Buccaneer’s GM Defends Moves

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent the least amount of money on players the past five years as NFL betting numbers tell us, but according to Bucs general manager Mark Dominik it has not been for a lack of effort.

Dominik said he has never been told not to go after free agents. "It's never been stated like that, nor have I been under that impression my last six or seven months on the job, or the years prior as director of pro [personnel]," Dominik said. "It's been, let’s spend our money smart.”

The Bucs spent $449 million on salaries the past five years which is the lowest number in the league.  That compares to the $566.8 million the Cowboys spend during the same time period as NFL odds numbers show. The Bucs and Cowboys have been to the playoffs the same amount of times in the past few years as sportsbook stats show, even though the Cowboys have spent substantially more money. "I've always lived in the mind-set that every player has a certain amount of value," Dominik said. "You have to determine that and you have to stick to it or it means nothing."

Tampa Bay was in the running for Albert Haynesworth as NFL betting information shows but Haynesworth chose Washington and the Bucs tried to trade for former Denver quarterback Jay Cutler and former New England quarterback Matt Cassel.  Last season they nearly landed Brett Favre before he went to the Jets as NFL betting info shows. "The hardest part about free agency, and one the biggest problems you have in free agency, is determining something of value, especially when the person from the other team is not on your roster," Dominik said.  Tampa Bay is 40-1 in NFL odds at the sportsbook to win this year’s Super Bowl which makes them a definite longshot for the 2009 season.

This season Tampa has had a lot more success as they signed running back Derrick Ward, tight end Kellen Winslow and linebacker Angelo Crowell in the off-season.  Winslow got a huge deal as NFL betting numbers show, making him the highest paid tight end in league history.  Last year the Bucs made center Jeff Faine the richest center in NFL history. "Just because you don't bring home the most popular names doesn't mean you're not adding pieces to the puzzle, like a Jimmy Wilkerson last year," Dominik said.