The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have defended their spending habits through general manager Mark Dominik, but very few people are buying it.
In a "Fix My Franchise" video segment, ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio is critical of Tampa Bay's ownership and states that the Bucs are looking for ways to free up money, not spend it heading into an uncapped year in 2010.
I can't even begin to answer [where I'd begin with the Bucs franchise if I was general manager heading into an uncapped year in free agency] because there is no such thing as unlimited spending in Tampa Bay," Florio states in the video. "That's been the problem the past few years. The Buccaneers spend as much time trying to knock down the notion that they're not devoting money to the team as they do devoting money to the team. It's ridiculous, laughable and it's like this open secret in NFL circles, but no one will acknowledge it or admit to it, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not spend money.
Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio and Joe Brocato
PewterReport.com's Take: You won't get an argument from PewterReport.com regarding Mike Florio's take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' spending habits. It's right on in our estimation. We don't believe the Glazers are broke, but they have definitely cut back spending, and their actions speak louder than their words. Tampa Bay spent less than any other team in the NFL from 2004-08, according to NFL.com. The Bucs have already come out and said they won't be a big spender in free agency and that they believe in building through the draft. Passing on some of the bigger names in free agency like defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Karlos Dansby and cornerback Dunta Robinson won't sit well with fans, especially since Tampa Bay is coming off a 3-13 season and entered the 2009 free agency period with $60 million in cap room, which was more than any other team in the NFL. In ownership's defense, the Bucs had serious salary cap issues after the Super Bowl and have been burnt by some free agent deals, Todd Steussie, Derrick Deese, Charlie Garner and Michael Clayton, to name a few. Bucs general manager Mark Dominik will continue to try to make trades and recruit free agents to Tampa Bay, but even though he defends ownership, Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris' hands are tied in a lot of ways in PewterReport.com's estimation.