Bucs working on Bryant; franchise tag uncertain
General manager Bruce Allen just completed a very long and wide-ranging news conference here at One Buc Place.
There weren't many specifics, as is usually the case with Allen, but he did speak to the status of things with WR Antonio Bryant, who has been having conversations with the team.
Things appear very premature, but Allen confirmed the team will make every effort to re-sign Bryant, but he seemed less certain about whether it's willing to use the franchise tag to keep him.
"I don't know, Allen said. "We haven't done that. We haven't even talked about that yet. Antonio Bryant had a successful year for Antonio Bryant and a successful year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's something he should be very proud of and we're proud of his accomplishments. It seems like it's something that should work out between the two of us."
But before you go out and stock up on No. 89 jerseys, here's something to consider. Bryant's services will be in demand if he makes it to free agency, and rest assured he knows it. Curiosity will certainly give him reason to pause before agreeing to terms with the Bucs, making a deal no slam dunk. And, if I'm Bryant, I'd like to have some idea of who my quarterback was going to be before I commit, assuming all things are equal in terms of outside offers.
This will continue to be a situation to watch over the next six weeks. The free agency period begins Feb. 27.