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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs have cap room, big 'plans' for free agency

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 02:29 PM
TAMPA -

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have rolled over all available resources into the 2012 salary cap in anticipation of being more active in free agency, according to general manager Mark Dominik.

"We'll be more active in free agency than we were last year," Dominik said Tuesday as new head coach Greg Schiano continued to work on filling out his staff. "We purposely rolled every penny we could into this year's cap. Clubs didn't have to do that, but we wanted to. We have plans."

An ESPN report said Tampa Bay is carrying over $23.5 million from 2011, estimating the Bucs will have $60.5 million in cap space heading into the Mar. 13 start of free agency, second only to the Kansas City Chiefs ($62.9 million).

"We'll be involved in free agency," Dominik said. "To what capacity, it depends on what the list looks like. We're prepared, and that's the most important thing."

The Buccaneers, coming off a 4-12 season capped by a 10-game losing streak, hope to add at least two starters in free agency, Dominik said.

Dominik said Schiano, who was a defensive assistant for the Chicago Bears and the University of Miami before becoming the head coach at Rutgers for the past 11 years, plans to keep Tampa Bay's traditional 4-3 defensive alignment.

Tampa Bay has been turned down by several NFL clubs when seeking permission to speak to assistants, but Dominik downplayed speculation those denials were fueled by a revenge factor.

Under former GM Bruce Allen, the Bucs routinely rebuffed any requests by other NFL teams to interview assistants on Jon Gruden's staff.

"That's the National Football League," Dominik said. "A lot of clubs have those policies in place. That happens everywhere. I don't think anyone keeps a ledger of who does what in this league."

Dominik was also asked about the hiring of Butch Davis as special assistant to Schiano. Davis is receiving a severance package after being fired last summer as head coach at the University of North Carolina.

With the Bucs still looking for a defensive coordinator, why didn't they give that title to Davis, a former NFL head coach (Cleveland) who coached the Hurricanes during Schiano's two years as defensive coordinator at UM?

"The main reason Butch Davis wanted to come here was to work with his good friend, Greg Schiano," Dominik said. "He wanted to come here and advise, not coach. He'll be an extra set of eyes, he can evaluate talent, he can listen in on meetings. He just wanted to come here and help."

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