Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs sign Demar Dotson to three-year contract extension

TAMPA — It took a determined man with fierce faith and anvil jaw to walk into an NFL training camp as an undrafted free agent, having played only one year of football in his life, and despite being 6 feet 9, 315 pounds convert from defensive line to offensive tackle.

"Everything I have in life I've worked for," said Dotson, a basketball player until his fifth year at Southern Miss. "I came in here as a rookie and didn't even have a pair of shoes, a pair of cleats to come out here. I had to work myself up. I think that's just what God made me, a guy that always has to stay humble. Maybe if I get things too easy, I don't stay humble. I think just having things come hard keeps me on my knees and keeps me grateful."

The Bucs on Monday showed their gratitude, locking up Dotson, their longest tenured player, by signing him to a three-year extension through 2019. Dotson, 30, was in the final year of a contract that would've paid him $1.75 million in 2016. Terms were not released.

The contract reportedly includes $8.5 million guaranteed, including a $4.25 million signing bonus. The Bucs can exercise their option to get out of the deal at the end of 2017, and/or again after 2018, unless they pay Dotson a roster bonus. It would allow them to recoup compensatory picks should Dotson become a free agent.

"As you guys know, he's one of the good guys, one of the great guys in the organization," general manager Jason Licht said.

"He's been a cornerstone player for us and our extensions that we've done here recently with Gerald (McCoy), Lavonte (David) and Doug (Martin), these guys all have one thing in common. They work their (tails) off and are very consistent players, very good players in the league, and you know what you're getting out of them every day on the playing field, on the practice field."

Dotson has appeared in 72 games with 52 starts for Tampa Bay. A year ago, he sought a new contract and held out of organized team activities. But all those plans were erased when he suffered a knee injury in the preseason, missing the first 10 games.

Dotson reclaimed his starting job from Gosder Cherilus before the end of the season, and coach Dirk Koetter called him the team's best offensive lineman early in training camp.

"I don't know if I would call it a dark, scary place, but I was pressing for this contract and I knew I wasn't going to get it right now," Dotson said. "So it was a little disheartening at the end of the day. But I was eager to get back and work. So when I got hurt, I knew I wasn't going to get (a new contract), so I got it out of my mind, so it just allowed me to focus on my rehab so I could get back and prove that I'm worthy of this contract."

To put it mildly, Dotson didn't have a signature play during his one season at Southern Miss. But his work ethic and potential prompted Dom Green, a scout with the Chiefs who worked for the Bucs from 2006-08, to convince then-Tampa Bay college scouting director Dennis Hickey to sign Dotson as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

Dotson showed enough promise to earn a spot on the practice squad, then the active roster for the final nine games. In 2010, Dotson tore a knee ligament and spent the year on injured reserve. An injury to right tackle Jeremy Trueblood gave Dotson a chance to start.

Dotson, who turns 31 in October, said his late start in football probably preserved his body.

"Even though I'm not getting younger, I'm not feeling old," Dotson said. "I think I can move just as good as a 22-year-old, I can do whatever anybody else coming in here can do. I didn't play a lot of football growing up. So even though I get older in age, I don't think my body is to that point where I wake up in the morning and feel like I'm almost 31 years old. I feel like I'm 25 years old."

Comments
Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

The NFL will suspend Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston three games without pay to start the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The suspension could be increased if he fails to meet certain undisclosed requirements expect...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

TAMPA — The news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start this season likely means the Bucs will have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick stepping in at quarterback for the first three games of the regular season.Fitzpatrick took over as the starter for th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Trade him. Waive him. Cut him.Whatever.Just get rid of him.Jameis Winston should never play another game for the Tampa Bay Bucs.Plain and simple, he's a bad guy and the Bucs should have nothing more to do with him.He already will miss the first three...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Three-game suspension looms for Bucs QB Jameis Winston

Three-game suspension looms for Bucs QB Jameis Winston

TAMPA — The Bucs will open the upcoming season without the face of their franchise, as quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.Winston, 24, was accused of groping a ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rick Stroud weighs in on report about possible Jameis Winston suspension

Rick Stroud weighs in on report about possible Jameis Winston suspension

Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Rick Stroud isn't buying an ESPN radio report that any suspension levied against Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston by the NFL would stem from Winston's failure to report an alleged incident between him and a female Ub...
Published: 06/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When will we know about possible Jameis Winston suspension?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: When will we know about possible Jameis Winston suspension?

Rick Stroud talks about when we will know about a possible Jameis Winston suspension and why DeSean Jackson hasn't been more productive with the Bucs on today's podcast.Plus, who might the Rays trade next? Will the Lightning make any b...
Published: 06/21/18
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Published: 06/20/18
Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Just to preface this, the NFL Network's annual countdown of the league's top 100 players is a made-for-TV deal, good for summer offseason conversation but not carrying any huge amount of real significance.Having said that, it's worth noting that for ...
Published: 06/19/18
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Will Gholston is painfully honest about a 2017 season that wasn't anything close to what he wanted it to be. Ask him about last year, and there are no parentheses in his world to soften what he remembers here."I just played (crappy), completely. That...
Published: 06/18/18
Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

The Bucs had four extra coaches during organized team activities last month as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, including former Tampa Bay receiver Lawrence Dawsey.Dawsey, 50, played for the Bucs from 1991-95, finishing his time ...
Published: 06/18/18