TAMPA, Fla. -- With free agency starting Tuesday afternoon, it's time for a cautionary tale.
In two of the past three years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent more money than any other team in free agency. Last year, the Bucs spent $147.3 million. In 2012, they spent $161.7 million. Consider that proof that spending money doesn't get you to the Super Bowl -- in fact, it hasn't even gotten the Bucs to the playoffs.
While free-agent pickups Vincent Jackson and Alterraun Verner have worked out well, they haven't been the norm. The Bucs have had some huge strikeouts with the likes of Carl Nicks, Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson.
But the Bucs aren't going to be scared off by past mistakes. They have more than $30 million in cap space and they have a bunch of holes to fill on a team that went 2-14 last season. Expect an aggressive approach from the Bucs with a slight twist.
They already have been tied to free-agent defensive ends Trent Cole and Derrick Morgan and safety Ron Parker. They also are likely to be interested in some offensive linemen. Those aren't huge names and that might be a good thing.
Maybe the Bucs have learned it's better to go for role players, rather than superstars, in free agency. They're going to use that cap room, but they'll be better off signing a bunch of mid-level free agents than they have been with big names.