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After moving quickly in free agency, Bucs turn attention to draft

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Richardson scores a touchdown against the LSU Tigers during their NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in New Orleans Reuters

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.

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40 Responses to “After moving quickly in free agency, Bucs turn attention to draft”
  1. jenniferxxx says: Mar 14, 2012 6:32 PM

    It’s very hard to bring in a lot of free agents and have them gel right of the bat. Add to it some rookies who you expect to contribute immediately … and I think you’re in for a disappointment. It takes time.

  2. trbowman says: Mar 14, 2012 6:33 PM

    Claiborne is the no brainer there.

    Don’t take backs high! Don’t care how good they are! There are always late rounders/UFAs that produce at about the same level as the early rounders! Use buzzwords like ‘special talent’ if it makes you feel better about ignoring the overwhelming evidence that taking RBs high isn’t worth it, but I’ll just look at the landscape of the NFL.

    Blount isn’t even that bad. He was still productive on a per play basis, reason that ground game didn’t produce is their shoddy defense got them behind in so many games they had to abandon the running game! Have to look at the context of stats.

    They could use a third down back to compliment him though.

  3. mymorningstory says: Mar 14, 2012 6:33 PM

    Tampa Bay is the new DREAM TEAM :) lol

  4. terraj35 says: Mar 14, 2012 6:34 PM

    Gotta take Claiborne assuming Cleveland passes on him. Then the Bucs are a linebacker away from division title contention.

  5. avanderlay says: Mar 14, 2012 6:34 PM

    MLB and CB remain the top needs. I respectfully pass on Richardson. He’s a lot closer to Mark Ingram territory than Adrian Peterson (who people are comparing him to) in my book.

  6. jade amor says: Mar 14, 2012 6:37 PM

    And I thought the Pats were the big winners. After all, they resigned Tracy White and Matt Slater, eye roll, then they went out and got Mario, err, I mean Jonathan Fanene, and in all likelihood are letting BJGE walk. That is a homerun in the eyes of the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills….

  7. rollteal says: Mar 14, 2012 6:39 PM

    I’m jealous

  8. ckualii says: Mar 14, 2012 6:42 PM

    Funny thing is that the people who are sarcastically calling the Bucs a “Dream Team” and blasting them for signing FA’s are the same people who blasted the team for not signing FA’s the last couple of years. Some people just have to complain about something

  9. tropboi11 says: Mar 14, 2012 6:43 PM

    Go Claiborne and we are just a MLB away from being a well rounded team and to all the haters keep hating its motivation baby, bringing in big free agents helps the fans since or team hadn’t brought in any big names besides Winslow in a while, next year can be a gelling year and then its time to get back to contention even thou i’m sure we will have the chance this year to make the playoffs! Go Bucs!

  10. sparky151 says: Mar 14, 2012 6:45 PM

    I thought Tampa was trying to sign Lofton? If not him, there are several other free agent MLBs available. In the draft, Bucs should take Claiborne if they can.

  11. docboss says: Mar 14, 2012 6:49 PM

    IF one of the draft picks and the three players they signed make impacts…. Ask Andy Reid how all that “talent” worked for him last year. New players, new coach, new system, etc. They are more than a linebacker away unless Atlanta and New Orleans are decimated by injuries. I think Carolina is more likely to challenge the division before Tampa. I agree that Richardson may be a reach at five, but don’t be surprised is someone offers to trade up for Tannehill. Here is where you will get your CB and LB. Hello Miami. How is that QB situation looking?

  12. godofware says: Mar 14, 2012 6:50 PM

    Why would they draft a Dontari Poe? They have Gerald McCoy and Brian Price from the last 2 drafts. DT is not an immediate impact position (with the exception of Suh) It usually takes up to 3 years to become strong enough to be a DT in the NFL.

  13. yourblackdaddy says: Mar 14, 2012 6:51 PM

    Hahaha! Bringing in a bunch of expensive free agents is always a good idea. Ask Philly and Washington.
    And if Reid and Gibbs couldn’t make that work, you seriously think a 1st time NFL coach can? Hahaha!

  14. buccaneer4ever says: Mar 14, 2012 6:54 PM

    I love hoe we sign three guys and we’re immediately the Eagles from last year. They tried to remake their roster with FA, we’re just trying to compliment ours. Huge difference.

  15. imasturbate says: Mar 14, 2012 6:55 PM

    With Talib going to jail and Barber being older than Schiano they have to go after Claiborne or trade down and pick up Kirpatrick or Janoris Jenkins.

  16. knicks4life says: Mar 14, 2012 6:56 PM

    We need lofton then claybourne THEN WE R COMPLETE

  17. notdoingwork says: Mar 14, 2012 6:59 PM

    Still need alot on defence! Eric wright is not the answer on defence still linebacker and secondary help.

  18. bradyisbetterthanrodgers says: Mar 14, 2012 7:04 PM

    @ jade amor

    dont worry the jets dolphins and bills will all finish below the patriots like usual

  19. paulyshore1 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:06 PM

    I hope they don’t take Claiborne. Then he can slip to the Panthers. :-)

  20. bucwild05 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:07 PM

    yourblackdaddy says:
    Mar 14, 2012 6:51 PM
    Hahaha! Bringing in a bunch of expensive free agents is always a good idea. Ask Philly and Washington.
    And if Reid and Gibbs couldn’t make that work, you seriously think a 1st time NFL coach can? Hahaha!

    ……… 1st time NFL coach??? You might want to check your information. 1st year with the Bucs, yes, however, not a 1st time coach.

    Bringing in a Bunch of Free Agents? 3? Wooooooh…. My thought of Bunch, and yours are obviously 2 different things. They had a need a WR, so they went after the best available, they needed help at G… so, they went after the best available… They needed a CB, so guess what?

    What a moron you are.

  21. jigwig13 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:10 PM

    The only way u can compare the bucs this yr to the eagles is because they are making a splash…other then that these signings are nothing alike…the eagles spent big money last yr but they weren’t spending the money on the big names with positions they needed…the bucs are signing all big names but they are actually filling holes on there team…unlike the eagles after they signed all there players they still had holes…the bucs should have a better outcome there first yr with all these signings

  22. alstottwastheman says: Mar 14, 2012 7:11 PM

    Take Claiborne, pass on Richardson. Still think Blount can be a great 1st/2nd down back, just go and get Tolbert for 3rd down, goal line.

  23. gotampabay52 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:13 PM

    go bucs buc fans visit joebucfan.com we are on our way back to the playoffs blount can run through holes that joesph and nicks make we haveny had a ol like this

  24. kylewild says: Mar 14, 2012 7:20 PM

    Claiborne is the obvious choice and taking Richardson would be illogical. Blount is still the primary back, he just needs someone like LaMichael James to spell him.

  25. footballfan292 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:22 PM

    You can’t fix every problem in one offseason. It’s a process. They still may bring in a few lower-priced FAs for the defense. Plus the coaching will be much improved over last season.

    Just the fact that Vincent Jackson is on the field will change the gameplan of teams playing the Bucs. They used to double or triple team Mike Williams and Winslow or stack the line. Do that now and Jackson will burn you. Jackson will now get the double-teams which leaves Mike Williams one-on-one with the #2 CB. That’s a win in several ways. Nicks will also be a major addition with the running game, plus dumping Faine who was a revolving door last year is a plus. Now Blount won’t have to break 6 tackles just to get out of the backfield.

    The run defense needs work, no doubt. But there is still time to improve that.

  26. macwomack says: Mar 14, 2012 7:23 PM

    Tampa should be wary of their impending punishment. The league is aware that they violated the non-existent salary floor in 2010 and will be punishing them retroactively because they “affected competitive balance.”

    Once this happens the commisioner will then be able to claim that punishment is delivered uniformly and consistently. And he can claim that the punishment to the league’s top two earners was not biased or influenced by other owners.

  27. steeelfann says: Mar 14, 2012 7:30 PM

    They won’t be that different. Same inconsistent QB, same results.

  28. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Mar 14, 2012 7:30 PM

    While i do agree that RBs taken in the top 10 don’t have a good success rate, the same applies to CBs. Go back and take a look at all the busts through the past 10 years(and how few CBs are taken that high to begin with).

    I happen to think that Claiborne, like Haden, will be the exception to this rule. But at the same time, it is a much riskier pick than a lot of people are acting like it is. Taking Reiff might actually be the safer option here, and in doing so we could move Penn to RT, dump Turdblood, and probably have a top 5 o-line as a result. Then maybe trade back into the late first round or simply hope a Jenkins or Dennard drops to you in the 2nd.

  29. 69finfan says: Mar 14, 2012 7:40 PM

    Hey bradyplayswithhimself. Maybe the Dolphins, Jets and Bills will finish below the Pats but I would rather do that than blow the SB. No one remembers who came in second. Remember, if you’re not first you’re last. How do those 2 losses in the SB in a row to the Giants feel? Maybe everybody is on to something that the Pats can’t win the big one without cheating.

  30. bama4425 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:41 PM

    Anybody that doesn’t think Richardson isn’t a special talent like Peterson haven’t been watching what I’ve been. I’m not an idiot cause I wouldnt mind Claiborne at 5 if there, but Richardson is one of the best rb to break tackles I have ever seen. Vision is excellent and unlike Peterson whos had fumbling problems TR has only 1 fumble in his career!! Which is amazing for someone who fights for every yard. Catches passes and is and excellent pass blocker who never gets caught when he breaks it. He can do everything and is just like ray rice but I believe is better. Tr is better than Ingram and Ingram was just lucky Trent was younger or he would have the heisman. He would be awesome behind this line and get people in the box for v jax deep. Play action would be amazing. Blount fumbles, no vision, cant block, and is only good when he gets to 2 level. Richardson would get 1200-1500 if we draft him!!!

  31. yourblackdaddy says: Mar 14, 2012 7:45 PM

    @bucwild05

    Typical non-football fan. So predictable.

    Don’t get ur panties in a wad, u dork. I’m sure u were one of the Tampa Gay fans who went on declaring ur Sucs would make the playoffs and even the SB last year. U really hit that prediction.

    Ur HC is a 1st time NFL head coach. Ask Spurrier and Carroll how college guys do in the pros.

    Congrats to being the doormat of the NFC South for yrs to come, Sucka!!!

    Hahaha!!!

  32. krycek84 says: Mar 14, 2012 7:46 PM

    @macwomack

    If NFL stripped cap from Dallas and Washington because they spend too much, in this case, NFL should add cap to the Bucs because they spend not enough as punishment.

  33. brasho says: Mar 14, 2012 7:50 PM

    The best thing the Bucs could possibly do would be to trade down a few picks back in the draft and take their MLB for the next 10-15 seasons in Luke Keuchly.

  34. freemantowilliams says: Mar 14, 2012 8:18 PM

    Really hope we trade down and are able to take kuechly. I’m not to worried about the running back position. I’ll admit t rich is a beast but good young quality rbs can be taken at a much lower round in the draft. Whos that kid from San Diego state again?

  35. bradyisbetterthanrodgers says: Mar 14, 2012 8:48 PM

    fin fan

    come talk to me when the dolphins are relevant again. as far as the pats, they will be right back in the superbowl hunt again. the dolphins will be in the hunt for the worst record in the nfl by the looks of your roster right now

  36. drgregg says: Mar 14, 2012 8:49 PM

    Lol @ bucs “fans” thinking their team are instant contenders now.

    Every other (er, almost every other) team in the league knows blowing money on big name free agents isn’t the way to rebuild. But TB has to make a splash in FA as opposed to building through the draft and lower priced FA’s to generate interest in the fan base. Their “fans” aren’t loyal enough to go to games or support the team in mediocre times, much less when they’re rebuilding. More losing and even less interest ensues. Downward spiral. Look at Miami. Same problem.

  37. macwomack says: Mar 14, 2012 9:08 PM

    @krycek84

    HA HA That would be a good idea. A better idea would be for the league to assume ownership of the Bucs.

    why?

    B/C if the Bucs (prior to this year) don’t want to even play at the salary floor because of the owner’s Manchester United debt then we have an uncompetitive team. This team easily gets trounced in their division and in effect affects the competitive balance with regards to the Saints.

    The longer term effects are a team that cannot sell tickets or add to the NFLs revenue sharing pot. So instead of being an even partner they rely on teams like the Redskins and Cowboys to provide them with revenue.

    Seriously if I am Jerry Jones would I want to be in a league with a “welfare” team like the Bucs. All they do is leach money from the pot. Don’t believe me…. take a look at all the FA deals. The Bucs can’t even afford to pay out a signing bonus.

  38. detroitcityryda says: Mar 14, 2012 9:27 PM

    Hate the bucks since big mouse sapp played for them hope my lions play em
    Again n whoop them hard like last season .eric wright is garbage n they gave him all that money hahahah

  39. cover2blitz0 says: Mar 15, 2012 5:15 AM

    yeah we really need another DT with the 5th pick huh? no depth there whatsoever not to mention we have no RB… I wish you guys would actually know a teams needs before putting your foot in your mouth

  40. tbf22 says: Mar 15, 2012 2:08 PM

    macwomack says: Mar 14, 2012 9:08 PM

    @krycek84

    HA HA That would be a good idea. A better idea would be for the league to assume ownership of the Bucs.

    why?

    B/C if the Bucs (prior to this year) don’t want to even play at the salary floor because of the owner’s Manchester United debt then we have an uncompetitive team. This team easily gets trounced in their division and in effect affects the competitive balance with regards to the Saints.

    The longer term effects are a team that cannot sell tickets or add to the NFLs revenue sharing pot. So instead of being an even partner they rely on teams like the Redskins and Cowboys to provide them with revenue.

    Seriously if I am Jerry Jones would I want to be in a league with a “welfare” team like the Bucs. All they do is leach money from the pot. Don’t believe me…. take a look at all the FA deals. The Bucs can’t even afford to pay out a signing bonus.

    ————————————————-

    Hey buddy you are completely wrong…

    The Bucs won 10 games in 2010, and actually beat the Saints and Falcons last season, idiot. Don’t spout off about the Bucs not being good, when the Cowboys can’t win a play off game to save their lives.

    The Bucs can’t afford a signing bonus? are you that dumb? Instead of taking cap hits through out the contract and having back loaded contracts, they have the contracts actually mean something. The Players get paid paid per year, instead of getting a huge pay day on day 1 and never have to worry again. They have to earn their contract each season otherwise they get nothing. The Cowboys and Redskins could learn a thing or 2 from the Bucs FO… They know how to write a contract that is in the best interest of the team. Not just hand out bags full of money. in hopes that the player will continue to earn the money… (Albert Hayneworth, Roy Williams… yeah.. those guys worked out great when they got signed to huge contracts. lol)

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