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Mark Dominik expects the Bucs to be big players in free agency

Mark Dominik AP

Last year the Buccaneers made a big splash in free agency by signing the top wide receiver available, Vincent Jackson, and the top guard available, Carl Nicks. Late in the season the Bucs re-worked both players’ contracts, and as a result, Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik believes Tampa Bay will be a major player in free agency again this year.

“That has actually opened a lot of cap room for us going into 2013 – a tremendous amount,” Dominik told the Tampa Tribune. “We’ve got a chance to be [heavily] involved in free agency again.”

The Bucs will have about $30 million in cap space when free agency begins on March 12. A cornerback is expected to be the top priority after trading away Aqib Talib and after another of last year’s free agent signings, cornerback Eric Wright, didn’t pan out. Dominik added, however, that another high priority is making sure the key players on the current roster are locked in for years to come.

“But we also have a chance to try to retain this nucleus of players,” Dominik said. “So [the restructuring of Nicks and Jackson] was a big commitment that our owners made and I think that should be encouraging for all fans about our football team.”

After the Bucs missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, signing some big-name free agents may be the best thing they can do to encourage all the fans.

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34 Responses to “Mark Dominik expects the Bucs to be big players in free agency”
  1. Just a Fan says: Feb 12, 2013 12:45 PM

    Mike Jenkins, Chris Houston or Keenan Lewis?

  2. hor2012 says: Feb 12, 2013 12:47 PM

    I don’t know. I still think the best way to build a team is through the draft. When you sign free agents your normally getting players in thier prime. They’re not going to get any better. So, if you don’t win it all in a few years your stuck with players on the down side. Keep the player you have and go to work in the draft. I think that’s the best way to build.

  3. profootballwalk says: Feb 12, 2013 12:54 PM

    How do you miss the playoffs for four straight years, get all those high draft picks, and then miss the playoffs in the fifth year? Something is very wrong in Tampa. The Patriots have two players from their last SB win, and they’re still at the top every year, in spite of drafting late over and over.

  4. westampa says: Feb 12, 2013 12:55 PM

    CB is a huge need but this is a bad year for FAs and rookies. I say target Grimes if healthy. Jenkins is trash. If he was any good Dallas wouldn’t of brought in 2 CBs last season. Resigning Bennet & Mike Williams are also priorities.

  5. oilandwater27 says: Feb 12, 2013 12:55 PM

    Derek Cox
    Keenan Lewis
    Martellus Bennett
    resign Michael Bennett

    draft Xavier Rhodes and Khaseem Greene.

    FIRE THEM CANNONS

  6. ottawabrave91 says: Feb 12, 2013 12:56 PM

    if only the chiefs would sign some free agents. or keep some of their own

  7. scubasteve4930 says: Feb 12, 2013 1:00 PM

    spend all $30 mil of it on some secondary PLEASE

  8. zsking says: Feb 12, 2013 1:02 PM

    Welcome to tampa cary williams

  9. rodthunderrustler says: Feb 12, 2013 1:03 PM

    Paul Kruger please.

  10. clarencewhorley says: Feb 12, 2013 1:03 PM

    They should call the Jets about Revis and/or Cromartie

  11. mandeango says: Feb 12, 2013 1:03 PM

    Revis is a target I would suppose.

  12. bucs13 says: Feb 12, 2013 1:14 PM

    Yes, improving the team would be great, especially on defense.

    My biggest concern, though, is Josh Freeman. I love Josh Freeman, but I also know that we will live or die with him. And I just don’t know what to think.

    He’s young. His stats for his age are good. There have been times when he’s looked like a world beater. But… he’s been atrocious at times. And he still doesn’t seem to have made the leap.

    This is a QB-driven league. The Bucs will go as far as Josh Freeman will take them; this next year will tell us a lot.

  13. hehateme2 says: Feb 12, 2013 1:52 PM

    When will they learn that you build thru the draft… for all the money they spent… what did it get them?

  14. bucnbutfan says: Feb 12, 2013 2:20 PM

    Unfortunately the Bucanneers suffered greatly from the absolutely horrible player evaluation and draft picks from the Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen years. Their last year was 08′ and he left the team with hardly any high picks that are still with the team and very little depth at almost every position. Gruddy raves about young QBs now, but had no interest in developing one for his own team?

    A few veterans are now appropriate for the defense and the draft will be another great one, with the coaching staff getting the right amount of time for player evaluation.

    Go Bucs!

  15. redsoxchamp11 says: Feb 12, 2013 2:25 PM

    They will sign one guy, and draft at least one.

    I thought DRC was a FA, no?

  16. jeagan1999 says: Feb 12, 2013 2:25 PM

    If the Bucs get rid of Eric Wright, they will have nearly $40 million dollars to use during free agency. They will use some of that money to lock up young players like Mike Williams and maybe Freeman, but the Bucs can bring in some real impact players too. Plus they have 5 out of the first 123 selections in the draft as well. With a healthy Oline, Doug Martin, VJax and Williams and an upgrade on defense, the Bucs could well be a team to deal with in Greg Schiano’s second year!

  17. noring4youstill says: Feb 12, 2013 2:28 PM

    Keep spending. For the majority teams are built in the draft.

  18. marauder6 says: Feb 12, 2013 3:05 PM

    Spend to fill in those holes. Use the draft to build. Look at a majority of their roster. They had the youngest team in football under Morris. That age certainly wasn’t from Veteran FA. Come on now.

  19. tootleloomfers says: Feb 12, 2013 3:06 PM

    hehateme2, you obviously have no knowledge of the Buccanneers franchise. Prior to last year, the Bucs ownership was criticized every off season for not bringing in any free agents, to the point where fans called them cheap. Last year, ownership brought in 4 offensive starters in V. Jackson, C. Nicks, D. Clark and T. Underwood and their offense posted franchise records in multiple categories. Tampa’s problem was last year was their pass defense. Yes, they could have drafted quality DB’s in previous drafts, but their problem definitely wasn’t bringing in free agents last year.

  20. turbo2728 says: Feb 12, 2013 3:28 PM

    I hope we bring in some secondary help in FA. I would be totally against making a move for Revis. We need to draft our core and augment that with free agents. The effects of Dom’s strategy could be seen this year. We are a good offseason away from the playoffs.

  21. canadianbucsfan says: Feb 12, 2013 4:03 PM

    Love to hear this, so many years in a row when we did pretty much nothing in free agency. Last year getting two studs in V-Jack and Nicks (not including Wright, what a bum..) and about to get a couple more solid football players.. I think we should give Blount who is a restricted FA a third round tender.. we barely used him last year, and I am willing to bet there will be atleast one team who would give up a third rounder to get him.. he did have an amazing rookie season. For anyone who is not too familiar with Blount search on youtube his run against Greenbay.. other then that, we should sign Bennett from the giants, re-sign his brother, get a RT that can come in and complete, might need a new OLB cause Quincy Black might never play again, and oh yeah… definetely need to fix our league worst secondary, that is the main thing we need to do this offseason

  22. gbditka says: Feb 12, 2013 4:09 PM

    I see how well last years free agency splash helped fill the seats in “Ray Jay.” Damaged goods in Carl Nicks missed over half the season and Eric Wright saw more air time on FOX in a COPS episode than the field. Keep spending on them free agents Mark Dominik, 1 out of 3 last year is a good average in baseball.

  23. dkeyser says: Feb 12, 2013 4:33 PM

    You dont need to make a “big splash” in FA. Ask the Eagles and Redskins about that. You find a few key guys, they dont have to be super stars, and you build through the draft.

  24. skiss68 says: Feb 12, 2013 4:53 PM

    Wow V.Jax reworked his deal?! I guess he isnt the money grubber that SD made him out to be. No wonder Archie Manning wouldnt let Eli play there.

  25. celly84 says: Feb 12, 2013 4:54 PM

    For those of you who decide to only comment blindly on a team you do not follow at all during the year…

    …if you watched a couple games, you would know that had we even had competent cornerback play, we could’ve easily gone 10-6. When you’re the QB and you feel like you have to do EVERYTHING yourself, because you know your DB’s can’t stop Nick Foles from looking like Peyton Manning.

  26. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 12, 2013 5:05 PM

    They want to be known as the Tampa Bay Big Bucs.

  27. darkneptune73 says: Feb 12, 2013 5:15 PM

    Last year, the Bucs were big players in free agency and look what happened. A utter and total collaspe in the middle of the season.

  28. captainstagger says: Feb 12, 2013 5:21 PM

    The Bucs have 3 legit high priced FA’s in about 10 years.

    Carl Nicks – when in the line up the team scored an average of 5 points more per game……well worth it.

    VJax – led the league is YPC ….well worth it

    Eric Wright…..can’t win them all, but his contract is easier to swallow since he got busted and it voided his money.

    But outside those 3 the rest of the core roster is all draft.

    Freeman, Williams, Martin, Joseph, Bowers, McCoy, Clayborn, Miller, Foster, David, Black, Barber, Barron

    Now go draft a TE and two Corners….

  29. cmoney20 says: Feb 12, 2013 5:23 PM

    Josh Freeman will not take the leap. He’s an ok QB who you dont want being the QB of your team if you want to be a contender. How this isnt obvious to everyone is a bit ridiculous. You cant look that bad at times and think you’re all the sudden going to turn it around.

    With that being said after watching Drew Brees play early in his career against the Dolphins on a Monday night game I thought I might be able to play QB in the NFL he looked so bad. Basically no one knows anything

  30. 1oldpro says: Feb 12, 2013 5:54 PM

    Maybe this year, they will do a better job of picking who they sign. The words “didn’t pan out” seem to dominate the article.

  31. jwilliamsspf says: Feb 12, 2013 6:05 PM

    skiss68 says:
    Wow V.Jax reworked his deal?! I guess he isnt the money grubber that SD made him out to be. No wonder Archie Manning wouldnt let Eli play there.

    Reworked doesn’t mean pay cut. It means dollars shifted to more guaranteed money. So V-Jax probably got more of his guarantee money funneled into 2012’s cap number instead of any bonus in 2013. See how it works?

  32. jwilliamsspf says: Feb 12, 2013 6:05 PM

    skiss68 says:
    Wow V.Jax reworked his deal?! I guess he isnt the money grubber that SD made him out to be. No wonder Archie Manning wouldnt let Eli play there.

    Reworked doesn’t mean pay cut. It means dollars shifted to more guaranteed money. So V-Jax probably got more of his guarantee money funneled into 2012’s cap number instead of any bonus in 2013. See how it works?

  33. bucforever says: Feb 12, 2013 7:33 PM

    Wow , first weekend without football. Not too bad. Free agents signing starts in March, then the draft,then training camp,then the exhibition games . Ok , I think I can do this! Six months may go by real fast. Can’t wait! GO BUCS!

  34. therealhazer says: Feb 13, 2013 8:06 PM

    “Missed the playoffs” going 10-6 in 2010. Team is not as far off as people think. Just keep the attention on Jets, Cowboys, Packers.

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