Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said on Friday that the Buccaneers will not use the franchise tag in 2013.
Tampa Bay showed marked improvement in several key areas in the first season under coach Greg Schiano, but deficiencies in key areas cost the Bucs a chance to make a playoff run.
Tampa Bay made aggressive moves in the draft and free agency after a miserable 2011 season, and most of those decisions paid off in 2012, as reflected in CBSSports.com's RapidReports picks for the team's MVPs.
For the fifth consecutive week, Tampa Bay fell. For Bucs fans who were already frustrated with QB Josh Freeman, Sunday's 28-13 loss to the Rams did nothing to convince them that Freeman can lead this franchise to better things in the years to come.
The Rams are a long shot to make the playoffs. Tampa Bay already has been eliminated, but the Bucs hope to stop a four-game losing streak on Sunday -- and play the role of spoiler.
Tampa Bay is certainly out of playoff contention, and if Sunday's 41-0 loss to the Saints is any indication, the Buccaneers may just be done competing altogether in 2012. The Bucs showed no fight in the blowout loss.
Losing on the last play of the game was bad enough for Tampa Bay. Watching essentially every major rival for the NFC's wild-card spots pick up wins meant Sunday's loss to the Eagles all but ended the Bucs' postseason hopes.

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