An A-Train Return?
When Bucs fullback Mike Alstott walked off the field following the season finale, it sure felt like the last time Tampa Bay would see him in Bucs uniform.
But maybe an Alstott return isn't out of the question.
Alstott, who remains undecided about returning to football, still harbors some hopes of playing in 2007, his agent said Friday. Jim Steiner said Alstott "is giving serious consideration to playing in '07."
But this shift isn't a dramatic change of position. Alstott was always open to playing if the Bucs expressed a sincere interest and were willing to pay him more than a nominal salary. That's where this gets hairy. Regardless of Alstott's position, the more important matter is the position of the Bucs. Steiner said he has had no talks with the team regarding Alstott's future. General manager Bruce Allen and coach Jon Gruden have been noncommittal about bringing Alstott back, but that subject may now have to be broached. Neither was available for comment Friday.
However, Allen and Alstott were expected to speak on the subject Friday afternoon after Alstott's wife, Nicole, reportedly made an emphatic statement that Alstott had made up his mind about a return to the NFL.
The Bucs gave Alstott a one-year contract last year which paid him $1.5-million for 2006. But that came after weeks of negotiation. Given his limited role last season, the team may be less willing to commit that kind of money to a 33-year-old, little-used fullback in this critical rebuilding year.
Alstott could not be reached for comment.
STEPHEN F. HOLDER