The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a decent amount of money in free agency, giving a big contract to DeSean Jackson and smaller ones to Chris Baker, J.J. Wilson, Chris Conte, Josh Robinson and Jacquizz Rodgers.
All of that spending hasn’t led to a significant reduction in cap space, though. According to Over The Cap’s estimates, the Bucs still have some $33 million in cap space, ranked eighth in the NFL. That’s more than enough to sign any free agent on the market four times over.
Which leaves the Bucs with an interesting conundrum: what, exactly, are they going to do with all this cap space? They’ve spent close to all of their cap space in each of Jason Licht’s previous three years as a general manager and they likely want to do the same now. But they do need players to give this money to.
One way to do so is to extend players already on the roster. There aren’t a lot of candidates for those extensions, though. They’re not allowed to extend players until they’ve been in the league for three years, which excludes Jameis Winston, and most other players are already playing on recent and reasonably expensive contracts.
Mike Evans is really the only realistic big-money the players could extend, and that may not even be in their best interest: he has one year remaining on his contract, and the Bucs will almost certainly pick up his fifth-year option. That’s at least two years of relatively cheap play before they have to shell out for a $19 million per year deal.
The other option, of course, is to just...not spend the money. Keep it on the books and roll it over into next season, when they can use it on Evans, a possible Jameis Winston extension, Kwon Alexander, a Brent Grimes replacement, Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith and — hey, what do you know, that list is pretty long.
So maybe the Bucs really shouldn’t spend their money this year.