In the 2008 off season, the Glazer family decided it was time to make a big change to the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers. That off season, they let go of their Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden and released the general manager that he brought in.
The Glazer’s were tired of missing on draft picks and free agency. They wanted a team that would be
built for continual success, not a roster riddled of veterans who were past their prime.
Thus, Mark Dominik was hired as the general manager, and given the reins to take this team back to the
playoffs. While he hasn’t done so yet, he has assembled a young competitive football team. So is he the right guy to
keep the job?
Dominik’s first order of business was something that needed to be done, and that was to find the Buccaneers a franchise quarterback.
He sat and waited, watching the New York Jets give up nearly their entire draft for Mark Sanchez.He patiently waited and traded up just two spots to secure Josh Freeman.
Remember that it was also rumored that the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and another unnamed team were ready to take Freeman at the 17th spot. Aware of this Draft activity, Dominik moved up and secured our franchise for a late round pick.
Take a step back and think about what team originally had the 17th pick, and what they did to get
their franchise quarterback, which has had maybe one or two better performances than Freeman. The Jets spared no expense, and now you see the effects. They have been crippled, and unable able to assemble a productive draft class, which has hurt them the past two years.
Now take a look at this past years draft, Dominik maneuvered around the draft like someone playing
Madden. While he portrayed that Morris Claiborne was going to be the Buccaners pick, he traded back and got Mark Barron, who has been great so far.
Next, he jumped in front of the New York Giants to grab Doug Martin, who has shown everything the Bucs could
want in a back. Finally, to round it out he jumped back into the second round to grab Lavonte David, who
has been an every down linebacker and taken over the calls for the defense.
Mike Mayock was just one of the many draft gurus who couldn’t stop gushing about the Buccaneers
draft. It was clear that Dominik had a plan and was targeting this draft from previous years. He moved
around the draft and got the players that he, and coach Greg Schiano coveted.
Next, let’s think about what he did this past off season. I think a lot of people don’t realize how much of a genius he is when it comes to contracts and numbers.
First thing that blows me away with Dominik is how he signs these players in the first place. The Glazer’s never give any money for signing bonuses, so when he’s pitching to free agents, he’s already down on his cards.While he counters back by giving more guaranteed money across the contract, most athletes want to be rewarded now for their play.
I mean, did anyone truly think the Buccaneers would land Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks? Sure there are always the mock free agencies that give them a ton of players because of the Bucs gigantic cap space, but to black line them both, without a single dollar on the day of the signing? That’s something even I didn’t expect.
Sure, he hasn’t hit home run with every signing or pick, but no one does. Even the top GM’s have their hits and misses. It’s what keeps parity in the league and maintains our intrigue, but with his track record, there’s no reason to consider anyone but Dominik to continue building the Buccaneers.