Now that the NFL Owners Meetings are underway, we are hearing a lot about different teams from the owners and executives. Of course, the Buccaneers have been a popular topic around the water-cooler this offseason, mainly because of their three main acquisitions Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, and Eric Wright.
These acquisitions have translated into an increase in ticket sales, according to co-chairman Joel Glazer, via Pat Yasinskas. The Buccaneers spent more than $140 million this offseason and might not be done just yet. The Glazers wanted to make sure these signings weren’t about filling seats at Raymond James, but Joel Glazer seemed happy about it, “First of all, our season-ticket holders from last year, we’ve seen the enthusiasm through the renewals. In new sales, we’ve had a great response. You just sense it in the community. There’s an excitement and a connection going on and a re-engagement that maybe hasn’t been there the last couple of years. We’re going to build on that in a lot of different areas to get our fans more engaged,” Glazer said, according to Pat Yasinskas.
Recently, the Buccaneers have struggled to sell out home games, resulting in TV blackouts in the Tampa Bay area. The team has sold out just two home games in the last two years, with one of them being a primetime game. Of course, the goal is to sell out the stadium and avoid the local blackouts, which would increase the team’s popularity.
Moreover, these signings seem to be part of a much bigger idea. It appears to me that something is brewing in Tampa. The Buccaneers have a solid, young nucleus of talent with players such as Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Mason Foster, and Adrian Clayborn. Now, the team has added Carl Nicks, who is still young but has proven himself to be one of the top guards in the league, Vincent Jackson, a veteran that can help Josh Freeman by giving him a reliable, big target, and Eric Wright, who will definitely help out on defense. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Remember, the team did finish 4-12 last season, losing their last 10 games of the year.
But, somehow it feels like the right time. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Bucs will finish with a better record than 2011, however, many wonder if this team can make it to the playoffs in 2012. I guess, for now, the answer is: We’ll wait until after the draft.