McCoy Expects Chain Reaction from Secondary Additions

What kind of impact will All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis have on the Buccaneers’ defense?  According to his new teammate and fellow Pro Bowler, Gerald McCoy, the answer doesn’t have to be measured in points or yards, but in seconds.  And not even plural, but singular.  As in, one second.

One more second is all McCoy wants.  In many cases, it’s all any defensive lineman wants.  It’s the difference between turning and watching a pass zip downfield (no fun) and getting up off a recently-flattened quarterback (lots of fun). Continue reading

New Foes in the South

The Buccaneers signed five new players on Tuesday and have been active throughout the first three weeks of free agency, beginning with the March 13 addition of All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson.  Of course, there were 524 players who became free agents on March 12, and not all of them were going to end up in Tampa, barring some pretty massive changes to roster limits/salary cap rules/reality as we know it.

A few of the more prominent players on that free agency list were bound to end up in the NFC South, signing with either the Falcons, Panthers and Saints.  And while the division hasn’t been ridiculously active on the open market as a whole, each of the Bucs’ three opponents has added a noteworthy player or two.  Let’s take a look at one new face on each of Tampa Bay’s three division foes and what it could mean for the Buccaneers. Continue reading

No Comps, But Clarity

File this under “Least Surprising Buc News of the New League Year:” The NFL announced its 2013 compensatory draft picks on Monday, and Tampa Bay was not on the list.

That’s a direct result of last year’s bold free agency attack, particularly the signings of WR Vincent Jackson and G Carl Nicks.  Each year, the NFL distributes a total of 32 compensatory picks based on net gains and losses in the previous year’s free agency period.  The formula the NFL Management Council uses to determine who gets picks is actually quite complicated – taking into account salary, playing time, postseason honors, Twitter followers and end zone dances, or something like that – but you didn’t need all that data to know the Bucs would be sans comp picks this year. Continue reading

Point/Counterpoint: Early Free Agency Moves We Like and Dislike

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson during the first 24 hours of free agency…Grade: A+.

Andrew, I’m sure we can both agree that the Bucs made a bold and impactful move in the early hours of free agency, which is typically when the biggest names in each free agent class make their moves.  Goldson has a sterling resume and the Bucs had a real need in the secondary; it’s a very good thing that the former 49er never made another visit after starting free agency with a flight to Tampa.

There really isn’t much room for debate between us on that signing, and we’d certainly be accused of homerism anyway.  So, now that free agency is close to 48 hours old, let’s take a wider view and assess what everyone around the league has done so far.  Many of the most coveted players have already landed in new locations, such as Cliff Avril in Seattle, Mike Wallace in Miami, Wes Welker in Denver, Paul Kruger in Cleveland and your man-crush Reggie Bush in Detroit.

These moves were made by intelligent and well-prepared general managers, with their respective ownership’s approval to fling the cash, and by players who knew their value and where they wanted to play.  As quickly as they all came together, they were surely not rushed deals in the sense of the teams’ and players’ motivations.

But, heck, why let that stop us from critiquing them?  That’s the Point/Counterpoint I’m proposing here: How about each of us identifies one early-free agency deal we really like, and one we don’t…not including the Bucs’ Dashon Goldson deal, of course.  I’m feeling as generous as a G.M. with $40 million of cap space, so I’ll let you go first.  Use any criteria you like. Continue reading

Goldson and Barron Complement Each Other Well

Before last April, the Buccaneers had never spent a first-round draft pick – let alone a top-10 selection – on a safety.  It’s also safe to say that the team has never made such a significant free agency investment in a safety, with very minor apologies to Sean Jones and Charles Mincy, as it did on Tuesday.

Then along came Alabama’s Mark Barron with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft, followed by veteran All-Pro Dashon Goldson on a five-year free agency deal that was inked on Wednesday.  Suddenly, the team has significant resources allotted to the back end of their defense, and a safety tandem that could quickly develop into one of the NFL’s best. Continue reading

Polling the Krewe: Best Buccaneer Unrestricted Free Agent?

Free agency is knocking on the door. Just over 24 hours until the gates open and the free agency process is underway. And in celebration, we’re naming off some of the best unrestricted free agent (UFA) signings in the 20-year span since the current system was put in place by the original CBA.

Since 1993 (the year that first collective bargaining agreement ushered in the modern era of free agency in the NFL), the Buccaneers have seen some incredible production from UFAs. From a 1993 class including dominant LB Hardy Nickerson and CB Martin Mayhew to the most recent splashes from 2012′s WR Vincent Jackson and G Carl Nicks, the Buccaneers have been making waves for the last 20 years in the process. (Note: Only players who were technically unrestricted free agents at the time they were signed are included, so some players you may expect to see – such as Keenan McCardell or Roman Oben – are not included.)

Now we want to know what you think. Are you loving a star from the newest class? Does your favorite UFA take you back to 2002 and the Super Bowl Championship? Vote now for your favorite Buccaneer UFA signing and tell us about it in the comments!

Since the first CBA ushered in free agency in 1993, what is the best UFA signing the Bucs have ever had?

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Remember, if you have a question for an upcoming “Point/Counterpoint” debate or a poll that you would like to discuss? Let us know in the comments below!

20 in 20: Ranking the Best UFA Signings in Buc History

In 1993, the first collective bargaining agreement ushered in the modern era of free agency in the NFL.  The system has undergone some tweaks in the interim, but the main structure remains pretty much the same as what was put in place 20 years ago.  There are unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents, franchise tags, transition tags and a salary cap.  There were huge free agency hits when the market first opened (Reggie White) just as there are now (Drew Brees).  And, of course, there were (Scott Mitchell) and are (Nnamdi Asomugha) just as many big-ticket misses.

Like every team, the Bucs have had entries in both categories.  The less we speak about Alvin Harper the better, but from Hardy Nickerson to Vincent Jackson, some of the team’s best performers have come to Tampa through unrestricted free agency.

NFL teams have now had exactly 20 cracks at unrestricted free agency.  With the 2013 market about to open on Tuesday, let’s count down the best UFA signings in Buccaneer history.  This is a topic ripe for debate, so feel to share your thoughts (and/or derision) in the comments below. Continue reading

Polling the Krewe: Which Under-the-Radar Free Agent Would You Sign?

In the past few weeks, we’ve been putting a lot of attention on Free Agency, and even wrote this masterpiece on who we think will be the most coveted member of the 2013 free agent class.

In our most recent Point/Counterpoint discussion, we tackled the idea of a “sleeper” free agency candidate that we think could very well call Tampa Bay home. We’re talking about a player who isn’t garnering much nationwide attention, but could still come in and perform at a high level at one of the Bucs’ positions of need.

We laid out a few names, and now we want to hear from you. Let us know which selection you most agree with. Got a name that we didn’t talk about? Share it with us in the comments. Fire away!

Which, if any, of the "under-the-radar" free agents mentioned would you most like to see in a Buccaneers uniform?

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Remember, if you have a question for an upcoming “Point/Counterpoint” debate or a poll that you would like to discuss? Let us know in the comments below!

Point/Counterpoint: Which valuable free-agents-to-be are currently flying under the radar?

Andrew, a couple weeks ago, we debated which of the potential 2013 free agents would be most coveted once the market opened on March 12.  (Factoring in which pending free agents would eventually be unavailable due to franchise tags was part of the game, so my choices of Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer now add up to a major fail.  Sigh.)

Now that free agency is almost upon us and the franchise tags have been put in place (only eight, down from 21 last year), let’s take a look at the player market one more time, but from the other end of the spectrum.  The question now, with several hundred players about to flood the market, is which ones are currently flying under the radar?  That is, can you identify a player or two who hasn’t generated much buzz yet but might end up being a very valuable lower-profile signing?

We’ve all heard the top names expected to be on the market, the Mike Wallaces and Cliff Avrils and Dashon Goldsons.  Let’s find a few players outside of the obvious who can make a difference.  And, unlike in our previous exercise, let’s take the Buccaneers’ own needs into consideration.  That is, your selections should be players who not only have value, but have specific value to the Bucs at this time.

I magnanimously grant you first choice. Continue reading