GM says Bucs will be a force in free agency, maybe

GM says Bucs will be a force in free agency, maybe
February 15, 2012, 3:24 pm

The Redskins have in excess of 40 million in salary cap room and a long list of needs to be filled. That is a lot of money to spend but they are not the only team in that situation. The Tampa Bay Bucs have over 60 million in cap space and their general manager says that they are prepared to spend it. Or maybe theyre not.

A year ago Mark Dominik was rising star. The Bucs had embarked on a youth movement and it appeared to pay quick dividends as they went 10-6 and just missed the playoffs in the second year under GM Dominick and head coach Raheem Morris.

Fast-forward to this year and after an ugly 10-game losing streak to finish the 2011 seasons, Morris is now the secondary coach for the Redskins and Dominik has to be wondering about his job security. So he says that the Bucs are going to spend.

Well, sort of.

Well be more active in free agency than we were last year, said Dominik. He said that the Bucs would carry over every penny of the 23.5 million in unused 2011 salary cap space into 2012.

Clubs didn't have to do that, but we wanted to. We have plans, he said.

Teams have the option of rolling over unused cap space into this year and all of them are expected to do it. So its not like the Bucs are doing anything special. The rollover will give the Bucs about 60.5 million in cap space.

Dominik committed to having the 2011 money available and that was the headline. But he didnt commit to the Bucs spending that money.

"We'll be involved in free agency," Dominik said. "To what capacity, it depends on what the list looks like. We're prepared, and that's the most important thing."

So, theyre prepared to spend the money. They have their list. But the smart money says that the normally thrifty Bucs will continue to lag in spending.