Quincy Black last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 11th, and it appears that could be the last time he plays for the organization. In that game against San Diego, a helmet-to-helmet hit with Chargers running back Ryan Mathews ended his season, and the injury could be career-ending.
In a report by NFL.com, general manager Mark Dominik wanted to be upbeat about Black's future, but couldn't offer predictions about his future with the organization.
"You generally like to walk out of any surgery and say that it was a successful surgery, but the reality is, that because of the nerve damage and the nerve grafting and everything, you won't know if it's successful or not for several months,"
This puts the 28-year-old outside linebacker in a precarious position. There are business decisions that could lead to Black's release while they wait to see if his rehabilitation is successful. Should the Buccaneers elect to cut him, they would save $5.5 million in salary in 2013. Tampa Bay is far from having salary cap concerns, but that could be inconsequential.
Like most teams, head coach Greg Schiano was asked today at the combine about Manti Te'o, one of the nation's top linebackers for a 4-3 scheme. While he better projects as a middle linebacker, he remains a possibility for the organization should they decide to part ways with Black.
During his six seasons in Tampa Bay, Quincy Black totaled 283 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He started nine games across from rookie Lavonte David, who finished his season with 139 tackles. With their future at one OLB spot assured, time will tell whether the Buccaneers will look to solidify their other starting position, or whether they'll wait to see if Black can recover.
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