of rebuilding here,” Dominik said. “Our eyes are toward the NFL draft and what we can do with the fifth selection, whether we stay there, whether we move, whatever happens along with the other selections we have in that draft are really going to be the next moves and the next steps for this football team in terms of acquiring talent. That’s our goal. Today was a big day. I’m a big believer in quality and I think that’s what today showed. You can do it in different ways. We were going the quality way.”
Among the players the Bucs might take at No. 5 overall are LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe and Alabama running back Trent Richardson. If one of those players can make an immediate impact, and if the three players they’ve signed in the last 24 hours make the immediate impact the Bucs expect them to make, we’re going to see a very different team in Tampa Bay than the one that went 4-12 last year.