On Monday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris reacted to the criticism that the Bucs weren’t active enough in signing free agents from other NFL teams. The Bucs focused on signing their own free agents like guard Davin Joseph, right tackle Jeremy Trueblood, linebacker Quincy Black and linebacker Adam Hayward. The Bucs signed punter Michael Koenen from Atlanta, but he was the only veteran that Tampa Bay picked up from another team. Morris reiterated the Bucs never planned on being very active in signing players from other NFL teams.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to draft their players and re-sign the players that they draft,” said Morris in a deliberate tone. “When you mess up in the draft and make mistakes in the draft you have to go make it up in free agency. Last year we made a mistake at our punter, so we had to go make it up in free agency. We want to sign Quincy Black. We want to sign Davin Jospeh. We’d like to sign all our guys if we can. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. We’re going to lose some guys. We lost Barrett [Ruud]. We lost Cadillac [Williams]. Those things happen. Those deals happen. We are going to draft players and be forced to re-sign them.
“We want to re-sign Mike Williams in a couple of years. We want to re-sign E.J. Biggers. We want to re-sign Josh Freeman. We don’t want those guys to become free agents, we want them to stay in Tampa Bay. That’s how we choose to spend our money. Some say we play it close to the vest, but I believe we spent close to $91 million dollars. That is not real close to me. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t have that.”
Morris said the Bucs are hesitant to sign players away from other NFL teams.
“For us, we brought in guys from other organizations with that second draft we had last year. We brought in a guy like Dezmon Briscoe, bringing in LeGarrette Blount, bringing in a Ted Larsen. We knew those guys to a ‘T’. Some of the guys that are in free agency right now we don’t know as well. They come from different coaching staffs. They come from different personnel departments. We got a yungry (young and hungry) personnel department. They might know Nmandi [Asomugha] as well. I know Nmandi, but that’s a bad example. We got different people out there and you have to find out who they are and who you are bringing into your community and your program. Through the draft we feel great about it, if we make mistakes we’ll try to correct it through free agency.”
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