Last offseason, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik caught some flack for re-signing right tackle Jeremy Trueblood to a two-year deal. After all, Trueblood has struggled during his time with the Bucs and his play was underwhelming in 2010.
But it was said that Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph refused to re-sign with the Bucs unless Trueblood got a new deal of his own. Rather than risk losing one of the top guards in football, Dominik inked Trueblood in order to keep Joseph.
Well, it seems as though the Bucs had seen enough of Trueblood because PewterReport.com's Scott Reynolds reports they gave him an ultimatum regarding his future with the team just last week.
On the eve of training camp, starting right tackle Jeremy Trueblood got a call from the Buccaneers requesting that he take a $1 million pay cut or that he would be released. Trueblood is in the final year of a two-year deal that he signed last August that was worth $10 million, including a $5 million base salary in 2012.
The Bucs’ second-round pick in 2006 was actually slated to make $6 million this year because he earned an extra $1 million due to a contract escalator that kicked in due to his 2011 performance. But general manager Mark Dominik went to Trueblood and essentially forced him to take a pay cut to a $4 million base salary – but still retain the $1 million escalator – or that he would part ways with the veteran right tackle.
"It is what it is," Trueblood said, acknowledging the pay cut. "It’s football – just part of the business of things. I’ve seen worse when you get a call the day before camp."
Reynolds reports that in return for taking the pay cut, Trueblood had his entire 2012 salary guaranteed.
Smart move by Trueblood. By taking the pay cut he guarantees himself a good chunk of change and a spot on the roster.
However, now that he is in a contract year, Trueblood really needs to improve his game if he wants to play next to his buddy Joseph for years to come. The Bucs will have no problem letting Trueblood walk in free agency next offseason if he struggles this year.
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