Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bucs general manager Mark Dominik intends to have numerous conversations with representatives for the team's free agents during the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis. There's even a meeting already arranged with the agents for linebacker Barrett Ruud.
But Dominik has already been having regular conversations with the agent for linebacker Quincy Black, who made it clear in an interview this morning that his client wants nothing more than to stay in Tampa Bay despite having an opportunity to enter free agency for the first time.
"If something could be worked out, he would be one of the few guys who would have no regrets in thinking the grass is greener on the other side," agent Harold Lewis said of his client. "Quincy would love to stay a Buccaneer."
Black might be willing to give something of a hometown discount, Lewis said, but he also acknowledged that Black could be in position to cash in. Lewis believes Black would be one of the more attractive outside linebackers on the free agent market and could be paid handsomely. Given his varied skills and the different ways in which coach Raheem Morris uses him, it's likely Black would be appealing to other clubs.
"I think he could be one of the higher-paid linebackers in free agency," Lewis said. "He has such a unique combination of skills.
"(The Bucs) know what they have in Quincy. If they lose Quincy and go out and get somebody else in free agency who they don't know to replace him, they don't know what they're getting."
Despite landing on injured reserve with a broken arm after 11 games, Black finished fifth on the team with 61 total tackles, adding two sacks and an interception. He compiled those numbers even though he often leaves the field in passing situations, when the Bucs employ an extra defensive back.
Lewis didn't indicate a deal was close, but he would not rule out the possibility of striking a deal before the end of the league year next week. It likely will come down to how much money the Bucs actually offer and whether Black deems the figure acceptable.
But when it comes to a desire to play for the Bucs, it appears Black has no issues there.