Bucs hoping to add home-grown players on second contracts
We told you recently that the Bucs are hoping to hammer out a contract extension in the coming weeks with receiver Mike Williams, a positive development for a team that has failed to develop enough of its young players.
You might have noticed that you haven’t read many such stories about the Bucs re-signing their former draft picks, and that’s something that severely undermines the continuity of a football team.
Williams, the Bucs hope, will be the first of several players who are coming out of contract in the near future to earn new contracts. If so, it will represent a much-needed shift from recent history.
Williams’ negotiations got me thinking: How many players on the current roster have taken a similar path? In other words, which players currently on the roster began their careers with the Bucs and went on to earn second contracts (players like Donald Penn and Connor Barth, who were acquired from other teams, don’t count)?
The answer is… eight. That means for all the draft picks and rookie free agents added in recent years, only eight played well enough to warrant new deals in Tampa Bay.
Here they are with the year they were drafted or added to the roster in parenthesis:
S Ronde Barber (1997)
LB Quincy Black (2007)
OT Demar Dotson (2009)
LS Andrew Economos (2006)
LB Adam Hayward (2007)
G Davin Joseph (2006)
OT Jeremy Trueblood (2006)
C/G Jeremy Zuttah (2008)
There will be others added to this list soon, like Williams and, perhaps, defensive tackle Roy Miller and – depending on how he plays this season – quarterback Josh Freeman.
General manager Mark Dominik is fond of saying he’d rather spend his free-agent dollars on his own players, if they warrant it, rather than shopping for new players on the market. But in order to do that, the Bucs first must ensure they’re drafting the right players so they aren’t forced to go outside and fill their many holes.