Message boards are on fire over the lack of movement on a long term
contract extension for arguably the best defensive player on the Buccaneers roster, Barrett Ruud. While many fans & pundits agree Ruud should be able to thrive in just about any situation, Ruud’s success is directly connected this coming season with the play of the defensive tackles, if they can’t keep him clean then it wont matter how good he is as an individual player. If he is being washed in traffic becuase the DT can’t hold the the point of attack. Ruud will have a hard time playing downhill in the straight 4-3 under Bates.
The team is being prudent with the future, when it concerns finances. As it sits now if there is a cap that comes into play the Bucs are scheduled to have upwards of $60 million in 2010, but when you consider the numerous amount of players that will become unrestricted free agents the team needs to plan accordingly. The $60 million is based on contracts on the books as of today without the LTBE loophole factored in should there be a new CBA struck before the end of the season.
Antonio Bryant, Barrett Ruud, Donald Penn & Jeremy Trueblood will be able to test the open and very volatile market after 09′. Factor in players like Crowell and a handful of other free agents and one can clearly see the team needs to have a better grasp of what the future holds either with or with out a salary cap in place before just tossing money around that could hamper future signings of what the team deems as core players.
Then you have players like Davin Joseph, Gaines Adams, Tanard Jackson, and a host of others that will be up for extension over the next few seasons if the team over extends to foolishly it will mean the team will have to watch as some of there own leave becuase they just don’t have the cap space nor money to be top flight contenders for their services.
As it stands now in 2011 the team currently is looking at between $85-$90 million in cap space based off of the players currently signed, in 2012 if there is a cap in place the team would have arguably the most cap space in the range of over $100 million based on the current contracts on the books.
But with the owners opting out of the CBA and wanting to give the players less of the overall profit margin, the guess is that the cap will actually shrink in favor of the owners which is going to lower the amount teams will actually have too spend and force teams to cut players, so by the Bucs taking a longer look into future years for which ever scenario should happen. Mark Dominik should be commended for his foresight not rush to over pay or succumb to the pressures of the rest of the wild spending GM’s.