The Bucs have made it clear these past seasons that they will go out and draft players, and then re-sign those players that play well. They will shy away from free agency for the most part, only using it to fill out a starting role from time to time. Of course, it was never clear when they would do this or at what position they would do this. The external free agents the Bucs have brought in have consisted of Derrick Ward, Sean Jones and Michael Koenen. So what's the common thread there?
According to Raheem Morris, it's all about fixing past mistakes. "When you mess up in the draft, make mistakes in the draft, you've got to go make it up in free agency," the head coach said. "Last year we made a mistake at our punter, so we've got to go make it up in free agency."
So signing Derrick Ward was about fixing the 'mistake' of drafting Cadillac, who never turned into the every-down back. Signing Sean Jones was about fixing the mistake of drafting Sabby Piscitelli. Yeah, that was a pretty big mistake. Signing Michael Koenen was about fixing the mistake of drafting Brent Bowden.
So the next time you see a draft pick turn into a bust, expect the Bucs to sign a free agent the year after. Unless, of course, a late draft pick steps up, like Cody Grimm did last season.