According to ESPN, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the NFL in at least one category: salary cap space. The Bucs went into the offseason with a ridiculous amount of salary cap space, and while they did hand out some pretty big contracts they are still miles away from the salary cap itself. The lack of a per-team salary floor this year also means that they can keep this up all year if they want to.
As I've said before, it would be prudent of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start using this salary cap space. I don't particularly concern myself with the financial straits of the Glazers, and I don't generally care how much they spend each year. But the Bucs have an immense amount of cap space available that will be useless next year. Instead of letting that go to waste, the Bucs could try to hand out some early extensions, moving extra money into this year, when they have oodles of salary cap space just waiting for those contracts to be handed out.
An extension for Josh Freeman has been proposed many times this offseason, and he has certainly earned it. Of course, Freeman may prefer to wait until later in his deal when he has more bargaining power.
But the same is not true for other players. Geno Hayes and Jeremy Zuttah are two players who should be rewarded with contracts fairly soon. Zuttah is a very solid guard and very valuable as a swing backup. Moreover, he deserves to be the starting left guard against the Detroit Lions. He has certainly outplayed Ted Larsen this preseason. Geno Hayes needs to prove that he can be a consistent player this season, but if he can do that there's no reason not to extend him.
Come on, Mark Dominik. I know that you know all these details and reasonings. Just get it done.