There has been widespread speculation that the Bucs could have upwards of $60 million, when the new NFL league year begins and the bell rings to usher in free agency on 13 March 2012. It has been reported by both John Clayton, of ESPN.com and Profootballtalk.com that the Bucs have between $23.5 and $25.5 million in unused cap space from 2011, that general manager Mark Dominik, and further more the Glazer’s have decided to roll every penny in to 2012 cap spaceas they plan to use it.
“We’ll be more active in free agency than we were last year,” Dominik said Tuesday via the Tampa Tribune. “We purposely rolled every penny we could into this year’s cap. Clubs didn’t have to do that, but we wanted to. We have plans.”
With the Bucs having $93 million dollars allocated towards the cap in 2012 – and the cap reportedly going to be in the neighborhood of $125 – $129 million. It gives the team an estimated $60 million in available wiggle room to use to attract free agents. The team could gain another $7.2 million by cutting Albert Haynesworth. And yet, another $3 million by borrowing from a future years cap, bringing the potential overall available cap space number, to roughly $70 million with an overall adjusted cap figure of roughly $156.5 million plus or minus a few million if they release Haynesworth and borrow from 2013.
The Bucs have been mentioned by various sources as a potential landing spot for free agents Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Carr, Dwayne Bowe, Mario Williams, Brent Grimes, Curtis Lofton, Carl Nicks, Ben Grubbs, Mike Tolbert and any other free agent for that matter. It’s expected however, and has been reported that many marquee players could be franchise tagged. As almost every team will be flush with available cap room.
So when the clock strikes midnight and the bell rings to usher in the start of free agency for the 2012 league year. And if, Dominik is to be believed that the team will look to spend and become more active in free agency than in years past. Cap space should not be a concern.
“We’ll be involved in free agency,” Dominik said. “To what capacity, it depends on what the list looks like. We’re prepared, and that’s the most important thing.”
But what should be a concern is after the nose dive the team took – seeing the entire coaching staff fired Dominik quite possibly is selling to save himself. The blackouts fans have endured over that past two seasons and lagging ticket sales might force Dominik and Team Glazer to spend to begin to rebuild, repair and earn the trust of the fan base back. To coincide with new head coach Greg Schiano’s TBA (Trust, Belief & Accountability) philosophy not to mention his remarks when he was introduced as the teams’ head coach when he told Buccaneer faithful that the players, coaches and the franchise needed to reconnect with the fan base because the team needed to earn that trust, that players, coaches and the franchise would do the right things both on the field, in the community. So the fans could once again be proud of the product.