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July 29, 2011 @ 7:34 pm
Current rating: 4.67 Stars/3 Votes

Dominik Free Agency Q&A

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Bucs general manager Mark Dominik met with the media to reflect on the Bucs free agency moves. Dominik talked about the Bucs re-signing a few players and former Falcons punter Michael Koenen.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik met with the media on Friday evening to discuss the Bucs free agency moves. The past few days Tampa Bay’s front office has been busy with signing draft picks, undrafted free agents, restricted free agents, and unrestricted free agents. The Buccaneers have re-signed linebacker Quincy Black, guard Davin Joseph, right tackle Jeremy Trueblood and free agent punter Michael Koenen.

The following is full transcript of the question and answer session with Dominik. The questions from the media are in parenthesis in bold above Dominik’s answer.

(Opening Statement)
“Obviously it was a big day today for the organization. We got a chance to go inside and sign a lot guys back to contracts. We got all of our exclusive rights guys all signed up. We got one left restricted free agent who is about to sign here shortly. Then obviously we got a chance to sign some unrestricted free agents that have been apart of our team. A couple of years ago when we got this opportunity, coach Morris and I talked about protecting and attacking the quarterback. In the draft we’ve been doing a lot in terms of trying to attack the quarterback with the defensive line. Today was a big day to make sure we keep Josh Freeman healthy and protecting the quarterback by signing Jeremy Trueblood for two more years and Davin Joseph for seven more years. Then having a chance to lock in Quincy Black who also is a very productive player and an aggressive football player that brings the style we want to play here in Tampa. Again what we think is very important in a special teams weapon as a punter and a great kickoff player with the new rules that we have going forward with the competition committee, we feel like we’ve done a lot of things to help this team. It is early. It has been a long four days, but it is nice to see the football team back on the field and it is good to see you all.”

(How is your plan going of signing your rookies and getting your guys brought back)
“The plan has been good. I was very excited about our rookie class coming in here. I thought they looked good today moving around. It is just fun to see all the guys right now. It has been a reunion of sorts, so it has been a great day to walk around and catch up with a later of players that we haven’t had the chance to touch or talk to for months. The plan is coming together, but obviously it is a chance to get on the field and start to become the football team we want to be and get ready for that opening game.”

(What has this week been like for you compared to other weeks)
“We had a rough one last year when we were trying to get Gerald McCoy and Donald Penn done. That was hard, but this one you try to accelerate five months of work into three days. I think we processed almost 40 contracts up stairs in terms of negotiations, and on the eve of free agency I don’t think I’ve stopped talking since I got up Tuesday morning. It has been a lot of work but there have been a lot of people that have done work for us Shelton Quarles, Dennis Hickey and Mike Greenberg, our new cap guy has been a busy guy, so I’ve had a lot of help up there to make it as fun as possible.”

(Talk about the big investment made in Koenen)
“I’ve always told you guys I’m a big believer in special teams in terms how players make this team early on and where they go. Specifically punter and kicker are a big part of that. I think they control a lot of field position that a lot of fans that sometimes we take for granted. I felt like Michael because of his kickoff specialty in moving the ball up five more yards and bringing the ball out to the 20. I thought brought a lot of value to our football team to limit kickoff returns and also keep your team healthy in a way. Not only is he a really good punter but he is a phenomenal kickoff guy and I think it is a big weapon in the National Football League and I look forward to him coming in here and showing that off.”

(Have you spent this much money in one week before?)
“I almost did last year. I was just talking about that upstairs. We spent just about that much last year, but we did a little bit more this year, that is just part of the plan. I think all our fans understand. If you look around the National Football League over the last couple of days and all the agreements and the contracts that have been signed, there have been some great big deals out there I think Davin was a part of that. At the same time we look at our football team and make sure that we are budgeting correctly to make sure that the guys that are on the football team don’t become free agents one day, and if they do it is a chance for us to lock them up and we are in a position to do so.”

(Is the free agency process going the way you thought it would go?)
“No it is going pretty much the way I expect it to go. I think it feels like the beginning of March except we are playing football. There are a lot of rumors flying around here. We are trying to be on the phone a lot with a lot of different general managers to take advantage of if there is a trade that makes sense for the organization. You get a lot of information as you go. [Nmandi] Asomugha just decided to go to Philadelphia. There was some stuff that was said to me this morning that was where he could end up now. It is a puzzle that you try to put together but at the same time we’ve had five months to try and put it all together, and right now it is going accordingly. We’ve gotten the guys we really wanted to lock up, and we are continuing to talk to agents and we are continuing to finish up our draft class.”

(Dominik on how the team plans to get to the salary cap floor)
“I think an easy thing for all fans to understand is that by the collective bargaining agreement that will hopefully soon be ratified officially, there’s a spending minimum that the entire league has to do over the next couple of years, and obviously we’re a part of that. Again, we’re sticking to our plan of how we want to put this thing together and be a long-term contender. Really, the important thing for me, coach Morris, and the ownership is to try to keep the continuity together. We all fell in love with that group of guys in the ‘90’s and we would like to keep doing that. When you see the contracts that are going around the national football league right now, you know that you’ve got to budget accordingly today to make sure you can take care of your team tomorrow. That’s what we’re going to do.”

(The status of when sixth-round draft pick Allen Bradford is going to sign)
“I just talked to his agent and it was a good conversation. I’m assuming it’s going to be taken care of today. It’s part of the new CBA and part of the new rookie pool and how it’s calculated that made it a little bit tougher, but I will do have I have to in order to come up with an agreement. I expect him to be here tomorrow.”

(Dominik on signing free agents that aren’t part of the team)
“We’re still in the process of talking to free agents to see what’s available and certainly tonight is the first night that you can officially waive players and so there are a lot of names on that and we’re going to continue to look at that list and see if there’s something that really makes sense for our football team and certainly as you walk through practice every day things can change quickly. We’re just updating our emergency boards and updating our UFA boards.”

(On the fast pace of the last couple of days)
“I think the pace is going to continue to go a little bit here because a lot of players just got released in the last couple of hours and there are some good players obviously on that list and still there are hundreds and hundreds of free agents that are still looking for opportunities. I think the pace is going to continue to go well early into camp.”

(Dominik on if Packers linebacker Nick Barnett is on his radar)
“You know I can’t answer that question right now because the guy’s under contract right now. I didn’t see the wire yet so I don’t know if he’s been released.”

(On if his head has been spinning with everything that’s been happening the last five days.)
“Yeah, but again I have a lot of guys upstairs helping me, coming into my office and telling me, ‘here’s what’s going on, here’s what’s happening, here are the contracts’. Everyone is updated because we keep trying to build spreadsheets of where the market is going so we can be prepared. It’s been busy and it’s been stressful. Obviously having 40 contracts and negotiating all of those and trying to get it all out to the league office has been busy, but it’s been fun. I’m just glad football’s back and I think our fans our too as they showed tonight by how many people showed up [at camp].”

(On the percentage of the cap that he has to spend)
“It’s a league-wide spending percentage. Basically all of the teams in the league have to spend X amount of money this year. That’s been agreed upon between the Player’s Association and the National Football League. Again, we’re one of 32 of those clubs and I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. It never has been. I think Buccaneers fans need to rest that we’re going to continue to stick with the plan that we talked about since day one when we stepped onto the stage and had this opportunity. We’re excited about this football season and hopefully a lot of fans come out and watch practice and come out to the games and certainly the night practice that we’re going to have at the stadium in just a couple of days.”

~ by Charlie Campbell and Andrew Scavelli
Last modified on Friday, 29 July 2011 19:47

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  • avatar

    I don't think everyone fully understands the salary floor facts, and Dominik tries to skirts the issue above. It's this simple. The _League average_ must spend the average of 32 team's floor. There is NO per-team floor! You know what this means... the Bucs will once again spend $30 million less than most of the other teams. There will no major signings because Dominic's budget given to him by the Glazers is $80 million, not $110. As with the last 5 years in a row, the Bucs will be the lowest spending team in the league. Check the facts after the regular season starts. With one of the sweetest and most profitable stadium deals in the NFL, the Glazers are pulling all those profits to their own pockets, instead of putting in just 10 or 20% more than last year, which would be only fair, given the 1 cent sales tax Tampa residents are still paying to the Glazers for the stadium deal. At least Jax and KC have an excuse for low payrolls because of bad stadium deals. The Bucs are getting their cake and eating it all themselves. Shameless greed. Just the old trick of "long-term rebuilding project". Translation: fleece tax payers for 2 more years, then only spend money in 2013 when the floor kicks in for every team. $30 million for the last 5 years is $150 million in owner's pockets. Why would they sell the team with a strategy. See FL Sunshine Law - Wichepedia: The city of Tampa and Hillsborough County came up with a plan to fund a new stadium as part of a "Community Investment Tax", which was voted on in a referendum in September 1996. As part of the campaign to pass the referendum, Glazer promised to pay half the cost of the new stadium if fans put down 50,000 deposits on 10–year season ticket commitments. The drive fell 17,000 deposits short, the offer was withdrawn, and the Bucs did not pay any of the stadium's construction cost.[10][11] On September 3, 1996, the voters of Hillsborough County, Florida approved, by 53% to 47% margin, a thirty–year, half–cent sales tax to build new schools, improve public safety and infrastructure, and to build the Buccaneers a $192 million new stadium entirely with public money.[12] The team signed a stadium lease in which the local government must pay for almost all of the stadium expenses while the franchise keeps almost all of the proceeds.[13][14] Former Tampa mayor Bill Poe sued to stop the deal, claiming that giving such a "sweetheart deal" to a private business violated Florida's state constitution[15]. A local court agreed with Poe, but the Bucs and local government appealed. Eventually, the Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the agreement was constitutional, and construction continued as planned[16]
  • avatar

    So we spent a butt load on a punter. whatever. I think this team is driving in the right direction. It seems like management is making the best decision that they can. After last session, I truly believe Dominik knows what he is doing. As fans, we should only demand that the team be competitive every year. Dominik is putting the pieces together to make that happen. It will not happen overnight, let alone in 1 year, but once the pieces start to fall into place, this team will be competitive on a regular basis. This happened last year. We did go 10-6 with 10 rookies. I mean, damn 10 rookies. Go Bucs. Going for a playoff year.
  • avatar

    I like what Dominik and the bucs are doing. With that being said I really think they should go after a veteran middle linebacker like Nick Barnett to help groom and lead the young corp of backers we have for a few years. Ronde can only do so much to be the veteran leader of the defense out there as a corner. Other than that I dont see the Bucs really needing anything on either side of the ball. Bring on the Play-offs this year!!!!
  • avatar

    Since when is signing a punter considered a major move? TB hasn't made any serious moves yet and they are over $5M under the cap and have a very young team. I love my Bucs but our luck is going to run out eventually. We need a CB, a LB and an upgrade on a 3rd down speedy bacl
  • avatar

    I understand people being frustrated because we haven't made a big splash yet but did you ever think that maybe one reason we didn't sign those guys is because they didn't want to come here? Do you all know for a 100% fact that we didn't go after any of these guys at all because you are sure acting like it. We can't just say we want this guy and he suddely becomes ours. I also remember a few years ago everyone waiting for the Bucs to make a big name signing and then being very mad that we lost him... that was Albert Hainsworth. Sometimes the best signing is to make no signing at all.
  • avatar

    Dominik has proven that he has a plan/ I prefer to take a long-term approach to building this team and with so much young talent looking for contract extensions 1-2 years from now Im glad he isnt spending lots of money on subpar talent now. You cant buy a championship, ask Dallas or Washington. Draft -Develop then supplement with Free Agency. We won 10 games last year with 10 rookies starting. The talent is here ,give it a chance
  • avatar

    I agree Raheem33. well said. Thank you.
  • avatar

    I totally agree with you but don't you think it would be beneficial to get an expirenced middle linebacker like Nick Barnett for a year or two to help groom Mason Foste?. The only reason I suggest Barnett is that from what I have heard is that Ruud is seeing what else he can get on the market.
  • avatar

    Personally, I have no first hand knowledge of who the Bucs have tried to sign so far. A couple of rumors about CBs, one lineman ... nothing more. If you guys who know all the FAs that have been tried so far could let me know, I may join your rant. Until then, I'm feeling pretty comfortable with Dom putting his 10-6 "surprise" team back together this year - including 7 starter that had been lost to IR. This was/is a pretty good football team. Returnees from the IR and a tweak here and there (top shelf punter/KO guy) then possibly an LB or DB could make them very good. Also, I consider the hiring of the new line coaches darn good FA signings. So far, so good IMO.
  • avatar

    PAWNASAURUS: Well said! The free-agency period is less than a week old and these posters are once again clamoring for the likes of who knows who, just for the sake of signing a free agent. Good players are going to be released by other teams who don't have $ to pay them. Let's see what that brings. Dominik has the plan to build through the draft just like the Steelers and Colts. Draft the right players, develop them and keep them. Every once in a while fill a need with a free agent who is actually better than the player already on the roster. That's how a team is built for the long haul. How has the careless spending and constantly looking for the headline worked for Jerry Jones and Dan Spender? These other posters just want to sign somebody.....anybody; but who are they planning to pull from the starting line-up? Different player is not better player. More expensive player is not better player. Another team's FA is not better player. Who is the young free agent Pro Bowl player Dominik should target? Every team's fans do the same thing. If one of those teams had signed Joseph, Trueblood or Black their fans would be all excited. Why? Because they're new and different? Hey, is that what "a little strange" means?
  • avatar

    Dominic one last thing from me for all these posts is tell all of us you will go to War with these kids! Put yourself out there if you truly think you can win the division through the draft. If you look at the cameras and say your willing to go to war with what we have I will back what you say. I want to hear you say it....we all need to hear you say it and that's your job! You need to prove that your philsophy is what you believe in and I want u to say it on camera!
  • avatar

    Dominc this is a letter to you. If you sign free agents and the guy's that you brought in either via the draft or the free angeny doesn't work out I will be okay if the guy's on the roster doesn't work out then that's good it's competition but if you refuse to bring in starter material in free agency because you are afraid of the consequencies then that is on you! You missed out on the studs and the buc faithull isn't going to take you at face value very long... all u had to do is provide some star quality at a couple of positions. Hell just one position and I would be happy but at this point you look like a GM that is scared to fail. I understand your values and I respected that you some of things that you did failed with Ward and those guys but don't lose faith, please understand from at least my perspective I'm not asking u to break the bank but just show your not afraid to risk a failure with at least one signing thats not a punter! I know we have talent behind our starting unit in the secondary but don't risk it and I know that the kid from USF is the real deal, so stick with him he's a stud. RB is something that you can stick with the young kids because the older guys doen't work out. Think secondary and backup LB for special teams... your not far off but u should of at least pulled the trigger on joseph.
  • avatar

  • avatar

    he Bucs have failed to pick up a CB or LB that would fill the need or at least challenge some of the players that are on the roster. I know that other teams cut players for a reason but that does not necessarily mean that they are done as football players. I think that there are still players out there that can help the Bucs be competitive. Dominik has done a pretty decent job in the past. I do not understand what he is doing this year.
  • avatar

    I think that Dominik is doing a credible job with the team. However when the other teams in the NFC South are making better moves to upgrade than the Bucs are, then the Bucs are not going to move up in the division. They are going to stay status quo. In the NFC South status quo is not good enough to challenge for the division. I don't understand why Dominik does not want to go after at least one or two big name big need free agents. They do have a lot of money to spend. Yeah I know he wants to sign and extend our players. He can do that and still sign some free agents. New England seems to do a good job why can't the Bucs. There is such a thing as being to tight and conservative. Conservative gets you nowhere!!!! Agressive thinking gets you championships.
  • avatar

    Wow. Look at all the Madden and Fantasy Football GM's here. Glad you idiots are just fair-weather fans and not our GM. You idiots probably don't go to the games anyway so STFU cry babies. Deal with it. Who the F%^k are we gonna cut for some over priced FA???? We have a damn good YOUNG 53 man roster that is gonna be hard as hell to make for the guys already on the 90 man roster. Think before you speak you clueless whiners.
  • avatar

    pwnasaurus, looking at your message you know d'ck about anything that has to do with football. Go back to be a arm chair quarterback because I'm very confident you don't even know what a pigskin feels like and I damn sure know you've never tackled or been tackled by someone! LOSER!
  • avatar

    I have forgot more about football than you ever knew. Your whiny posts begging Dom to sign a free agent to make you happy is all the proof I or anyone reading this needs to see that. 10-6 with the youngest team in the Nfl full of talent. We have a good potentially great team that just needs some seasoning and you want to ruin that by bringing some other teams cast off to take a spot from one of these young studs. Stick to Madden Loser. You dont know *censored* about building a REAL Nfl team.
  • avatar

    The only thing I'm trying to say is we all know they Dominic is good at drafting and bringing in people that guys are trying to skate through on the practice squad. He is very good at that but that doesn't make him GM of the year. All I want him to do is take a chance on one or two exceptional free agents because we know he has the money. All I want is him to not be afraid and that's how he looks right now to the NFL. I was born in Tampa and I love them I just want them to get serious and not worry about the money so much. My parking spot is right in front of the stadium so don't so I'm fair weather!
  • avatar

    We aren't idiots just spend something on some guys that might help and you won't take the heat. I just want to see something that says we trust our guys and we're going to bring in some studs to see if they are better. Do something outside of say trust us because I don't. The reports show that the Bucs are cheap and your doing nothing to show differently.
  • avatar

    This is utterly ridiculous do you think you are going to sell out one game with this philosiphy Dominic??!! I can't stand how he is unwilliing to take one chance on one star with the money he has available. You are not Mckay and it is starting to show because you are gun shy....I'm okay with building through the draft but I'm not okay with your one big signing being a punter that makes $3.2mill a year! Dude, wake up or we are going to get a duplicate of last year but maybe you know that already and are okay with it. If I don't see you step up very quickly I know I will not spend my money this year but maybe you knew that all along. NOT GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! Look at the headlines making fun of you for making the punter the highest paid in history... stop worrying about something not working but you've already lost out on the studs or is this a way to make people think that if you don't higher the top notch people and the lower class that is signed isn't a product of you??? Good try but we are to good and know to much about football!!!!!
  • avatar

    look his hands are ties by our owners. Bit like the rays and their owners. I think they belong to the same tribe. Gruden and that fool Bruce Allen muddied the waters. Even so Guys dont swing to hard that cheap way. With our D line Nnamdi would have pushed us over the top. Our division is a QB driven division. If we can hitch up shut down corners we go over the top plus If 25 gets suspended..........
  • avatar

    WOW, are you kidding me? Now don't get me wrong I don't want them to go crazy and spend just to spend. But to only bring in a punter? I am just a little confused. This was the Free Agent class "that ALL teams" we're looking toward with so many guys "Free" this year that missed last year. I was really hoping that the Bucs would be out front leading the way and gaining players to fill holes, here and there and get that "other" win to win the division. Now, they still may get some young guys that we don't know about that will play like the guys they picked up last year. So I'm holding off any judgment on what our GM does till the season gets going. I think we all should hold off until we see how this thing all works out. I love my Bucs and have second guessed many thing Mark has done, and been wrong. That is why he is the GM and I (us) are fans. Some better then others (and I'm not talking about anyone on this page, ok) or smarter then others, but we do care and want the same thing, the SUPER BOWL!!! Go Bucs...
  • avatar

    Everyone needs to lay off the punter situation. They did pay some extra money to attract him here instead of a playoff team. But a lot of people are ignoring the fact,Barth is not a kick off specialest and Malone was inconsistent. We picked up a top ten punter that has proven he can consistantly preform. Does no one remember the last 2-3 seasons of punting. There are some very dangerous kick return guys in the league. If you can't trust your kickoff or punter you will have a lot of sleepless nights before playing the Saints, Bears, Browns or whoever gets the next hot returner. Ask the Chargers how important punting and kickoffs are. They had a top offence and defence last year and didn't make the playoffs because of it.
  • avatar

    Maybe I'm wrong but I've always been under the impression that a GM job is to improve your team. There are FA that are out there that are clearly better than some players the Bucs have on their roster. Yet Dominik does nothing. That is what pisses me off. Atlanta and N.O. Throw all over the Bucs but we don't counter by upgrading our secondary. That confusses me.
  • avatar

    And the point of this press conference was?
  • avatar

    Ok just answer me this why the only players we can sign are the ones that are cut or worthless. I remember when they gave nugent all that money an how did that turn out.I just feel that this team can do so much better .Im not sayin just go out throw money away but a punter come on if you look at his number he really is no better than Malone .An that really makes it sad cuz Im sure Malone wasn't even making 300,000 an you grace this guy wit 19million I would have rather did nothing rather than just wasting money now this was a waste
  • avatar

    Sad in so many words we are going dumpster diving once again .
  • avatar

    For those of you who were under the impression (myself included) that the Bucs had to spend 50mil or so to reach a salary floor is sadly mistaken. Not this year. This year NFLteams (collectively) must spend 99% of the total cap which will allow teams to spend over the cap by borrowing against the cap while some teams will continue to spend way under the cap. Confusing HuH? Let me put it another way - the Bucs don't have to spend any more than last year if they chose to. In reality, there is no floor this year! We got a punter, deal with it!
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