Tampa (CBS) The NFL season kicks off in two weeks, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been off the radar during the free agency period. Critics will hound the team for not taking advantage of signing available players, but it could be more beneficial for the Bucs to work with what they have.
With a 10-6 record at the end of last season, Tampa Bay needs to find a way to win the NFC South this year and improve from last year’s mistakes. They haven’t been back to the playoffs since the 2007 season, and even then they were knocked out in the first round against the Giants.
Although the Bucs failed to make a playoff appearance last season, head coach Raheem Morris and the team made an impressive turnaround and set the bar high for the 2011-2012 NFL season.
With GM Mark Dominik seemingly uninterested in acquiring free agents in 2011, the Bucs expanded their young roster by bringing on DE Adrian Clayborn and DL Da’Quan Bowers from the rookie draft.
Offensive leaders Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams have undoubtedly had an impact on the team from the start. It would be easy to go out and drop money for another big name contibutor during free agency, but management seems to be happy with the cards they were dealt. The rookies will make an impact and the Bucs play makers will continue to lead by example.
The free agency period will end soon, so should the Bucs break the bank and sign a big name, or focus on improving with their rookies and homegrown talent? Both sides have legitimate arguments, but with the season the Bucs had last year it could be in their best interest to sit tight and let the current team grow and improve.
After all, the team is young, and throwing a new veteran in the mix could disrupt the team’s growth and do more harm than good this season.