Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Bucs' offseason might be just starting
By Pat Yasinskas
There’s a reason why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sitting around quietly with about $30 million in salary-cap space.
They’re going to use that money -- well, at least most of it -- before all is said and done.
Tampa Bay’s only major offseason move was the signing of safety Dashon Goldson, but the offseason is far from over for the Bucs. As the rest of the league quiets down, the Bucs are poised to make some major noise.
We all know the Bucs have been mentioned as potential trade partners with the New York Jets to get cornerback Darrelle Revis. Those aren’t just rumors. The interest is very real.
The stumbling block so far has been the terms of the compensation the Bucs would give the Jets. At the moment, it appears the sides are starting each other down. But I’ve got a hunch one side or the other will blink between now and the draft, and a trade will get done.
Tampa Bay has a huge need at cornerback. When he’s healthy, Revis might be the best cornerback in the league and, if he is traded, he wants a deal that will make him the league’s highest-paid cornerback. That means somewhere around $15 million per year.
The Bucs can easily afford to fit Revis under the salary cap, and it won’t have to be some back-loaded deal. General manager Mark Dominik has a history of front-loading contracts by not giving out signing bonuses. The Bucs can take a big cap hit on Revis and still have plenty of money left to work with.
They’ll have to use some of that to sign their rookies, but there are other plans in place. Although receiver Mike Williams is under contract through the 2013 season, the Bucs would like to get him signed to a long-term extension. That would be a smart move, because another big season by Williams could drive his price tag very high.
Even if the Bucs get Revis and extend Williams, they still will have a fair amount of cap room left. There will be some decent free agents sitting out there after the draft. A lot of other teams won’t be able to sign those guys because they’ll be out of cap room. But the Bucs are one team that should still be able to sign any free agent they want after the draft, and there could be another round of good players coming available after the draft.