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It is not time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to dip into free agency

Give this man his money!
Give this man his money!

At least, not on any large scale. Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times argues that now is the time for the Bucs to start spending big, and now is the time for them to add key pieces to the team. But now is also the time I ask you: what key pieces need to be added so desperately to this defense? There is young talent at every position on the team, and that young talent can be allowed to grow. I'm actually very excited about the direction this team is headed, and I don't really see a need to splurge on any position right now. Building through the draft seems to be a very successful strategy for the Bucs, and I don't see why they should alter it now. 

Does that mean they should never sign free agents? Of course not. You build a contender not just by drafting well, but by retaining the special talent you've drafted. To that end, the Buccaneers should re-sign Davin Joseph, the free agent guard who they groomed themselves. There are other players on the roster they could re-sign, but none of them is as good as Davin Joseph or playing at a position of need. An argument could be made that the Bucs should re-sign Barrett Ruud and Quincy Black, too. But neither play a position of particular need right now, and they could walk because of that. 

And of course, there's the cornerback market. The Bucs have a problem on their hands with Aqib Talib, and if they let him go - or if the justice system or the NFL lets him go for them - they need to find a replacement. It wouldn't be a bad time to go after a cornerback in free agency, although I doubt they're willing to go after the highly-priced Nnamdi Asomugha. I think they'll settle for someone younger instead, if they're even going to be active, which I doubt. 

There is room for the Bucs to be active in free agency. There may even be a necessity, if a cap floor forces them to spend. But is it time to start selling out to get over the hump? Absolutely not. In fact, will it ever be time to do so? I sure hope not, because if you need to sell out your future to get over the hump, you're not building a lasting contender. You're building a team that will win a couple of years, but which won't turn into a true dynasty. And that's the goal of the Buccaneers, as it should be.