Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk breaks down the three big contracts the Buccaneers have doled out in free agency’s first 24 hours. By 1 PM of the first day, the Bucs had already spent a combined 140 million dollars to improve their roster. As more information rolls in, it’s becoming clear that the Bucs structured these deals in the smartest way possible.
None of the players received a conventional signing bonus, the guaranteed money is all in base salaries that the Bucs will pay out during the season as they have cash coming in.
This essentially gives Tampa some flexibility, with bonus-less, front-loaded contracts the Buccaneers can ensure they won’t be tethered to anyone in three or four years should the deals not pan.
The approach also reflects a pay-as-you-go salary cap approach, which works well for a team like the Bucs, who have plenty of cap space that otherwise wasn’t going anywhere.
This aforementioned ‘approach’ dates back to the contract the Buccaneers gave to Kellen Winslow, or to put that in more simpler terms, it’s a Mark Dominik thing.
Dominik has really been fantastic so far this off-season, and despite the grievances of some, I feel he’s been solid over his entire tenure. By not tying guaranteed money into bonuses it allows the Bucs the freedom to cut players without a massive salary cap hit. This both protects the Bucs, but also provides a degree of incentive to the players.
Everyone can still be cut. That means something.
There is no such thing as an untouchable on the Bucs roster, at least not from a salary cap standpoint, you either live up to your deal or you’re gone. That’s going to empower Greg Schiano as well help the Bucs down the line.
It’s rare I can’t fault this team, but aside from giving Eric Wright a big deal, I’ve got nothing negative to say. Mark Dominik is starting his bid for NFL executive of the year early this season.