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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs chose their free agents wisely



The Bucs have been often criticized by the fan base for their decision to not indulge in free agency like, say, the Redskins.

But like it or not, that's the way it is and the way it's going to be. So, with that said, it's worth pointing out that the free agents the Bucs did actually sign seem to panning out.

The news that strong safety Sean Jones and left guard Keydrick Vincent are going to start this week for the Bucs is evidence the team did a good job in selecting the free agents it chose to sign. Coach Raheem Morris has said he hoped to have his final starting lineup in place for this weekend's preseason game, so this week's starters presumably are those who will be starting in the season opener (with the exception of injured quarterback Josh Freeman).

The Bucs signed only three veteran free agents during the offseason: Jones, Vincent and former Raiders linebacker Jon Alston (Reggie Brown came here in a trade). Now, it appears two of the three will crack the starting lineup. That's basically what general manager Mark Dominik promised: That the Bucs would build through the draft and supplement, sparingly, with free agents when needed.

This is far from a "mission accomplished" declaration. There's a lot of work still to be done -- like not finishing 3-13, for instance. And the draft picks of the last two years are still very, very young, making it impossible to judge those classes. So, the jury is still out and will be for some time.

But the much-debated plan seems to be in place and is being executed as promised. And once we start to learn about the weaknesses of the current team, Dominik will likely address those needs next year -- perhaps with another couple of free agents who also wind up in the starting lineup.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:12am]


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