The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have plenty of work to do in the offseason. As evidenced by their 10-game losing streak that closed out the 2011 season, the team has many areas that they need to address for the fall and many positions that need to be shored up or improved upon. One player that the Bucs would definitely like to see brought back for 2012 is guard Jeremy Zuttah. Tampa Bay would like to retain his services and Zuttah would like to stay in town, but he is set to become a free agent on March 13.
According to the Stephen Holder on the Bucs Beat blog at the Tampa Bay Times, the two sides have not begun significant movement toward a new contract just yet.
Yes, the sides have a common goal, which is to enable Zuttah to stay in Tampa Bay. But here's an important distinction that needs to be made here: Zuttah's agent, Noel LaMontagne, and general manager Mark Dominik, haven't had any substantive contract talks yet.
LaMontagne was optimistic earlier today when asked about the situation, but everyone knows that no deal can get done before the details of a contract are dealt with. In other words, the subject of money -- the most important in a contract negotiation -- hasn't yet been broached.
That's not to say those conversations aren't going to happen, and it's certainly not a suggestion that Zuttah won't be in a Buccaneers uniform in 2012. But don't go looking for news of a deal just yet.
There is still plenty of time for the two sides to hammer out a deal before free agency begins. Tampa Bay looks to have plenty of cap room to offer Zuttah a respectable deal.
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