Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount didn't have a great 2012 season. He lost his job to rookie Doug Martin in training camp. Then he received just 41 carries and recorded 151 yards and two touchdowns for the entire season.
Basically, Blount was irrelevant, and Martin went on to 1,454 yards, 11 touchdowns and much acclaim. Blount is a restricted free agent this offseason but apparently the Buccaneers still think he's a valuable piece of their squad. Very, very valuable.
The Tampa Bay Tribune reports that the Buccaneers are considering placing a first-round tender worth $2.879 million on Blount, meaning they're willing to pay him nearly $3 million in 2013. But if another team deems it necessary to sweep Blount away with a multiyear deal and assuming Tampa Bay doesn't want to match the terms, that squad then would have to give up a first-round draft pick to Tampa Bay for the right to do so.
Which seems, well, ridiculous.
There is a perfectly good reason why Blount lost his job to Martin, and it's because, frankly, he's not a great running back. But Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik also wants to make sure they have enough depth at that position, and if nothing else, Blount has proven he can be fairly effective if he absolutely must start.
“In part [it's] because Dominik says he never wants to leave himself short at the running back position the way he did in 2010, especially now that the Bucs offense is a run-first attack,” the Tribune writes.
A first-round tender, if it happens, would be a good way to make sure Blount is still on your team next season, because, frankly, I don't see any other franchise giving up a first-rounder to grab him. In fact, I think the Buccaneers would be safe by giving Blount a second-round tender of $2.023 million. Or, if it existed, a third-rounder. Or a fourth-rounder.
Either way, the Buccaneers will have until 4 p.m. ET on March 12 to make their decision on a possible tender for Blount and help determine his future with the team.
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