Free agency is a buyer-beware game, one that has as high of a probability for mistakes as the first round in the NFL draft.

Credit Bucs GM Mark Dominik, coordinator of pro scouting Shelton Quarles and coach Greg Schiano for signing productive players such as WR Vincent Jackson and G Carl Nicks a year ago.

Jackson had a career-high 1,382 receiving yards with eight touchdowns on only 72 catches, a league-best 19.2-yard average.

Nicks was a force for seven games before a foot injury landed him on injured reserve.

The team might have missed on CB Eric Wright, who was suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. More on him later.

Not only were Jackson and Nicks good free agent signings in 2012, they're already paying off for 2013.