Could Bucs tender Joseph, Trueblood or Black as restricted free agents?
There are multiple reports this morning at the NFL scouting combine that some teams -- specifically the Carolina Panthers -- may offer restricted free agent tenders to players who have less than six years experience.
Those tenders may not be binding once the collective bargaining agreement expires March 4 and it remains to be seen what the new system will require in terms of years of service for a player to become an unrestricted free agent. But teams are trying to make it more difficult for their best players to leave, even if their contract has expired.
Because of the uncapped year in 2010, players needed six years of service to become UFAs, which is why linebacker Barrett Ruud was forced to accept the Bucs' tender a year ago. Ruud would not be affected this year since he has six years of service. But players like guard Davin Joseph, tackle Jeremy Trueblood (five years) and linebacker Quincy Black (four years) fall into that category.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik plans to meet with the agents for those players this week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
The Charlotte Observer is reporting the Panthers are set to tender restricted free agent offers to running back DeAngelo Williams and defensive end Charles Johnson, who are set to become free agents.