While it is still undetermined how active the Bucs will be in free agency this season, after yesterday’s 4 p.m. deadline to announce players that were franchised by their current teams, the pool grew a little smaller for players Tampa Bay might have been targeting.
Denver pass rushing superstar Von Miller was not only tagged, but was the only NFL player that drew the “Exclusive Franchise Player” designation.
Carolina CB Josh Norman is off the market– Photo by: Mark LoMoglio/PR
Other players tagged that the Bucs might have had some interest in were New York defensive end Muhammed Wilkerson, Carolina Cornerback Josh Norman, Kansas City safety Eric Berry, and Los Angeles cornerback Trumaine Johnson.
Olivier Vernon of the Dolphins was another player that some thought Tampa Bay might have pursued, but he is also off limits as Miami used the transition player tag to almost assuredly keep him in south Florida.
There was some thought that the Buccaneers might have used the franchise tag on one of their own, but declined to designate running back Doug Martin. Had the Buccaneers chosen to use the tag on Martin, the former Boise State standout would have made $11,789,000 in 2016 as a franchise player, or $9,647,000 as a transition player. Both the Bucs and Martin’s camp are hoping the NFL’s second leading rusher in 2015 will come to an agreement to stay in Tampa Bay, but it appears more and more likely that Martin could test the market in free agency that begins next Wednesday at 4 p.m.
In other news, the 2016 salary cap was set at $155,270,000 per club it was announced on Tuesday.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya’ll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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There are so many FA’s in 2016.I hope Tampa bay will do its homework and select Vet’s FA that would be contribers for Tampa Bay in 2016. and after the FA’s come on board than Tampa can select players that would help the team in Tampa.Go Bucs in 2016
I also think there are a running back or two that could fit at Tampa that perform well in limited roles with other teams
I’m more concerned about getting another tall fast WR because there’s little gas left in Jackson’s tank. Now that Winston and the OL has jelled, I don’t see the importance of Marting, but would love to have him for 5-6 million with two years guaranteed. Go Bucs!
The thing that makes me wonder, is all these reports the buccaneers ” are not going to pay that much”. A lot of the local voices keep saying Bucs are not going to the top shelf for UFA’s. I understand drafting well, which Licht has done. but why not fill some holes with free agents( when you have the money) then free up draft slots? For every free agent question we see we get the ” Bucs are not going to pay that”.
Why do of the fans keep saying the Bucs have lots of extra Cap money? Wouldn’t it be smarter to sign some more key players who are going to be restricted or unregistricted Free Agents after this Season with some of this extra Cap Money. Here’s another thought; I wonder what happens if teams don’t use the minium cap money requirements? Does it go back into the NFL pool for the other Ownersto divide up, or to the NFL Commissioner to pay for some of its expenses, or does it go into the Players Retirement Fund? Anybody know?
Claiming that Vernon is off-limits due to the transition tag is a gross mischaracterization. All it does is set Vernon’s baseline price floor and gives Miami the opportunity to match any deal. The Bucs wouldn’t have to give up anything if they sign Vernon to a deal and Miami opts to pass on matching. If the Bucs want Vernon, they need to go out and get him.
Sounds like another year of picking the best from the scrap heap at the end of pre-season, but we aren’t first in line this year. Since it’s been Chicago south for a couple of years, I guess it will be Atlanta south this year.
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