CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The real benefit of building through the draft for the Bucs could be the money they put in the bank.
As of Friday, the Bucs had committed $80.8 million for player costs in 2010, the lowest amount in the NFL, according to a report on profootballtalk.com.
Last year, the spending minimum exceeded $110 million per team. But the Bucs and several other teams have taken advantage of the first season since 1993 without a salary cap.
The Bucs had no comment Saturday on the report. They have the second-youngest team in the league, reflecting their commitment to build through the draft.
Profootballtalk.com reported that the Bucs, Chiefs ($84.5 million) and Jaguars ($89.5 million) committed the least amount of money for player costs this season.
The Redskins ($178.2 million) and Cowboys ($166.5 million) will outspend the Bucs nearly 2-to-1 this year.
It's estimated that in a salary cap year, the minimum spending would've been at $120 million as revenues have increased.
What it means is the Bucs and other bottom-feeders in the salary structure will realize millions in savings and profit.
More Bucs: Linebacker Niko Koutouvides (ankle) did not travel for today's game at Carolina, but running back Kareem Huggins (groin) and tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) did. Both were questionable.
Sad tale: During last week's Patriots-Bengals game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Jeffrey Chartier, 40, died of a heart attack after a confrontation with a stadium worker over whether Chartier's 6-year-old son could step on the field, reported the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass. Chartier had been told by league officials that his son, Tedy, could run on the sidelines and take pictures on the field. But the worker told Chartier his son couldn't come on the field. When Chartier's son started crying, Chartier and the worker argued, witnesses said. Chartier collapsed when he returned to his seat and was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Patriots spokesman Stacey James said nobody was fired as a result of anything that happened last week.
Giants: Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee) and receiver Hakeem Nicks (ankle) traveled to Indianapolis for today's game.
Panthers: Receiver Brandon LaFell (hamstring) was downgraded to questionable for today's game against the Bucs. Dwayne Jarrett could start in his place.
Patriots: Receiver/running back Danny Woodhead signed, the Boston Herald reported. Woodhead was a fan favorite with the Jets, who released him last week. The Jets host the Patriots today.
Rams: After being hospitalized last week, defensive tackle Clifton Ryan was downgraded to out for today's game at Oakland. Cornerback Kevin Dockery (left hamstring) was downgraded to out as well.
Steelers: Quarterback Byron Leftwich was released to create a spot for defensive lineman Steve McLendon for today's game at Tennessee. Leftwich is expected to return to the 53-man roster Monday.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.