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Bucs should keep approach to salary cap

TAMPA, Fla. -- In the final analysis, Mark Dominik’s five-year term as general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was not a success.

The Bucs never made the playoffs and had only one winning season. But I think it’s wrong to categorically call Dominik’s time a failure.

He left behind a pretty talented roster. More importantly, he left the Bucs in good shape when it comes to the salary cap.

One of the things that stood out about Dominik was the way he approached the salary cap. His strategy was very different than that of most NFL general managers.

The vast majority of big NFL contracts feature large signing bonuses that are spread throughout the life of the contract for cap purposes. But Dominik rarely used signing bonuses. Instead, he preferred to pay big base salaries at the front of the contract. That helped the Bucs from being saddled with “dead money’’ if a player didn’t work out.

Dominik’s out. But ownership seemed willing to handle contracts in this unique way. I wouldn’t be surprised if whoever ends up as the general manager takes a similar approach to the salary cap.