As the third day of free agency starts, lots of business has gotten done. Reggie Bush has been traded to the Miami Dolphins. Albert Haynesworth was traded to the New England Patriots for a fifth-round pick. The Panthers went berserk and gave three players some ridiculously large contracts. The Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms with Sidney Rice, pending a physical. Nnamdi Asomugha still doesn't know where he'll go but he's being courted by the Jets, 49ers, Seahawks and Texans. Jason Babin signed with the Eagles.
And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? They signed some rookies, and overpaid for Quincy Black. They also let Doug Free walk to the Dallas Cowboys, although it's unclear why they failed to sign him. Money is usually the breaking point, though. And with that inactivity come the inevitable questions: are the Bucs being cheap again?
No, they are not being cheap. If you're cheap, you don't give a solid linebacker a contract like that. It's more likely that the Bucs are being obstinate. This is the biggest free agent bonanza in the history of the league. A ridiculous amount of players hit the open market, and there are a lot of quality players there. The Bucs could do with upgrades at multiple positions, most notably offensive line, and they're not doing much so far. Sure, Quincy Black or someone like him needed to be signed, but Black is not a huge upgrade over Dekoda Watson, and Doug Free does represent a huge upgrade over James Lee and Jeremy Trueblood. Sure, you could argue that maybe Free isn't worth the contract the Cowboys gave him, but neither is Quincy Black worth the contract the Bucs gave him. Clearly, value is not at the forefront of their minds right now.
The Bucs have a long-term plan: build through the draft. And it seems that they are not willing to break with that plan for any reason, including options to improve the team through free agency. They're willing to spend on their own players, and they're not cheap in that regard. But they are being very, very obstinate.
That all said, things can change quickly. There's always the possibility the Bucs make a splash signing in the next couple of days. Only two days have passed, and there is plenty of time left. But they need to get someone.