February 12, 02013
After several seasons of playing it tight, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were major players in free agency last March.
They signed wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright to major deals in order to upgrade the offense. From the sounds of things, the Bucs will be back in a big way this March with general manager Mark Dominik positioned to aggressively use the Glazers’ checkbook once again.
According to Roy Cummins of the Tampa Tribune, the Bucs will have the resources if they choose to spend big. Tampa currently has just more than $30 million in available cap space, the bulk of it created when contracts for Jackson and Nicks were restructured late last season.
“That has actually opened a lot of cap room for us going into 2013 – a tremendous amount," Dominik said, according to the report. "We've got a chance to be (heavily) involved in free agency again.
"But we also have a chance to try to retain this nucleus of players. So (the contract restructuring) was a big commitment that our owners made and I think that should be encouraging for all fans about our football team."
This time around, the focus could turn to the defense, that struggled last season. First, the Bucs will likely explore keeping veteran Ronde Barber after he played well in a transition to safety. Then, they are in need of cornerback help.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune