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Crunch Time is coming for the Buccaneers' Front Office

With the labor situation moving slowly but surely toward a resolution, free agency seems to be right around the corner. The early days of free agency are going to be incredibly chaotic, as teams try to re-sign their own players and offer contracts to other team's stars. In addition to that, they'll have to spend time sifting through the undrafted free agents to get them on board as well. The Bucs have spoken about the hectic period following the draft in which they try to sign undrafted free agents, but that will be nothing compared to what will happen once the lockout ends. 

There have been reports of several solutions to this problem. A grace period in which teams can negotiate with their own free agents before free agency starts proper, for instance. Another proposal included delaying the signing undrafted free agents so that veteran free agents could be sorted out first. But whether any of these proposals make it into the CBA is unknown at this point. 

If the situation stays the way it is, Mark Dominik and staff will have to work hard to get everyone they want signed, and they're sure to miss out on a few players they wanted. Contracts for drafted rookies will have to wait while the team gets every free agent it wants. The Bucs may not be equipped for this kind of crunch time. Under Bruce Allen the focus always seemed to be on free agency and the Bucs managed to get many different players signed soon after the free agency period opened, but under Mark Dominik the Bucs have only signed a handful of free agents. While he has recently expanded his front office, handling this period well will be a new challenge for this administration.