The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coming off of a disappointing season that saw them go 4-12, after finishing 10-6 the prior year, have taken major steps via free agency to make sure that a double-digit losing season doesn't happen again anytime soon.
In a bold move, the Bucs opened their pocketbooks and doled out a staggering $67 million dollars in guaranteed money to lure three of the top free agents available.
With this large chunk of change, Tampa Bay managed to snag two-time Pro Bowl wideout Vincent Jackson from the San Diego Chargers, 5 year veteran cornerback Eric Wright, and perhaps most important of all, All-Pro guard Carl Nicks from division rival New Orleans Saints.
Nicks was a major player on an offensive line that was one of the tops in the league and is expected to have a major role in freeing up LaGarrette Blunt for some monster yardage in the coming season. This is a role Nicks is relishing to step into as moving from a pass happy team to a more balanced offense was one of the major appeals of his signing with Tampa.
"No disrespect to (New Orleans), but they are a pass-first, pass-second, pass-third, fourth, fifth, and sixth kind of team,'' said Nicks.
"They may slide a run in at the end, but here it's a little different. We have big guys, bruisers. We will pound the ball, pound the ball, then go over the top (to Jackson).''
With the signing of these three major free agents, Tampa Bay has sent a message to their fans and the rest of the NFL that rebuilding is not an option. The Buccaneers are out to win now and with turmoil in New Orleans this offseason, now may be the best chance to strike.
"I think we're tired of rebuilding,'' general manager Mark Dominik said after introducing Jackson, Nicks and Wright at an afternoon news conference. "That's not what we want to be.
"We want to be the best team we can be in 2012, and we know that these guys can help us become that. I'm a big believer in quality, and today showed we're going to do this in a quality way."
In breaking news, the Buccaneers have continued their free agent frenzy by adding quarterback Orlovsky to their roster to replace backup Josh Johnson, who is a free agent.