Mark Dominik has done very well rebuilding the Buccaneers in a short period of time. By drafting well, developing young players and giving them a chance to play early in their career the Bucs have crafted one of the youngest and most promising rosters in the NFL. Before the Bucs started their youth movement, the Green Bay Packers were that team: young, full of potential, but not quite there. It seems like the Bucs are trying to do the same thing, but whether they will succeed is still undecided.
According to the Boston Globe in an excellent profile of the GM, Mark Dominik has gone through this rebuild by being a renegade. The article is interesting and makes some salient points, but the description of Mark Dominik's method as going against the NFL establishment seems entirely off base.
The idea of Dominik as a renegade general manager stems almost entirely from Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis complaining that Dominik set a precedent by paying Dezmon Briscoe more than is usual for a practice squad player to keep him around. Marvin Lewis would have been better served directing his anger toward Mike Brown for being too cheap to pay that kind of money to Dezmon Briscoe.
Not only that, but the criticism of a precedent makes no sense. The Bucs weren't the first team to pay practice squad players more than usual, and Dezmon Briscoe wasn't even the best-paid practice squad player in the NFL last season. The Buccaneers gave Briscoe a salary of $319,991 over a full season to be on the practice squad. The Broncos' Mitch Unrein and the Saints' Adrian Arrington both earned more than that, according to Brian McIntyre. In fact, a total of 27 players were earning elevated practice squad salaries at some point last season, including Bucs T Will Barker and at the time Patriots (and now Bucs) LB Tyrone McKenzie.
Yes, Mark Dominik scours waiver wires to find good players (like Ted Larsen and Legarrette Blount) and tries to get the best players he can for his practice squad. But there's nothing renegade about that. It's just good business.