The names kept clicking off, one after another. Julius Peppers and Chester Taylor to the Bears. Karlos Dansby to the Dolphins. Dunta Robinson to the Falcons. Anquan Boldin to the Ravens. The Seahawks are laying the groundwork to acquire Brandon Marshall. Nate Burleson and a cast of thousands to the Lions?
Meanwhile, according to Tampa sports radio host Steve Duemig, the Buccaneers made no contact with any free agents today.
Think about that for a second, folks—the Bucs didn't even bother calling.
When the Lions, who have been rebuilding since the 1950s, are more attractive than your own locale, something stinks in Denmark.
That smell is coming from the offices of Bryan and Joel Glazer. It's the smell of money, the stockpiles of it rising around their desks as they look to pay the piper for their ill advised over-leveraging of kickball club Manchester United.
The Bucs aren't calling because there's no money to spend. It's all being shipped to jolly ole' England, folks.
We told you this was coming. We warned you not to get your hopes up, but you did it anyway, didn't you?
There were reports that the Bucs went heavily after defensive end Aaron Kampman...no...they really weren't. Rumors that "No Longer Fast" Willie Parker was a target. Nope, he's isn't.
When the clock struck midnight, Bucs GM Mark Dominik was snug in bed in his "onesy", knowing that there wasn't really a point to call anybody.
It truly is a sad state of affairs here in Tampa Bay. Fans will be irate and blame Dominik for not doing his job. They'll accuse Raheem Morris of not knowing talent and letting it slip away to other teams.
They'll continue to miss the target that deservedly should be on the foreheads of Bryan and Joel.
Dominik is the perfect company man for the Glazer boys. He'll toe the company line of we didn't want to join in on the first day because it's like an ebay auction...the spending gets crazy, and you usually get burned. We want to build through the draft.
Translation: We don't want to spend money for veterans, rookies are cheaper, and who knows? They may turn out to be decent.
The only problem for the Glazers is that No. 3 overall pick is mighty 'spensive. It's no wonder Dominik has already floated the "trade down" scenario.
How did it get to this? Where are my Glazers who cared about championships and winning games no matter the cost?
The Buccaneers once spent to the cap limit and secured multiple playoff seasons and championships. They once fired a potential Hall of Fame coach because he couldn't advance in the playoffs. They fired the guy who won them a Super Bowl because his teams collapsed down the stretch the last few years.
Now 3-13 isn't bad enough to get you a pink slip.
Ironically, the NFL is turning a blind eye to the situation in Tampa Bay. As long as the Buccaneers continue to be one of the most profitable franchises in the league, they don't really care if the Glazers are shipping salary dollars to Timbuktu.
In the end, it may all be about the lockout. Perhaps the Glazers are looking to fill their war chest for the upcoming labor battle with the union rather than put together a winning team for the 2010 season.
The sad truth is the Buccaneers could have been fixed quickly if they would have just invested some money into the team this year. 3-13 could have been a distant memory, and they could have given their young head coach a fighting chance.
Now the only question is: how will they bungle the draft in April?
The comedy show continues...