- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Fans and media have speculated about the Bucs pursuing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha when free agency opens. Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris even spoke at the NFL owners meeting in March about the possibility of the Bucs being somewhat active in free agency this year.
Don’t rule that out. Coming off a 10-6 season the Bucs could make a big splash such as Asomugha or a few smaller ones. About the same time Morris was talking, a more important, but seldom-heard voice was asked if the Bucs might suddenly go on a free-agent frenzy to try to get over the top.
That person was team co-chairman Joel Glazer. I ran part of my owners meeting interview with him previously. But we spent a lot of time working on draft previews and wrap-ups and I just cleaned up my tape recorder and found the rest of the Glazer interview. I’ll share some more with you soon, but thought you’d want to hear what Glazer said when asked if last year’s success might prompt the Bucs to suddenly make a big splurge in free agency.
“We have a fundamental philosophy,’’ Glazer said. “If you look around the National Football League, the successful teams share the same philosophy -- building through the draft, developing guys well, re-signing their own guys and building that team chemistry and building a team that fans can connect with and relate to and staying disciplined throughout that. I would say that the big winners in March and April historically are not the big winners standing at the podium in January or February. We’re going to stay true to that. There are always certain situations that you have to stay flexible and react to, but, fundamentally we want to stay disciplined in building our team internally.’’
I know there are some Glazer detractors who will interpret this as another sign that Tampa Bay’s ownership is “cheap.’’ But that’s not what Glazer said. That part about remaining flexible means the Bucs could pursue a player like Asomugha to enhance what they’ve got, but they’re not going out and buying a whole new team. They’re sticking with a youth movement that sure seems to be working.
Besides, is being fiscally responsible really that bad a thing? The Bucs went 10-6 last season with the league’s lowest payroll. There were plenty of other teams out there with payrolls over $100,000,000 who didn’t even have winning records.