Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4 Free Agents the Bucs Should Target

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IFebruary 15, 2012

Marques Colston would make Josh Freeman better.
Marques Colston would make Josh Freeman better.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

"We purposely rolled every penny we could into this year's cap. Clubs don't have to do that, but we wanted to. We have plans."

So says Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik.


Before you run out and fork out some major moolah for season tickets, let's find out what "the plan" really is come March.

The Bucs will go into the free-agency free-for-all with $60.5 million in cap space. Now, before you start feeling giddy about that, rest assured they won't blow the bank.

Which brings us to our own "plan" for free agency.

Here's how we see it.

First and foremost, the Bucs should go after a genuine, proven No. 1 receiver. Before you start drooling over Dwayne Bowe, there's a good chance that the Chiefs may slap the franchise tag on the guy who is certainly one of the top, if not the top offensive free agent. With that said, we're not counting Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. Manning's health is a question mark. The Saints will re-sign Brees.

Vincent Jackson made $11 million last year in San Diego, but his health is something to consider.

Which brings us to Marques Colston of the Saints. Colston has no overwhelming loyalty to the Saints; like any other NFL player in his prime, he just wants to get paid. He made $6 million last year in the final year of his contract.

He's a guy the Bucs should target for two reasons. First, he's a damn good receiver, makes ridiculous catches, is a proven talent and has the film to prove it. Second, it helps weaken a division opponent.

Here's another suggestion: Running back Jason Snelling of Atlanta. He's the backup to Michael Turner, won't break the bank and would bring great depth to the running back position.

That's all we've got for offense, for now.

On the defensive side, the glaring weaknesses of this team are the secondary and linebacker positions.

Ronde Barber is a huge question mark, but with the $4 million he makes, the Bucs can certainly buy a nice corner if Ronde hangs it up.

I have two guys for you: Brent Grimes from Atlanta and Tracy Porter from New Orleans. Get both, and you have both your starting corners and Aqib Talib becomes expendable.

The Saints have the unenviable task of re-signing Brees, who will break the bank. One guy who might become a cap casualty in New Orleans is linebacker Jonathan Vilma. I would love to see that guy here in the fall, as Mason Foster could slide to the outside, solving two problems.

There's no telling what the Buccaneer plan might be.

For all we know, it might mean signing two guys, instead of the one they signed last year.

But what our plan does is add starters and weaken division foes.

Why not accomplish both in free agency?