Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Something's Missing...

Ira Kaufman has a column up at TBO today lauding the Buccaneers Brass for cutting guys like Michael Clayton and Derrick Ward even though they had been signed to big free agent deals. Kaufmann rightly notes that many times roster moves are motivated more by finances than by performance and this time the Bucs really did get it right by rewarding the guys who actually earned roster spots.

There were some interesting nuggets throughout the piece including this one from Barrett Ruud:

"What's nice is guys are being rewarded for their work," middle linebacker Barrett Ruud said. "Spurlock should be here, and with respect to the guys that aren't here, some of them didn't work that hard. The nice thing about this team is that all the guys who step out on this field trust each other."

Although he doesn't call anyone out by name there were only a few guys who were released that had actually been around long enough to actually fit the description in Ruud's comments. I hadn't heard that Clayton and or Ward weren't hard workers but generally when guys don't perform on Sunday's its because they haven't prepared themselves the rest of the week.

Still it was kind of weird seeing a guy like Ruud who is usually kind of quiet call them out, unnamed or not, like that. Evidently it had really struck a nerve with him.

Now I hate to be nitpicky but there is one ginormous fact that is missing from the article to give it context. The fact that because there is no salary cap this year it was much easier for GM Mark Dominik to unload those two guys' salaries. If we were still under a salary cap its likely one or both guys would still be on the team.

It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't give Clayton so much guaranteed money in his deal. They didn't break the bank for him but it was apparent that they expected to have him for at least two years. That means that even though he is gone he is still cashing Buccaneers checks.

All in all I still think it was the right move to cut both guys because it would be hard for the rest of the team to believe anything Dominik or head coach Raheem Morris said if those guys had a roster spot and other guys who stood up and performed well and worked their tails off in practice were let go. But if you are going to tell the story, and especially if you are going to be laudatory towards Dominik and Morris for cutting bait, you simply HAVE to include the fact of why they were able to pull it off.

At the end of the day the Bucs had the opportunity to admit their mistakes and move on as a team. But there had been a salary cap this year one or both guys would probably have been spared. And at that point we probably would have been focusing on something that can't be forgotten and that is that the mistakes were made in the first place. Hopefully while Morris and Dominik are drawing praises for moving on they will spend some time not try to commit those mistakes in the first place going forward.


  1. Nice article. Mistakes happen to all of us. I asked Mark about the hiring mistakes of Bates and Jags and he outlined what they thought going into each, what they witnessed after and what they had done since to avoid such mistakes moving forward. Only time will tell if those measures are enough, but they seemed clear and well thought out.

    Here's hoping the same rigor was used in these personnel moves.

  2. You know, they really seem to be doing a good job so far. I can't understand the negative stuff tossed their way especially Raheem. Seems pretty stupid to me.