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Now Is The Time For The Buccaneers To Spend In Free Agency

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If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ever going to be active in free agency, this is the year to do it. These past seasons the Bucs have tried to find spots where they can get good players for good value. To that end they stockpiled draft picks for the loaded 2010 draft, and then chased after waived rookies and undrafted free agents throughout the season to pick up as much talent as possible. They didn't spend much in free agency, because there were very few free agents available and most of them would be overpriced because of that.

But this is the season this changes. It's almost certain that unrestricted free agency will be granted to players not under contract with at least four years of accrued seasons. This will create possibly the biggest free agent market of all time, which is exactly why the Bucs need to start spending in free agency. They could use an influx of talent at a lot of positions, most notably offensive line and cornerback.

The Buccaneers have the lowest payroll of any team in the NFL. There is likely to be a high salary floor based on cash spending, which will force the Bucs to spend. The Glazers have been saying they will spend when the time is right. The time will never be more right than now: when masses of young free agents hit the market, which will depress free agency costs, and will allow the Bucs to get players in free agency who will be relevant in the long term.

Yes, this will hamper the development of some young players, which would be a shame if the Bucs were going to go after veterans with two years left in their career. But a slew of players in their mid-20s will hit the market, about to start the prime of their career. The Bucs have to go after those players when free agency starts, to complement the excellent rebuilding job they've done these past two seasons.