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Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph wants to stay with team

Guard Davin Joseph, left, and center Jeff Faine run drills at the player-organized minicamp. Joseph could be a free agent when the lockout ends.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Guard Davin Joseph, left, and center Jeff Faine run drills at the player-organized minicamp. Joseph could be a free agent when the lockout ends.

BRADENTON — Whether G Davin Joseph wants to remain with the Bucs is not in dispute.

"I've been here for five years and love the coaches, love the direction and love the community," he said Tuesday at the team's player-organized minicamp.

What's much less clear, he said, is the team's intentions. How aggressively do the Bucs intend to pursue Joseph when the NFL returns to business after the lockout? And what will be their approach to retaining key teammates Joseph thinks can help them win big?

If, as expected, the collective bargaining agreement being negotiated includes unrestricted free agency rights for players with four years of experience or more, Joseph will be one of several key Bucs free to sign with any team when the lockout ends.

"There are so many different variables that go into coming back," Joseph said. "It's hard when it gets down to the money, and guaranteed money and how long your contract is. That's tough. … We all know it's a business, and that's why we're in a lockout now.

"If (the Bucs) were to say they were committed to signing back guys that we played with last year, it would definitely (encourage) me to stay, guys like (Jeremy) Trueblood, guys like James Lee, guys on defense like Barrett Ruud. If you're bringing guys like that back, then I know you're about winning."

Joseph, the Bucs' 2006 first-round draft pick, is considered one of the league's better guards. His power game is something the Bucs would miss. It's expected the Bucs will make Joseph a priority once league business reopens.

Talib shows: CB Aqib Talib didn't look or sound like a guy facing a criminal charge that could result in prison time.

On the minicamp's first day, Talib was in good spirits, with his usual wide smile, laughing boisterously and ribbing teammates, as he often does.

He also did not look like a guy who finished 2010 on injured reserve. He participated fully in workouts, and ran and cut with ease, showing no effects of the hip injury that ended his season last fall.

Talib, 25, didn't have much to say, beyond, "It's real good. It's good to see everybody's face. You know how that is." He said he has been working out in Dallas; he is known to have made a few appearances at smaller workouts at USF.

Talib, considered by many the Bucs' best defensive player, had six interceptions in 2010 and has 15 in three seasons.

Talib was indicted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for his role in a shooting March 21 in Garland, Texas. Conviction on the felony carries up to 20 years in prison. A hearing is scheduled in the case Thursday.

Injury updates: Several Bucs coming off season-ending injuries attended. They included Talib; Joseph (broken foot); S Cody Grimm, who appeared to be recovered from a broken leg; and DT Gerald McCoy, who was back at full speed after a torn biceps.

WR Arrelious Benn said he would be ready for training camp despite a torn ACL late last season. He worked individually Tuesday. RB Kareem Huggins (ACL) is nearing recovery, too. The pace of DT Brian Price's recovery is much slower given the extent of his fractured pelvis and the surgery required to repair it. He attended but said he only recently began running again.

Around the league

More meetings: Commissioner Roger Goodell and players association executive director DeMaurice Smith opened four days of labor talks in Minneapolis without players or owners in the room. By sundown, they were on a plane to Sarasota, where they planned to speak to rookies today at a union symposium before heading back to Minneapolis to continue negotiations. The parties' legal teams are expected to trade proposals on the framework of a settlement.

Terrell Owens update: The receiver is recovering from left knee surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed, and he plans to be ready to play when the season starts. The surgery was done in early April, Rosenhaus said in confirming an ESPN report. He wouldn't say how Owens, 37, was hurt.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph wants to stay with team 06/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:45pm]
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