- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter
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We knew coming into free agency that the Bucs were among the league leaders in salary-cap space and they had pledged to spend money.
I’m more surprised by the silence of the Atlanta Falcons than anything else in the division. Other than a report that they’ve re-signed backup quarterback Chris Redman and slot receiver Harry Douglas, I’ve heard nothing out of the Falcons all night.
There has been no solid indication they’re pursuing defensive end Mario Williams as many expected. Williams reportedly is visiting Buffalo.
Are the Falcons sitting still? I doubt it. Maybe they’re just really good at keeping their interests quiet or maybe they just are not in the Williams sweepstakes and their hands are somewhat tied by limited salary cap space.
But I wouldn’t count on the Falcons staying silent for long. They have an aggressive owner in Arthur Blank, who has made it clear that simply reaching the playoffs no longer is good enough. To get playoff wins, the Falcons need a pass-rusher. They need a left tackle. They need some depth in several other areas.
Maybe the Falcons are riding out the first wave of free agency and letting price tags settle down. But there are still ways for the Falcons to create salary-cap room. At some point, they’re going to break their silence.
The biggest NFC South surprise out of the first night of free agency isn’t the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreeing to terms with receiver Vincent Jackson and chasing a bunch of other free agents.