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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Mark Dominik clarifies team's position on Josh Freeman's contract



It’s been pretty obvious since the end of the regular season that the Bucs are going to take a cautious approach when it comes to dealing with quarterback Josh Freeman’s rookie contract.

It expires after the 2013 season, but the team – from all indications – does not intend to address the deal until after the upcoming season.

General manager Mark Dominik addressed the matter today during an appearance with Steve Duemig of 620-AM, saying the approach of the team is fine with Freeman and his representatives and the sides have an understanding on this issue.

“With Josh, I think the main thing is that no one is in a hurry,” Dominik said. “I’m not in a hurry as general manager of the football team. I’ve talked to his representation. No one’s in a hurry to push anything through because he wants to maximize his ability and we want to make sure with everything that’s going on. So it’s more about a comfort level. There’s nothing adversarial about it. It’s all positive. It’s been good communication between everyone.”

The position of Freeman and his father, Ron, who is one of his agents, makes sense. Freeman is coming off a career year, but his late-season struggles undermined so much of the good that he did in 2012. Even if the Bucs were interested in doing a deal now, attempting to negotiate a contract would be difficult, at best, given Freeman’s disparate performances.

Instead, it appears the Freemans are content to rest their hopes for a big deal on a more consistent 2013 season from Josh. And Dominik thinks the odds of that happening are quite good.

“I think the one thing to be encouraged about with Josh Freeman is (him) going into Year 2 of our offseason program and system, the way we do it now, and continue to build chemistry with some of the players who are here plus the guys we’re going to add and to build around what we’re building here as an offense,” Dominik said. “That’s exciting. We’re starting to score points and be that offense that’s never been here before. And we feel like we can completely improve upon that as well.”

[Last modified: Monday, January 14, 2013 6:24pm]


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