This week we've spent more than ample time discussing the moves the Carolina Panthers have made, and the possibility of moves to come, but we're not the only team who influences our destiny. The NFC South is still one of the toughest divisions in football, and with the Panthers closing the gap for 2nd with the Atlanta Falcons, and the Saints scheduled to be hit with Roger's banhammer it appears there will be a lot more parity in 2012.
I'm going to be taking a look at each of our three divisional opponents over the next few days, and what better way to kick it off with the big spenders of the NFC South- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Best Signing: Carl Nicks- 5 years, $47.5 million
If you have holes on your offensive line and need a fix you might as well spend big and get the best player in the NFL at his position. While the near $10 million a year the Bucs are paying Nicks may seem like a lot, if it keeps Josh Freeman upright it will be worth it.
Nicks is just 26 years old, and plays a position where players can stay elite until their mid-thirties, provided they're saved from the injury bug. That doesn't seem like a problem though as he has started 61/64 games in his career thus far. There's a reason Drew Brees had such a clean pocket, and that was largely due to Nicks.
More are the jump
Good Signing: Vincent Jackson- 5 years, $55.55 million
He was seen as the WR prize in free agency, and it was known someone would pay a lot to secure Vincent Jackson's services. I don't wholly hate the Jackson signing, but it reeks of desperation for a team with two young and promising wideouts in Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn. There's no doubt Jackson will be better, but to what end?
At this stage the Bucs just made a $11 million per season commitment to a player who is 29 years old. Furthermore, Jackson is more a deep threat than anything else, and without a surrounding offense to spread the field as much as San Diego could with Malcolm Floyd and Antonio Gates, I have to question whether Jackson can be as effective.
Good signing: Dan Orlovsky- 2 years, $2.5 million
Orlovsky has become a 'plug and play' QB who is fine getting thrown in the fire where needed, and more often than not coming out the other side unscathed. For the Buccaneers he will give them some stability at the position in case he's needed, and comes with a low price tag. I think this was a solid move for them.
Terrible signing: Eric Wright- 5 years, $37.5 million
I tried to look at this deal every which way, and I keep coming back to one thing- you basically just paid $37 million for Richard Marshall. That's not to say Wright is a terrible player, and he'll get you some picks, but he'll also give up far too many catches and hope to mitigate those problems with being an above-average tackler. I think he's a mid level #2 corner at best, and he's getting paid close to #1 CB money.