Those situations aside, it’s still hard to categorize the first weekend of the signing period as anything other than disappointing for the Bucs, if only because so many of the players they targeted wound up elsewhere. The string of losses started Saturday, when running back Aaron Stecker (Saints), wide receiver Devery Henderson (Saints) and cornerbacks Drayton Florence (Jaguars) and Jacques Reeves (Texans) signed elsewhere.
Are we truly that dissapointed that we did not overpay for a player that we previously let walk (Stecker), a guy with 74 catches in 3 years (Henderson), a player with 10 interceptions in 5 years (Florence) and a former 7th round pick with one interception in 4 years (Reeves)?
With the plethora of cap space available to many teams (not just the Buccaneers) teams are overpaying for players that have been marginal throughout their careers. Would it not be prudent to assume that if these players were that spectacular, that there original teams would have resigned them, especially with the aformentioned cap space of most teams.
One thing I know is this, the Bucs have 58 players currently under contract , with only 5 or 6 who have no real chance of making the 53 man roster. The Bucs are still trying to bring back DE Kevin Carter, brough in WR Javon Walker and CB/S Eugene Wilson, who to me, would be two of the better free agent signings of any team thus far, and we still have boatloads of cap space. RB Warrick Dunn, and CB Lito Sheppard (would have to be traded for) are available and would fill huge needs for us. There is also a super wildcard that has yet to resolve itself yet, the fact that WR Larry Fitzgerald, is carrying a huge cap number (over 17 mil) that is prohibiting his current team from signing practically anyone. One last thing should be taken into consideration. With all the current guys under contract, and the few players that we are still targeting, what are we going to do with the players that we draft in April. In my estimation, we are a prime target to move up in order to pick up a player that we really like (Ryan Clady, Chris Williams, Aqib Talib, Michael Jenkins, Leodis McKelvin) or move down and stockpile other teams picks in the next couple drafts.
Let’s not be so harsh on the front office yet. Signing players that will fit our needs at rates that are reasonable should not be cause for criticism, it should be cause for applause.