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Mark Dominik hints Bucs will be players in free agency


The Buccaneers were active in free agency one year ago -- landing receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Carl Nicks -- and Tampa Bay appears primed to play the market again in 2013.

The Bucs have roughly $30 million in cap space -- fifth-most in the NFL -- and $23 million of that was furnished by reworking the deals they handed Jackson and Nicks last winter.

With the offseason officially under way, Around the League will examine what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | Niners | Rams | Seahawks

"That has actually opened a lot of cap room for us going into 2013 -- a tremendous amount," general manager Mark Dominik told Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune. "We've got a chance to be (heavily) involved in free agency again.

"But we also have a chance to try to retain this nucleus of players. So (the contract restructuring) was a big commitment that our owners made and I think that should be encouraging for all fans about our football team."

Last year's free-agent splurge addressed the offense, but this year's push will likely center around improving a pass defense that ranked last in the league. The Tribune believes Tampa will attack the cornerback position and add a linebacker to replace the injured Quincy Black.

The positive salary-cap situation is an outstanding opportunity for coach Greg Schiano to further reimagine the roster he inherited before last season. If the money is used wisely once again, the Bucs have to be taken seriously in the NFC South.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.