Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/14/12

We knew Tampa Bay’s 4-12 season last year didn’t set well with the people in the front office, but we did not anticipate that the Bucs would go to such extreme measures in an attempt to right the ship. General manager Mark Dominik said earlier this offseason that the Bucs were going to be big spenders heading into 2012, and he stuck to his word by spending nearly $150 million in the first 24 hours of free agency.

On Wednesday morning, the Bucs announced the signings of former Saints guard Carl Nicks and former Lions cornerback Eric Wright, each to a five-year contract. Nicks’ contract is reportedly worth $47.5 million — including $31 million guaranteed — which would make him the league’s highest-paid guard. Wright’s contract is believed to be worth $37.5 million, including $15.5 million guaranteed.

The Nicks signing isn’t the only transaction that will make Josh Freeman a happy quarterback this week. On Tuesday, the Bucs locked down one of the best free agent receivers on the market when they inked Vincent Jackson to a five-year deal worth $55,555,555. Why all the 5s? A tribute to Freeman’s No. 5 jersey, of course. Jackson’s deal includes $36 million guaranteed.

As you can see, new head coach Greg Schiano will have plenty to work with in his first season in Tampa. By committing roughly $80 million in guaranteed money to three of the top free agents on the market, the Bucs front office has shown that it is serious about turning things around in 2012. And just think, the offseason is barely underway.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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