As details begin to emerge from today's critical meeting of NFL owners near Chicago, we're getting a better picture of how the league and players plan to resolve some of their disputes.
Among the things that is most important to getting the league back to business: The free-agency guidelines that will govern what will be a very busy period once a collective bargaining agreement is signed.
This is of great importance to the Bucs, who have some key players with expired contracts. According to reports from ESPN and elsewhere, the proposed deal currently calls for every player with four or more seasons of credited service whose contract is expired to be an unrestricted free agent.
This comes despite some thought prior to the NFL lockout that players with fewer than six years of experience could potentially be deemed restricted free agents. Those who could have been restricted included coveted G Davin Joseph, LB Quincy Black and OT Jeremy Trueblood. LB Barrett Ruud and RB Cadillac Williams have completed six seasons of service and were almost certainly going to be unrestricted free agents regardless of the terms of the new CBA.
If the deal is consummated with these guidelines in place, it means that a number of Bucs are going to hit the market the minute the NFL resumes normal operations.
Under this scenario, here is the list of Bucs unrestricted free agents:
LB Quincy Black
DE Tim Crowder
TE John Gilmore
LB Adam Hayward
G Davin Joseph
LB Barrett Ruud
WR Micheal Spurlock
WR Maurice Stovall
OT Jeremy Trueblood
DE Stylez White
RB Cadillac Williams