I've been hearing a lot about how the Bucs lack of free agent signings is putting us behind other teams in the NFC South. How the Falcons or Saints are getting better while we're standing still. Looking over the transactions, I'm not seeing the same thing.
The Saints big signing was Darren Sproles, but they lost Reggie Bush, so where did they get better? The same? Yeah, maybe, but not better. Other than that, they've pretty much just resigned their own players. Guys like Lance Moore and Jermon Bushrod and Roman Harper. They really haven't made huge gains. Sure, you can say they got two first round draft picks and we only got one, but if you think Da'Quan Bowers qualifies as a late first round pick, we got two as well.
The Falcons haven't done much more than the Saints. Yep, they signed Ray Edwards which will be a nightmare defending against Abraham and Edwards. But other than that, they've pretty much just resigned their own guys. Guys like Tyson Clabo and Eric Weems. Of course, they also let guys like Jamaal Anderson, Michael Jenkins, Harvey Dahl and Michael Koenen go too. I'm not seeing where they jumped WAY ahead of the pack in the south.
The Panthers.... well, they're the Panthers. They signed a couple TEs and a kicker, but lost a couple guys as well. Not really seeing where they'll be a powerhouse anytime soon.
And the Bucs. They haven't brought in anyone to really make huge strides this year. A punter, that's about it. Other than that, they've kept their own. Some will say that just seeing Ruud sign with the Titans makes us a MUCH better team. Others may disagree.
What I'm getting at here is "Where's the panic?". Why the frustration that the Bucs aren't taking advantage of the HUGE FA market? The Saints and Falcons aren't really doing much with it either. Most teams are simply re-signing their own players. The Bucs will make strides this year, simply due to another year of experience in the same offense and defense with mostly the same coaches (and better coaches where we've made changes) and all the same schemes. These guys will know better what they're doing, they'll be healthy again to start the season. We don't know what injuries will occur during the season, may be better, the same, or worse than last year. That's part of the game. But having a team of players where even the backups got a lot of playing time last year will only help this team improve and be better this year. So, no panic, no worry about tapping this huge FA market.