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.