Originally posted on NFL News & Rumors  |  Last updated 3/14/12

Headed into the off-season, the Buccaneers were expected to be major players in the free agent signing period, given the massive amount of salary cap space they were projected to have available at their disposal.

Through the first 18 hours, they’ve lived up to that billing and then some, tossing out money to their free agent targets like candy at a parade. That continued this morning, as news has just broke indicating that Tampa Bay has reached agreement with offensive guard Carl Nicks (Saints) on a five year, $47.5 million deal, with $31 million of that guaranteed.

Prior to the start of free agency, there had been some hope on the part of New Orleans that they’d be able to re-sign Nicks to a long term deal, but throughout the process, the Pro Bowl guard remained adamant that he was planning on finding the big payday he thought he deserved.

The Bucs were all too willing to give him exactly that, shoring up the interior of their offensive line with a proven blocker, and allowing quarterback Josh Freeman to have more time to find open targets going forward.

©2012 NFL News & Rumors. All Rights Reserved.

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