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nitey

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: February 18, 2013, 10:15:15 AM

Okay, so we have 30M in cap space and can get appx. 10M more if we part ways with Eric Wright and Quincy Black. That might sound like a lot of money, but the draft will consume 5-6M of that, we still have to sign some of our own players and realistically, we would like to stay 8-12M under the cap to bring that money into next season so we still have some room to make further additions or address next years crop of our own Free Agents.

Here's who the Bucs currently have as free agents: RB LeGarrette Blount (RFA); WR Roscoe Parrish; WR Sammie Stroughter; TE Dallas Clark; OT Jeremy Trueblood; C Andrew Economos; DL Michael Bennett; DL Roy Miller; DL Corvey Irvin (exclusive rights); DL Daniel Teo-Nesheim (RFA); LB Jacob Cutera (RFA); DB Ronde Barber; DB E.J. Biggers; DB Brandon McDonald.

Blount: It would have been nice if there was a 3rd round tender offer in the NFL. With Blount however, there doesn't appear to be a tender offer that makes sense for him. While I might be tempted to put on a 2nd round tender for 1.9M on him, I don't really think any team would sign him away for a 2nd round pick. While I would love to get a draft pick for him, everyone knows we are going to cut him. Might as well not use the cap space. Don't re-sign.
Parrish: I'm not a fan of Parrish, but he would be a vet minimum signing and worth being brought to camp. Sign for vet minimum in late June if at all.
Stroughter: A try hard guy that is a decent returner when healthy. I would probably bring him back to camp for a minimum deal. Sign to minimum in late June if at all.
Clark: I like Clark, but he would be my last resort signing at this point. If we get close to late June and we haven't signed or drafted anyone, I'd bring him back for a 1 year deal.
Trueblood: His time with the Bucs is over. Don't re-sign.
Economos: Andrew is worth a new deal. A new deal with him should be easy to do and should be accomplished before FA begins. Our kicking game is working well and he's part of the reason why. Sign to new deal.
Miller: Miller played the run very well last season. He's active at the LOS and offers marginal penetration. He knows the system and should be a good backup for several years and shouldn't command a big deal. Sign to new deal.
Barber: Played well enough in his 1st year as Safety. Offers leadership on and off field. Not a vocal leader, but a name that rookies and vets alike respect. If Ronde decides he wants to return, a contract shouldn't be hard to get. Sign to new deal.
Biggers: He probably will hit FA, if he hasn't signed elsewhere in April, I would resign him to a modest contract. He's a decent #2 corner and a good #3 corner, but not worth big money. Sign if available.
Irvin: Offer him a contract. Should be cheap.
Teo-Nesheim: I'd offer at least a 1st round tender. Played well for us last season in a reserve role, same as Bennett did the year before. Still has upside.
Cutera: Unlike Blount, who will be signed by someone once FA opens, Cutera probably would be available. I think the Bucs can offer a original round tender on Cutera, but I'm not positive. But either way, it's no big loss or gain.
McDonald: Not a fan of McDonald. He didn't play all that well in our system and didn't show me much. Don't Resign.

And Bennett: This one is so obvious, I left it for last. Of course we attempt to re-sign Bennett and it's going to cost us some cap space, maybe 7-8M of that 30M (before Wright/Black releases). Bennett played well last season and I don't think a big contract is going to change him. He's our one proven pass rusher and he's capable of 10+ sacks next season. I will be very disappointed if we don't re-sign Bennett. He should be the poster boy for rewarding hard work for the Bucs.

So where are we capwise if we re-sign our own?
Teo-Nesheim: 2.2M
Economos: maybe 1.5M
Miller: 2.5M
Barber: 3M
Bennett: 8M
Others: perhaps 1-2M, these contracts are probably not in the top 51 unless we resign Biggers/Parrish or Clark. At this point, I'm not counting anything.

Available cap space for FA: ~12-15.5M depending on how the deals are actually structured.
Release of Wright/Black: +10-11M
Draft pool: -6M
Available for FA: ~12.5M to 20.5M depending on how much reserve Dom tries to keep (and again, that number depends on if we release both Wright and Black)

As you can see, we really don't have 30+M to spend in Free Agency. We could have as little as 2-10M if we keep Wright and Black after we sign our own. However, I'm pretty confident that the Bucs will spend some 10-16M in free agency this year which should be able to bring in at least one splash signing (7-8M per season) and a couple of good players (3-4M per season).

My Targets:

Martellus Bennett is the obvious choice at TE. I could see a package deal bringing them both to Tampa long term especially since it seems unlikely that NY can afford to keep Martellus if they attempt to sign Micheal. If the brothers really want to play together. Tampa has to be one of only a couple of places where that can happen. I'm pretty confident Bennett will be our TE this year. Cost: probably 4-5M against the cap

At least one cornerback. Not sure who the Bucs will target, but I'm betting that they are looking at 3-4 guys with the hope that they might be able to get 2 corners and then draft another in the 2-3 rounds. Hopefully, they can stay away from the Talib's and Wright's this time and bring in some high character guys even if they are not the very best available. We can't continue lose our players to game suspensions again. Cost: This is tough. Probably each guy will be a 3-4M cap charge. I really don't have any particular targets in mind, but almost anyone has to be better than what we currently have on our roster. Sean Smith seems like a likely target to be the #1 corner, but might cost too much. I'm not in love with any of the current crop of corners, but we should be able to improve the secondary with two mid tier guys. Schiano just might have to play a bit more cover 2 this season than he wants, as we saw in the Atlanta game, it can be effective even with Biggers and Johnson as the corners (although the fact that we played so much cover 2 that game might have caught Atlanta by surprise).

Intriguing Target: Henry Melton DT (Bears). IF (note the BIG If)  the Bears don't tag him (and it's very possible that they won't or can't), he looks like he could be just the guy we need to play along next to McCoy on the defensive line. He made the pro-bowl this last season and he would be my top target if he comes available as a slash signing. Cost: 6-8M and that might be the deal breaker. While the Bucs could sign all of these players and get them under the cap, my guess is that Melton will probably not be a Bucs target because Dom will not be willing to spend to the top of the cap, but if he IS willing this year, this is the type of signing that has the potential to pay off for the defensive line as much as the Nicks signing potentially should have last year (and will this year).

Just my Monday morning thoughts on the off season.





Success is when Skill meets OpportunityFailure is when Fantasy meets Reality

GameTime

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#1 : February 18, 2013, 10:28:36 AM

good thoughts and nice work.

 i originally wanted martellus, but with the cap shrinking so fast maybe fasano is a better idea?

would love to trade wrights contract for sean smith, then add a couple minor-ish contracts to guys like cox, mckelvin, toler, fletcher, etc.

why pay big bucks to another UT?  sounds great on paper, but i dont see it on the field.  can melton more disruptive than bennett or bowers from the inside?  how does melton effect our run defense?  i do think we need a plan if mccoy suffers another setback.

i would also give a tempting offer on te0'nesh.  while he is a nice depth guy to have, id much rather have a 2nd/3rd round pick to work with.
: February 18, 2013, 10:30:08 AM GameTime

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nitey

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#2 : February 18, 2013, 11:07:47 AM

The reason I like Martellus is because he's a complete TE. Schiano wants a running attack and with him in there he doesn't necessarily tip off the defense either way. He's also a 3 down TE where someone like Clark is a 1 or 2 down TE. For the TE price difference I would go after the best. Martellus is a possible Pro Bowl TE and I think with the brother connection, it's one I expect Dominick to exploit.

As far as cornerback, I really don't know enough about what the defense is expected to look like next season to suggest options. I only think we need to get two FA corners and draft at least one high in the next draft as well as a safety to groom behind Barber and to compete with Black. I think Smith is going to want Carr/Finnigan money and I'm not sure Dom will do that. However, almost anybody is better than what we have on the roster today. I don't think we are going to fix the corners in one season, it might take more than one, but even average cornerback play should be enough to get us to the playoffs.

Henry Melton played next to McCoy in the Pro bowl and it was Melton that played the nose, not McCoy so it would appear that he would be willing to play that position and as you said, Melton offers some protection in the middle of the line if McCoy goes down with injury. Melton also spent the last several years being coached by Marenelli so I'm pretty sure he not only knows how to play both positions but plays the same 1 gap defense we used last year. As far as moving Bennett or Bowers inside, sure that's a possibility, but right now I suspect that those two plus Clayborn will rotate at DE and only one of which will play DT on 3rd downs. Finally, as I understand the tilted nose position, it offers more rush opportunity than the over nose position. Miller just wasn't quick enough to do it and I think Melton could. JMO.

 

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SoberInSac

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#3 : February 18, 2013, 12:38:05 PM

Thank's for the breakdown. I really hope we resign Bennet, he's busted his butt and deserves to get paid. I absolutely love Ronde but realistically if we can get a younger upgrade, the secondary could potentially be a lot better. Besides his obvious leadership and experience I believe him to be a minor liability.It pains me to say that, but age catches up to us all. This is going to be a very interesting off season. I cant wait!!!! GO BUCS!!!!!!!

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#4 : February 18, 2013, 12:43:08 PM

Nice job OP. My 1st choice at TE is Walker he could probably be had for less than what Clark played for last year and could also play the "joker" role here. Bennett is my #2 choice and Casey out of Houston is 2A! Casey could also play the "joker" role if given a chance. At DT would love to add Alan Branch but bringing Miller back works for me if the plan is to also draft a mid rd DT with some pass rush ability. As far as CB I'm willing to bet we could land combo a duo of Cary Williams/Greg Toler, Keenan Lewis/ Antoine Cason, Tracy Poter/DJ Moore for 10-12 mil! Bennett won't make it to the market Dom either overpays or gets a packaged deal for the brothers Bennett. I'd give Daniel T the original rd tender and pray some one signs him. If he produces like last year he will get an offer next year that the bucs will probably not be able to match, IF Bowers and AC stay healthy and produce! My 0.2

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#5 : February 18, 2013, 03:10:46 PM

Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Woodhead, William Moore, Brent Grimes, Derek Cox. Not sure if we could afford all of them but sweet jesus if we did. I personally wouldn't resign Bennett, Miller, Ronde, Trueblood, Blount or really any of our free agents. We can find affordable upgrades to them in the draft and free agency easily. Martin-Woodhead-Ware would be great, Vollmer-Nicks-Zuttah-Joseph-Penn would be brutal and Moore, Grimes and Cox would upgrade the hell out of our secondary. The only thing is that I don't think that we sign back Miller so we must have some replacement at nose tackle in mind. So I would think we're either going to spend money on a high quality one in free agency or we're drafting one in the first two rounds this year.

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#6 : February 18, 2013, 03:12:30 PM

Hope they shock me again this offseason and bring in a couple dudes who could help this team get to the next level. Its not much longer we find out.

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#7 : February 18, 2013, 03:31:22 PM

Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Woodhead, William Moore, Brent Grimes, Derek Cox. Not sure if we could afford all of them but sweet jesus if we did. I personally wouldn't resign Bennett, Miller, Ronde, Trueblood, Blount or really any of our free agents. We can find affordable upgrades to them in the draft and free agency easily. Martin-Woodhead-Ware would be great, Vollmer-Nicks-Zuttah-Joseph-Penn would be brutal and Moore, Grimes and Cox would upgrade the hell out of our secondary. The only thing is that I don't think that we sign back Miller so we must have some replacement at nose tackle in mind. So I would think we're either going to spend money on a high quality one in free agency or we're drafting one in the first two rounds this year.

vollmer to play LT?  how do you believe penn would handle this?

is moore a FS, SS or can he do both effectively?

you think danny woodhead is a great player rather than a product of tom brady?

grimes as a 30 year old ronde sized CB coming off an achilles?

who do you see replacing bennetts production?

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#8 : February 18, 2013, 03:32:07 PM

Hope they shock me again this offseason and bring in a couple dudes who could help this team get to the next level. Its not much longer we find out.

i got my fingers crossed for dwight freeney.

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#9 : February 18, 2013, 04:02:09 PM

Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Woodhead, William Moore, Brent Grimes, Derek Cox. Not sure if we could afford all of them but sweet jesus if we did. I personally wouldn't resign Bennett, Miller, Ronde, Trueblood, Blount or really any of our free agents. We can find affordable upgrades to them in the draft and free agency easily. Martin-Woodhead-Ware would be great, Vollmer-Nicks-Zuttah-Joseph-Penn would be brutal and Moore, Grimes and Cox would upgrade the hell out of our secondary. The only thing is that I don't think that we sign back Miller so we must have some replacement at nose tackle in mind. So I would think we're either going to spend money on a high quality one in free agency or we're drafting one in the first two rounds this year.

vollmer to play LT?  how do you believe penn would handle this?

is moore a FS, SS or can he do both effectively?

you think danny woodhead is a great player rather than a product of tom brady?

grimes as a 30 year old ronde sized CB coming off an achilles?

who do you see replacing bennetts production?

Penn obviously has a bit of an ego, but he knows that he's getting older and if a legitimate guy came in like Vollmer I'm sure he'd have no problem moving over and not having to go against the opposing team's top pass rusher every game. I think Woodhead would be a great backup RB for any team in the league. Grimes is 30, but doesn't have a ton of miles on him and has ELITE athleticism. I'd say he's the most athletic corner in the entire league, and his achilles will be good to go next year. As far as Bennett goes, I'd like us to draft a pass rusher like Zeke Ansah in the first round to replace him. Bennett is not that good...he's mediocre and I don't wanna pay him big bucks to start for us long term when we could easily find somebody better than him. William Moore played strong safety for the Falcons so I don't know how he'd be as a free safety next to Barron but I'd still be excited to have him as a Buc. All the players that I have us getting are "Buccaneer Men" too. I also think Schiano might target Anthony Fasano at tight end.

GameTime

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#10 : February 18, 2013, 04:10:37 PM

Penn obviously has a bit of an ego, but he knows that he's getting older and if a legitimate guy came in like Vollmer I'm sure he'd have no problem moving over and not having to go against the opposing team's top pass rusher every game. I think Woodhead would be a great backup RB for any team in the league. Grimes is 30, but doesn't have a ton of miles on him and has ELITE athleticism. I'd say he's the most athletic corner in the entire league, and his achilles will be good to go next year. As far as Bennett goes, I'd like us to draft a pass rusher like Zeke Ansah in the first round to replace him. Bennett is not that good...he's mediocre and I don't wanna pay him big bucks to start for us long term when we could easily find somebody better than him. William Moore played strong safety for the Falcons so I don't know how he'd be as a free safety next to Barron but I'd still be excited to have him as a Buc. All the players that I have us getting are "Buccaneer Men" too. I also think Schiano might target Anthony Fasano at tight end.

can we really tie up that much money in the OL?  id much rather have a bigger RB such as shonn greene or chris ivory to really pound the rock with.  putting a lot of faith in the ansah project.

brent grimes ELITE athleticism?  c'mon.  he doesnt have elite strength, nor elite hops, and he certainly doesnt have elite speed.  nothing about the guy is elite.

its not that i dont like these guys, i just dont see them being the right fits.

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#11 : February 18, 2013, 04:17:31 PM

Grimes doesn't have elite athleticism? Are you blind? That's the only reason why the guy is in the league....he literally has a 40+ inch vert. You don't remember that pick he had against Brees where it looked like he looked like he was in the air for like 10 seconds? Look up Grimes highlights on Youtube. He'd be the perfect Ronde replacement.

I agree about the money invested in our OL though. That may sway them to draft a tackle in the first two rounds this year rather than pay big bucks to another one.
: February 18, 2013, 04:20:04 PM The Franchi5e

GameTime

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#12 : February 18, 2013, 04:24:54 PM

Grimes doesn't have elite athleticism? Are you blind? That's the only reason why the guy is in the league....he literally has a 40+ inch vert. You don't remember that pick he had against Brees where it looked like he looked like he was in the air for like 10 seconds? Look up Grimes highlights on Youtube. He'd be the perfect Ronde replacement.

are you suggesting grimes as a safety to replace ronde?

i just looked up his pro day, maybe he was injured?  4.6 40, 4 bench press reps, 33" vert, 10' broad.

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#13 : February 18, 2013, 07:47:44 PM

I'd prefer we take a TE in the draft, this year seems like a pretty deep class. Same with DT and Melton. Rather go all in on a CB in free agency then picking up a TE and DT.

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