Many teams in the National Football League take an aggressive approach to free-agency experienced players to boost their squads. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers prefer the green grass at home and not any turf the beyond their boundaries in that they signed most of their own free agents while other teams scrambled for big name talent.
The management, headed by general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris, were quick to acquire punter/kicker Mike Koenen from the Falcons, but the bulk of their free agency activity was homegrown.
Most of the Buccaneer unrestricted free agents are under 30 with 3 to 6 years of experience. They fit in well with the superb draft choices by the Buccaneers in the past three years and their game time know-how is a precious commodity to be shared.
The Bucs began the season with the most salary cap space than any other team. They have spent vigorously for their top free agents and still had room for more if they chose. They chose to be conservative and not overspend for high-price free agents.
The keepers are guard Davin Joseph, tackles Jeremy Trueblood, James Lee and Dmar Dotson, defensive end Michael Bennett, linebackers Quincy Black, Adam Hayward, safety Corey Lynch, cornerback Elbert Mack, defensive tackle Frank Okam, wide receiver Michael Spurlock, quarterback Rudy Carpenter, and kicker Connor Barth.
The Buccaneers have acquired a lot of young talent so it makes sense to re-sign unrestricted free agents within the team ranks.
Still, teams have methods for reasons.
It helps any plan immensely to acquire players like running back LaGarrette Blount and wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe off waivers from practice teams and get superior production. It also helps to see tall talent in quarterback Josh Freeman and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy during the draft.
The Buccaneers have one the youngest rosters in the NFL with the most talent at the best price. That’s no easy accomplishment.
Building through the draft is a Buccaneer policy and as tough as that can be sometimes when so much veteran prowess must be faced game day after game day.
It simply takes many hours of practice and many games to develop rookies and more than a season to meld a team capable of making it to the playoffs.
But sometimes acquiring veteran talent brings in unwanted attitudes and team policy comparisons that can hinder the team chemistry desired.
It certainly makes sense to stay under the salary cap rather than max it out and then limit the ability to keep a franchise player and other standouts.
For the past three years the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been keen to acquire top young talent and then stick to a building plan. Their ability to jostle the roster and practice squad has been beneficial. Their youthful players have responded to the challenge.
So spending big green on wild oats in emerald fields beyond isn’t always the best plan.
The Bucs seem to have ways to pick the young from the most talented and get the most talent from the young.
Unless otherwise noted quotes and information were obtained from www.Buccaneers.com.