In what can only be explained as some sort of smoke screen or bargaining maneuver, the Buccaneers’ front office has told the Tampa Tribune that they are considering using the first round tender on restricted free agent LeGarrette Blount. The Bucs running back that was overtaken for the starting job in 2012 has reached the end of his contract, and because he has not spent the requisite time in the NFL, his freedom in free agency is restricted to what the Buccaneers choose to do with him. Placing a first round tender on Blount means Tampa Bay would have to pay the former Oregon Duck running back just under 3 million dollars in 2013 if no other team offers Blount a contract. If another team does offer LeGarrette a deal under these circumstances, they would have to surrender a first round selection in the draft to the Bucs.
They’d also be offering up their job security of an NFL general manager.
No front office in this league is going to offer the Buccaneers a first round pick for the rights to sign a former undrafted free agent who has ball control issues, has no ability to contribute in the passing game, and shows really poor vision as a runner. Blount is definitely a serviceable player, but the flaws in his game began to show as his brief career wore on.
The Buccaneers would be able to place lower tenders on Blount, with options of a second round tender that costs just over 2 million, and a right-of-first-refusal tender (with no compensation) that would cost just 1.3 million. Either of these options would be more reasonable, as it would be conceivable for a team to spend a late second round pick to offer Blount a deal, or to place a 1.3 million dollar price point on him and allow other teams the chance to talk to him.
I have to believe that Mark Dominik has something in mind by making this knowledge public, and that he’s posturing for some kind of move regarding LeGarrette Blount. Hopefully we don’t see 3 million dollars spent on a player who failed to make a positive impact on the team in 2012, and could easily be replaced in the draft using a mid-round (or late-round selection, for that matter).
What do you think, Bucs fans? Is Blount worth 3 million dollars in 2013? Would any team offer the Bucs a draft pick for him? Let us know in the comments below!