Glazers' spending creates pressure on Bucs to win now
We don’t often hear from Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer and his family, so his brief media availability before Saturday night’s practice at Raymond James Stadium is worthy of some closer examination.
We told you Saturday that Glazer expects more games on television this year, with fewer blackouts ahead. But there were other issues he touched on that are both important and interesting.
What struck me is what Glazer said about ownership’s investment in the team. Say what you want about the Bucs’ miserly spending in years past – something that is not debatable and is documented. But Glazer and his family are spending richly on their football team these days, committing hundreds of millions of dollars to players like Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Dashon Goldson, Darrelle Revis and Mike Williams. And there’s likely to be more to come, with key players coming out of contract down the road (Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and others).
This kind of commitment was overdue, and is certainly welcome. But no team’s ownership invests that kind of money out of mere benevolence. The goal is to win, and that means there’s substantial pressure on general manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano to do that.
Glazer never said there’s a win-or-bust mandate, and he never will. It’s not his style. But the reality is that expectations are unavoidable when a team’s ownership dedicates this level of resources.
“Obviously we want to win,” Glazer said. “We have a commitment to winning. But also, there has to be patience in how you do that. You have to put together the right football team that is going to win year in and year out, not just one win year and fall back the next year. The team we have today is built to continue to win for years.”
For that to happen, the players the Bucs have invested in have to perform at a high level and Dominik and Schiano have to continue to make decisions that pay off.
The Glazers feel this team is ready to take a step toward contention, whether for the NFC South title or something more. That’s evidenced by their willingness to do a deal like the one that netted Revis, who, along with Buffalo’s Mario Williams, is the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL ($16 million per year).
“If this was three or four years ago, I don’t know if that would be the right fit,” Glazer said of the Revis acquisition. “Now, we’re ready.”
He added, “We’ve always said we’d build the core of our football team through the draft. And then once we have the core, we would spend on free agents to bring us to the next level.”
All the Bucs have to do now is, you know, get there.
More than likely, no one at One Buc Place has been put on notice or had their jobs threatened. That’s not how things work in this organization.
But it goes without saying that the Glazers finally have done their part and are right to expect big results to go along with their big spending.