Throughout the entire offseason there’s been a giant salary cap number for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being flung around by every news outlet, TV channel, and website you can find. No one truly knows the number, but we’ve seen reports of anywhere from $23 million to about $28 million under the cap. In other words, the Buccaneers are not strapped for cash, and are free to do pretty much anything they want in relation to the salary cap.
But I’m not so sure this is something we should all be worried about. We are fans; we are not part of the front office. We are here to voice our opinions, but we aren’t the ones dolling out the cash. Sure, some of us are season ticket holders, some of us attend games, and all of us drop money on the Buccaneers.com shop like we own the place, but this is all peanuts in relation to what the organization makes.
The salary cap number is one many writers throw around like it’s a law. You must reach the cap. You must spend every dollar you have. It’s simply not true. The available cap space is simply a luxury. It’s like having an ace in the hole at all times.
Because the Bucs have millions and millions of dollars available, they are able to be in the mix for Revis. They were able to go out and grab Dashon Goldson without losing a key piece off the core of the team. They will be able to pay Freeman, and they’ll be able to make the big move next year as well.
I want Darrelle Revis as much as the next guy. But I don’t want him because the Buccaneers “have the money.” I want him because he’ll make the team better. I want him because the guy is a stud. I don’t give a damn what they pay him, because I’m not the one paying him.
The fact of the matter is, if Tampa Bay is $1 under the cap, they are fine. That number is more malleable than silly puddy, just look at what the Patriots and Steelers do every single offseason. They look like they’re in trouble, but then they restructure, restructure, and restructure someone else. Not to mention, with the new salary cap rules, part of this magical cap number is fool’s gold, and is just rolled over money from last year that will go away in a season. In other words, the money ProFootballTalk says we have isn’t the same was what is practical to spend.
The Buccaneers are not in a place where they have to restructure and cut players every offseason for cap reasons, and probably won’t be any time soon. They are in an enviable spot in the minds of many. They aren’t strapped by the cap. They don’t need to beg and plea with their superstars to change the ink on their contracts.
You and I aren’t the ones spending the money. Let the guys in charge do what they will with the cap. Let them make the financial decisions. I’m not saying stop kicking and screaming until we get Revis. Or begging for some more help along the defensive line. I just ask that we as fans focus on personnel. Ask to make the team better. Stop worrying about the money. If Dominik and friends want Revis, they’ll go get him. And they would even if they didn’t have $25+ million available.
Keep the minds on players, not on money. We actually can evaluate how well guys play on the field, because we get to watch every game. We get to use NFL Rewind to watch plays from the All-22 camera. We have all the tools needed to judge talent. We simply don’t have a single tool to determine how well a team is run financially. Getting players like Tom Crabtree and Steve Smith are cheap ways to get overlooked players who can develop into stars, rather than throwing money at big ticket items hoping they turn out.
So I ask of you, Buccaneer Nation: stop worrying about it. Worry about what we know. Get me good players, get me wins, the money will figure itself out on it’s own.