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Monday, June 2, 2014
Bucs have little 'dead money'

By Pat Yasinskas

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik’s tenure did not include a playoff berth. But, in hindsight, Dominik scored a major victory in one regard.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Bucs have the least "dead money" in the league at $901,763. Dead money is salary cap space taken up by players no longer on the roster. Although the Bucs have significant turnover this offseason, it hasn’t resulted in a lot of dead money.

No other team is close to the Bucs in dead money. The Indianapolis Colts are the closest at $1.8 million. The Dallas Cowboys lead the league with $28.7 million in dead money.

The bulk of Tampa Bay’s dead money comes from one player -- tackle Donald Penn, who was released and counts $667,000 toward the cap. The Bucs, who are $13 million under the cap, are in good shape largely due to the way Dominik structured contracts. He rarely gave out signing bonuses that are prorated over the life of a contract.

Instead, Dominik preferred to pay high salaries on the front end of contracts. That eliminated a lot of dead money when the Bucs did part ways with players.

But this tactic now has become more than a Dominik trick. It’s smart business and new general manager Jason Licht followed a path similar to what Dominik did with the contracts the Bucs have given this offseason.