We may be a little late to the party on this news item, but I figured it was still worth commenting on. It has been widely reported that Davin Joseph has said he would be more enticed to come back to Tampa if they were signing other veterans back too, like Jeremy Trueblood for instance.
I’m sure the intent behind those comments wasn’t to try and force the Bucs into anything and more just to show support to a teammate and close friend. But that’s still an interesting thing for a player to comment on. I say that for two reasons, first of all Davin Joseph is extremely talented but he’s far from the type of guy who can make demands of a team. If a guy like Jake Long or Joe Thomas said he’d be more inclined to resign if another player got to come back too, they may actually warrant that consideration. Davin Joseph isn’t quite to that point in his career yet.
Not to mention it’s somewhat unfair to James Lee who played very well last season and has done a lot to earn the starting position for 2011. In fairness, Trueblood doesn’t expect to be handed a starting job if he’s given a contract, but he would like to continue playing beside Davin Joseph in Tampa. So that begs the question, is Jeremy Trueblood worth bringing back?
I can’t see Davin Joseph turning down a solid contract offer because the Bucs didn’t resign Trueblood, but I suppose it’s possible. Still, unless Trueblood doesn’t mind taking reserve money, I don’t see how Tampa can justifiably sign him back. I know the Bucs will need to spend money to get to the cap floor, but that’s not how you want to do it. Don’t overpay backups just to hit a benchmark, go add players. Personally, I’d see if Trueblood wants to come back and add depth at a reasonable value. If he does, sign him back. If he doesn’t, thank him and let him test free agency. But the Bucs shouldn’t play games and approach this like a package deal. They need to resign Davin Joseph, but they need to be reasonable too.