General Manager Mark Dominik has gone on record, stating that the team is keeping a bank roll on hand for its on home grown talent. With so many of the teams young talent scheduled to become free agents over the next two seasons, Dominik is taking a careful approach to the cap surplus he had on hand at the onset of free agency.
“You’re able to put your plan together easier, even though it might not be the most popular plan at the time,” Dominik said. “That helped in that process in terms of being within the organization and certainly seeing it from multiple head coaches and GM’s eyes and seeing how they all have worked throughout the building. I’ve gone back to that a lot, but people forget that I got to work with Lovie Smith and he has a different approach than Herm Edwards, who has a different approach than Tony (Dungy). But I think all those combined made it a little bit more prepared to step into where we are today.”
Despite owning the most cap space in the NFL, Dominik said he didn’t feel pressure to make a big splash in free agency.
“A lot of our mind-set is that we still have players on this team that we don’t want to see become free agents one day,” Dominik said. “That’s important, but I think what the public and the fans need to know is that there are players on this team we don’t ever want to become the free agent for somebody else, and you have to budget that accordingly.
“Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you should just go spend it.”
Dominik says it’s too early to predict how competitive the Bucs will be in 2009. He said free agent pursuits are mostly finished and the focus is on the draft.
If he is being truthful with the media, when talking about free agent pursuits being finished, then I am going to go out on a limb and say the team is looking to trade down in the draft as it has too many holes still left to fill.
“When the fans go out on Sunday and they’re watching the Buccaneers, they’re excited about watching the team and they like the direction we’re headed,” Dominik said. “Right now, Raheem and I feel comfortable with the direction we’re headed.”
At present, the only thing we as fans know for sure is the team wants to become bigger, more physical and score touchdowns, whether or not that translates into the Bucs posting wins is a different matter all together. What the fans will be judging the team on when it comes to the direction of the organization will be the development of young talent and whether or not Dominik & Morris can cultivate a winner.