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Buccaneers got value in free agency

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren't very active in free agency, signing only a handful of  players so far. But what they did manage to do was get value with those players. Football Outsiders' Andrew Healy came up with a (somewhat crude) system to measure the value teams were getting in free agency, and each of the Bucs' four signings were listed as positive value. Overall, only three other teams got better value in free agency.

Of course, this is a crude measurement: Healy looked at AV, which is a very inaccurate cross-position metric of quality. And value is more subjective than anything -- but it sure did look like the Buccaneers were very prudent in who they signed, and at what price. No huge contracts, no massive guarantees, no real risks on players -- Bruce Carter is the only free agent you could label a risk, and that's mitigated by the fact that the Bucs have a capable backup in Danny Lansanah.

This isn't as big of a departure from last year as it may seem. Yes, the Bucs signed a few expensive free agents back then in Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson, but both actually were fairly widely seen as okay value. Certainly neither got top-of-the-market deals, both were rated highly by independent evaluators like Pro Football Focus, and both had the potential to be valuable additions -- even if both of them busted. Luck of the draw, or just poor scouting? I don't know. But I don't think the strategy really is that fundamentally different.

As we've emphasized repeatedly, though, getting value is not the same thing as actually consistently improving your roster. That's not to say that value isn't important, but all the value in the world won't do you any good if you don't have a starting right guard come opening day.