Dominik pledges Buccaneers will be involved in free agency

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner has said it.

Now, general manager Mark Dominik has come out and said it.

The Bucs will be a player in free agency again. After a couple of seasons of sitting on the checkbook during free agency and relying on the draft – a strategy that ultimately handcuffed ex-coach Raheem Morris and his staff – the franchise is ready to venture into free agency again, presumably starting March 13.

We understand we're not a finished product," Dominik said, according to Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times. "I know that there's things we need to address on this team and I know that we'll do it in all capacities. We're going to do it in free agency. I don't want people to be worried that we're not going to spend in free agency. We'll be involved."

The Bucs have been roundly criticized for being one of the lowest-spending franchises in the NFL, a practice that started really before coach Jon Gruden and ex-general manager Bruce Allen were shown the door. It’s created some depth issues on the roster. The accusations have been that ownership is more concerned with its soccer team – Manchester United. But Joel Glazer said the team will be involved in free agency and now Dominik has echoed that.

Of course, it doesn’t mean the Bucs will stop building through the draft. They need to be better in the draft. The team has used its top two picks over the previous two drafts – four players total – on defensive linemen. The results have been mixed, at best.

“We'll absolutely do it in the draft," Dominik said. "We have the fifth pick in the draft. Whether we stay there or move around, it's a big selection for our football team. But there's still things that have to be addressed on this football team from a talent aspect, absolutely. And I look forward to coach (Greg) Schiano being a big piece of that in terms of making sure we bring the right men to this football program and it becomes successful the way he wants it to be."

We’ll see how this free-agent talk plays out in March.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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