Team Checklist: Tampa Bay Buccaneers


We’ve already written post lockout to-do lists for the Falcons, Panthers, and Saints.  That leaves Tampa Bay as the only team left in the NFC South. 

The Buccaneers are a rising team that will mostly grow from within. But they have a number of issues that need to be addressed in free agency.

1. Re-sign Davin Joseph.

We said earlier this offseason that the Bucs could probably only afford to re-sign Joseph or middle linebacker Barrett Ruud.  Joseph is more important, especially after the team didn’t address the offensive line in the draft.  He won’t come cheaply.

2. Find a middle linebacker, re-sign Quincy Black.

If Ruud leaves, the Bucs potentially have two starting linebacker jobs to fill.  Black is an underrated player that should be easy enough to bring back.  Mason Foster is a rookie third-rounder that could start in the middle, but that’s asking a lot.  A veteran is also needed.

3.  Address the backup running back spot.

Cadillac Williams is a terrific third-down back, so he could return if the price is right.  If not, the Bucs need a complement to LeGarrette Blount that can handle a lot of passing down duties.

4. Add secondary depth, sniff around Nnamdi Asomugha.

The Bucs are a sleeper team in the Asomugha sweepstakes.  They showed they aren’t afraid to go after top free agents when they bid heavily on Albert Haynesworth, and Asomugha fits what they do well.

Even if the Bucs wanted to keep Aqib Talib, he may not be available.  The team likes E.J. Biggers and Myron Lewis, but getting Asomugha could help push this defense to another level.  If the Bucs don’t go big at cornerback, they need to sign some veteran depth there and at safety.  (There are numbers at safety but a lot of questions.)

5. Make sure Raheem Morris re-connects with his players.

Oh, wait.

42 responses to “Team Checklist: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  1. this is point of sale for the glaziers. If the glaziers let all of those FA’s walk, make another feigned attempt namdi like they did at haynesworth, they are going to lose more support…..Whats unfortunate, is it should never come to this.

  2. Ruud’s gone. They’ll look at Morrison from the Jags/Raiders and groom Foster, who will be a star in a couple of years.

    I would imagine they’ll need to break the bank on Asomugha in order to replace Talib. Plus I think they’ll want some stablity in their secondary considering Ronde only has another year or two, tops.

  3. how long are some of you going to keep believing the ownership is going to spend money in FA?

  4. airraid, PLEASE step away from the computer before your ignorance is shown even more.

    The GLAZERS will never sell the Bucs or let their best OL just walk. Nothing can be done in a lockout, so you’re just pissing up a rope right now. Give Mark D some respect and trust that he will have the best possible team on the field…

  5. Also, the Bucs offered MORE money to Fat Albert than any other team. He choose the Skins because he said ” playing for Tampa Bay would be like being on vacation forever.” Worked out great for him….

    Given Talib’s looming suspension/prison time, Mark D is going all out to get Nnamdi.

  6. airraid77: I agree with you … this site is so pro-owner I can’t get votes to remove the owners for the team that spends the least in the league and are in a fiscal mess with their soccer team in England.

    They won’t spend in free agency, and they will be at the bottom of money spent again.

  7. Until the glaziers sign one of their own, to a deal that isnt capped by a tag, to a market value deal, i will continue to insist that they have absolutely no intentions of spending one more pennny then they absolutely have to….
    Fat albert albert offer i am convinced is pure mythology.
    I never said anything about wanting them to sell the team……
    and if I am right this will continue, ironically, right up until the end of freemans rookie contract….in 2014 or 15 in which they will near completion of paying of the soccer team.

  8. Fair assesment Gregg, more homework than most journalists these days.

    As far as MLB, don’t forget that Dominick stashed Tyrone McKinsey (6-2, 243lbs) on the practice squad last year, and the buzz about him is an “intelligent thumper”, which the fans have been clammoring for because they believe Ruud is soft, makes his tackles 6 yards past the line of scrimmage, can’t shed his blocks, ect…

    ….the problem with a thumper in the base cover 2, leaves a huge hole covering the deep middle… but I digress..

    Until he signs with someone, I’ll keep dreaming about Aso in pewter, but the Glazers more than likely, won’t get into that bidding war…. bummer!!

  9. The Bucs nearly made the playoffs with the lowest payroll last year.

    The Rays last year had the lowest payroll in the MLB and nearly went all the way.

    Just because you don’t spend money like the Cowboys and the Redskins doesn’t mean you don’t have a quality product. Looks to me like Tampa has more business savvy than the rest, allowing us to spend wisely when needed – which will be now

  10. I guess I don’t understand why the Bucs can’t afford to sign Ruud too. They spent minimum last year and will have to put out some serious bucks this year to hit the floor whatever it is, maybe another $55 – 60 million.

  11. Want to know who else hasn’t been spending big money of FAs?

    The Steelers and the Packers.

    Maybe drafting well, and re-signing the players on your roster (that deserve it) IS a good way to build a team.

    Mark Dominik has shown that he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  12. The Glazers are the best owners the Bucs have ever had. They are learning to make their franchise like the Steelers. If you want brain-dead free spending, go the Snyder route. Bucs fans will be back, cause the Bucs are on their way to winning. And nothing brings the fans in like winning. Mos franchises should be lucky enough to have owners as responsible as the Glazers. Bad owners: check Dan Snyder, check Mike Brown. The Glazers are smart cookies and I’m glad they own my favorite team.

  13. @larryed – Dominik’s way of doing things is that he allots a certain amount of money to each position and he’s not willing to overpay one person just to re-sign them. The reason Ruud hasn’t been signed yet is because he (or his agent) feels he has a different value, and the Bucs are unwilling to pay it. Yeah, they have plenty of room to re-sign Ruud under the cap but that’s not how they operate. And like elmustardo said, I think at this point you have to give Dominik the benefit of the doubt.

    Personally, I would like to see them re-sign Ruud and move him to SLB and let Foster play the mike.

  14. @Airraid, shumagorath

    I know this is a little dated, but, what are you bases for the comments you posted? Shu, your a total fool. If they gave fans the power to vote for owners GM,s coaches etc., the sport would be in shambles. (i.e. Presedential Election. I know Democracy allows us to vote, but would a worthy canidate please stand up? From EITHER party?) I also love how you try to drag the labor dispute into this by saying ‘Pro-Owner” and “#6: New Owners…. Ha Ha Ha…….. No not funny. Airraid, the Bucs are the best young team in the NFL. they are set for the future. Did you maybe think that they don’t spend in FA so they can pay their players that they have now? Also, until now, who has that team had that is worth big money? That isn’t meant to be a slap in the face. No player should be bigger than the team, and thats the mentality they use when handling their money. Should they Re-Sign Joesph? Yes, he should cash in too, but not to the tune of “highest paid lineman”. Should they Re-Sign Ruud? Maybe, I’m sure they can find someone to replace him without a huge drop off if he walks. I’m sure, however, that whatever team Airraid roots for, will be wishing they had the players the Bucs had when they run all over them. I know I do.

  15. as you are finding out with talib, no they are not the best young team in the NFL….maybe the most fragile….They do you no good if they are not playing.
    you struggled agains HORRIFIC teams last year. HORRIFIC. do you know how much a mid level free agent linebacker would have helped last year? how about ANYBODY ELSE at de last year? How about a serviceable backup on the offensive line? somebody who can actually play the nose tackle position…..they dont have one.
    Why is not joseph already locked up?
    My guess is that if there is a tag, you one back. the rest are gone….if their is a market…and their will be.
    they have done NOTHING TO HELP THAT TEAM since the SB Victory in 03. ZILCH, NADA, ZIPPO. This year is big for the bucs…freeman is going to have to actually win games against good teams that can score a lot of points. The 1 touch drive a game wont get it done this year.

  16. @ Airraid

    Your Delusional. What team do you root for? Seriously? The Cowboys? Raiders? Redskins? Teams that throw cash down the drain, that end up going nowhere? What does Talib’s off field issues have anything to do with how they preform on the field? This team has the least amount of holes to fill than most of the leauge. Their only question mark is Talib. Spending money doesn’t translate to wins. You also don’t “buy” depth. It is acquired by grooming home grown prospects. And, ummm, who were these ‘Horrific’ teams? The Falcons? Saints? or maybe the AFC Superbowl Representative Steelers? Why isn’t every Star in the NFL locked up? Should it be rule that if you play well you should be awarded a contract extension? Players like to wait as well, it’s not all on management. If the 77 is for the year you were born, I expect more common sense coming from you.

  17. Losing to the brown 17-3 17-0? the rams with a rookie qb were beating you, you beat the 49ers, seahawk both of whom had their backup qbs in, and were otherwise awful, you got destroyed by the detroit lions with a third string qb, the washingotn redskins? You got destroyed by the steelers and saints in the only meaning games you played, the falcons just outcoached the bucs,
    and you beat the panthers……you beat the saint in a meaningless game.
    who do you have corner again?38 year old cb and who? talib wont be their?
    Lets see who the bucs have if they do what they have done the 7 or 8 years….meaning take way ruud, black, joseph, trueblood, caddy, and wait till everybody that anybody has any interest in is gone….think sean jones, who had the option of being a special teams player for carolina or coming to tampa.
    Now what does your team look like?
    a below average passer, a hothead talib look alike at wr, and running back. a michael clayton clone in that he cant block at te……

  18. First an foremost, I am not a Bucs fan, just an objective fan of the NFL. So you can stop saying “you”. Also, who lost to the browns? The Bucs went 10-6 they lost to the Saints, Falcons (2x) Steelers, Lions, and the Ravens. 4 of those 6 were one score games. I’m not sure where your anger comes from, but it has no basis. “Lets see who the bucs have if they do what they have done the 7 or 8 years….meaning take way ruud, black, joseph, trueblood, caddy, and wait till everybody that anybody has any interest in is gone” Like I dont even know how to respond to that, it makes no sense. I’m glad you check your facts before you start a rant. I’m sorry I would comment further but I am having trouble understanding your poor writing abilities. Finally, please enlighten me as to what team you hold in the highest regard?

  19. you are the one holding up the bucs and defending them…..i didnt say they lost to any of those horrific teams…your reading comprehension skills are just poor. Yes you are a bucs fan….just havent, cant deal with the facts. one of those being the bucs havent signed a player they didnt have to a market value or above contract since 2002.
    I dont owe you anything.

  20. I belive you are the one whose reading comp skills need work. If you haven’t noticed my handle, I am a Bills fan, thorugh and through. However, when reading this post I noticed some idiotic comments posted by a fool that goes by Airraid77. I figured to throw my 2 cents in. Now that this has been almost 2 days worth of comenting, I feel as though I have given $1 worth of cents. Shall we look at your previous post? This is the first line from your previous post… Unedited “Losing to the brown 17-3 17-0?” Now, to me, that sounds like your asking if I knew the Bucs lost to the Browns 17-3 or 17-0, they didn’t. Now maybe your saying at one point in those games they were losing, and that just wouldn’t make sense to your argument. Up to 16 teams are losing at any point in a game every week, that doesn’t make them bad. The NFL should be sorry to have a “fan” like you following the sport. Tottally clueless, and having no basis for your “facts”, you are an utter disapointment to inteligence and the sport of Football.

  21. @airraid77


    Every claim you made in each of your posts on this blog is HORRIFIC. Face the facts — Freeman is the truth. Maybe its time you hop on the bandwagon

  22. losing, Not lost, 14-3 at one point in the browns game.
    it was 17-3 st louis…..
    GREAT QBing.
    You are a bucs hiding behind another sn…typical bucs fan.
    losing and lost are two different words. one is more definitive than the other….
    If either team had any wrs, you would have lost both those games.
    god only knows what happens if hassle could have stayed healthy….
    Cincinatti? YOU were beat.
    the falcons dont more talent, just a better qb.
    why they were up 21? something.
    same with the baltimore ravens.
    as I have said before you will get your chance this year to prove you are legit…..

  23. Your stupidity is showing again. The Steelers were losing to the Cards in th SB, so even though they won, they were a bad team. Dude, I am not a bucs fan, you should let that one go… Seriously.

  24. who was the qb for cards vs the steelers? who was the qb for cards vs the bucs last year? talk about stupidity showing up!

  25. Airraid77, Dude please take a writing class for all of us. If you want to poke at a Bucs fine here is one. If you redraft the 2009 draft, Freeman goes number 1 to Detroit. He is one of the best young QB’s in the NFL. Hell even Profootballtalk and ESPN agree on that! As to WR’s we are 4 deep now thanks to last years draft and FA. Williams, Benn, Briscoe and Sammy manning the slot from the 09 draft. Caddy is now thanks to his knees one of the worst primary ball carriers in the league. If he leaves we lose a good third down back and a great locker room guy. As to TE not a lot after K2, but I’ll take him over any other TE in the NFC South. Trueblood couldn’t even stay on the field last year he lost his job to Guard. Seriously James Lee not a long term answer at RT, reminds me of Anthony Davis. The Bucs will get a couple of good years of Tackle out of him and kick him back inside sooner if Joesph leaves. Now to this year if it ever happens the Bucs will play the run a little better and have more close games. Talib will get locked up or suspended, next man up we draft Myron Lewis last year and he has height, speed and length to match up will with #1 WR’s he shutdown Calvin Johnson once the replaced E.J Biggers with Lewis last year in a game that we lost to a bad call (even got the on air apology on NFLN). I trust Rah and Jimmy Lake to make our DB’s a strength with or without Talib.

  26. Wow airraid.. so many mistakes, so little time..

    First, the Lions did not ‘destroy’ the Bucs, they won by three points. In overtime. The week after they beat the Packers, you know.. the team that won the SB last year? Oh, and by the way, the Lions won the game because of a bad call by the officials on Winslow’s touchdown that was reversed for ‘offensive pass interference’ that never occurred. Which the league sent an apology letter to the Bucs for. And guess what.. if that call stands, the Bucs win the game. Which means they go to the playoffs rather than the Packers. Amazing how one bad call can totally change the outcome of a season.

    As far as not signing any free agents to ‘market or above value’ contracts since 2002, last I checked Jeff Faine, Cato June and Derrick Ward all signed as free agents with the Bucs after 2002 for what were considered hefty contracts at the time. We can also add Kevin Carter, Byron Leftwich and BJ Askew. Oh, and let’s not forget the ‘cheap’ owners traded for and signed Kellen Winslow Jr to, at the time, the richest contract for a tight end in NFL history.

  27. You lost to two third string qbs? You beat several other third string qbs……..whoopty f-ing doo. you want to brag about losing on a bad call to a third string be my guess….

  28. The Glazers and those of us who are Bucs fans are lucky … spending that little after the 2009 season is not something to be proud of.

    Makes me wonder how much better the 2010 Bucs could have (should have!) been.

    Hopefully the Glazers get out of soccer, or sell the Bucs to someone who cares.

  29. And I never said I wanted the Fans to vote for the owners … I just want an Owner that isnt’ more concerned with overpaying for a soccer team in England.

  30. I will bet any bucs that that if and when the soccer thing/bill gets taken care of, the glaziers will have no problem spending money in Free agency….unless they decide to buy the dodgers or yankees…ROLMAO!

  31. Airraid, your initial statement was “The bucs haven’t signed anyone to any market value or above contracts since 2002,” not that the Bucs signed people that you think other teams didn’t want. Regardless of how they turned out, they clearly did sign free agents to contracts that were market value and above. And contrary to your belief, other teams did want those players, even the old guy Carter.. he turned down a more lucrative contract with the Raiders to stay with the Bucs. Haynesworth turned down the Bucs who offered him more cash than Washington did.. thankfully the team dodged that colossal blunder. So basically you were wrong about the Bucs not signing free agents to market value contracts (or above), and you were wrong about the Lions ‘destroying’ the Bucs when they won by 3 points and now you are backtracking/changing the argument rather than admit you were wrong and talking out your rear end.

    And as far as the Bucs go, we have a team that started more rookies than any other team since the merger (and that had 13 players go on injured reserve – 9 of them starters with another starter (Jackson) suspended) go 10-6. We’re developing a nice core of young talent that also managed to get invaluable game experience. And the team did it without breaking the bank. Tell me, how is writing big checks to free agents working out for Snyder’s Redskins?

  32. Oh good god….believe what you want….this is why we play the games….
    the bucs havent added a meaningful fa since 2002?
    The bucs have signed people who nobody else wanted….e.0.d
    the bucs just overpay for the garbage they do get…K2

    A franchise doesnt JUST WIN by the owner writing checks or a HC with a big contract…..Or even having a franchise qb…..ask the dolphins.

    Dont worry you will get what you are this year, whether I am right or you right will all be figured out.

  33. “the bucs just overpay for the garbage they do get…K2”

    —garbage? Airraid you continue to entertain me with these idiotic posts. K2 is an incredible player. Didnt practice once last season and put up great #s. Now he is at 100% health….He will only be better with luke stocker behind him.

    Tell me..who do you root for? Im going to assume your a salty panthers fan

  34. Ok I have totally lost you. Your poor grammer, and sentence structure has totally confused me. Here’s the deal. The Bucs have some of the best depth in the leauge, best young talent, lowest payroll, and a young “Unproven” HC. Yet they still went 10-6, and easily could have gone 12-4 or 13-3 with about 3 or 4 more plays. Rag on the Bucs all you want, your wrong, you have no clue what your talking about (and neither do the rest of us for that matter) I wish your team the Worst of luck this season, and I will see you in the top-5 of the draft next year. ROLMAO-H ( Retard On Lortabs Makes Ass Of Himself)

  35. k2 is an incredible receiver, but just bad a blocker…the reason they drafted stocker….see how that rhymes.

  36. AIRRAid, there were plenty of Free agents we’ve signed in the last couple of years, Faine is the only one that worked out. Because Ward, Nuggent, others didn’t work out, not a reason to say they didn’t. Going back to 2002 is a joke, I wont even bother. the entire 2004 free agent class is WHY the Glazers do not waste money in Free agency.
    The Bucs were built by drafting, spending money resigning your STAR players, and using Free agency to augment your team, not build a core IE Redskins, Cowboys.

    As for the Bucs, Dekoda Watson will take over for Black, and Tyrone McKenzie will be the Mike. Expect Ruud to be Franchised to keep him till McKenzie comes along. Or Foster, that will be the competition.
    Also. for WR, don’t forget about Dezmon Briscoe, Bucs are high on him.
    Running back, the Bucs have a guy named Greg Lumpkin that they are big on.
    Secondary is set for the Bucs, even if Talib misses 4 games, which is all he can get realistically. EJ Biggers, Myron Lewis both had good years showing the Bucs what they are made of. Of course this is all inside stuff, just like I don’t know the depth of the Bills or Texans, your not going to know about the Bucs unless you cover the team as I do for

  37. @ realtime eyes…
    There were even more empty seats in 1996 Tony Dungy’s first Bucs team. Even the season opener of 97 wasn’t sold out. By week 4 of that year was game on.

    Tampa Bay area is hit harder than most with the economy, were an area dependent on Tourism, Real estate, and Hospitality. All three have taken a big hit in this recession.

    and sad to admit, we have a lot of fair weather fans. There are 35k real dedicated die hard Bucs fans, about 10k fans that go when they can, and the rest depend on bandwagon fans. Those people are coming back this year according to up to date ticket info.

  38. I see a LOT of ignorance here, especially from airraid77.

    Let me give a little history here:

    Gruden came. McKay wasn’t happy about that. But the Glazers gave him an open checkbook and he made some horrible choices. Fortunately, the first year with Gruden got us a superbowl, but McKay refused to let go of certain veterans.

    In addition, he continued to spend. Make no mistake, Gruden was in charge. As a result of McKay not having the balls to put his foot down, the Bucs ended up in salary Cap hell.

    Enter Bruce Allen. He knew how to handle Gruden. He got the cap down fo0r the Bucs. That was his job. The Bucs spent minimum money because they had to struggle out of the cap issues.

    By the time the cap issues were resolved, rumors of a lockout coming within a few years arose. So the Glazers played it smart. They withheld the spending of really big money. Faine was the biggest signing.

    The lockout was still looming when Dominick took over. Except that it was REALLY close. It would make zero sense to spend at that point, so the Bucs kept the spending down…and rightly so.

    So now, out of ALL of the other teams, the Bucs are in the best position…literally. Where some teams are having to release top talent, the Bucs are pretty much getting their pick of the crop.

    But they won’t spend out of control. The Glazers learned a lesson. Don’t overspend and sacrifice the future.

    They will spend more money yes, but they will do it wisely.

    The games won’t all be blacked out this year. The NFL took care of that with some new rules (reducing seating requirements).

    Ticket prices have been lowered substantially as well, and a payment plan for season tickets is now in place. It’s easier than ever to become a season ticket holder. That won’t last forever and people know it.

    As to free agents, the Bucs will bring some in. Idiotic fans think if you don’t over spend for free agents, they’re not good, but that’s not the case. The redskins over spent for Haynesworth, and look at the result. The irony is that if he had signed with the Bucs, he would be on a great team now.

    The truth is the Bucs have very few weaknesses now. The greatest of which is maturity. The players are young and just need to get experience at this point.

    Now, airraid77, as to last year…your ignorance is shing bright. As stated above, against the good teams 4 of the 6 losses were close ones.

    The Bucs had to play a record 22 rookies last year. As a result, some real gems were discovered.

    Add to that the young coach. Raheem Morris is growing along with the players. He’s made some mistakes. He’ll make more probably. But the good thing about him is when he realizes a mistake, he corrects it. Quickly.

    The team does the same. He has infected the team with a must win attitude that they have not had since the early Dungy days.

    And for the first time, the Bucs have an offense…and it is well on it’s way to becoming a Steelers/Packers level of offence. It isn’t there yet, but it’s going to get there.

    With most of the offense addressed, Morris and Dominick turned their attention to the defense in the last two drafts. Our Defensive line will be surprisingly potent this year…watch and see.

    I find it ironic that you commented on a schedule. Teams that have bad years usually get easy schedules the next year. Last year was the first easy schedule the Bucs have had in almost a decade. Until then, it has been as though the league wanted us to fail.

    Unlike the Falcons, who have had multiple easy schedules in the past 5 years.

    When should a team have an easy schedule? When it is rebuilding with young players. It helps build and maintain a winning attitude and outlook. Last years schedule for the Bucs came at the right time.

    The point you are overlooking is that the Bucs won the games they should have won last year. The last two years they have beaten the superbowl champ of that season.

    And as far as the Glazers…they are not only the best owners the Bucs have ever had, they may likely be amongst the best sports franchise owners worldwide. MU fans have complained about spending too, yet they continue to win championships.

    So you see, you are not so smart afterall. The Glazers know better than you what it takes to win. They understand there are costs getting there, and they adjust. And they get results.

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