Does Pewter Report think RG Davin Joseph will be back in Tampa Bay? Why could he leave? Will Joseph have a lot of interest in free agency? Find out the answers and the prediction of Joseph’s future with the Bucs.
PewterReport.com continues this series of articles that predicts whether a Bucs veteran free agent will be back with the team in 2011.GUARD DAVIN JOSEPH
Joseph, who turns 28 in November, is entering free agency after playing his fifth NFL season. The 6-foot-3, 313-pound Joseph was a first-round pick of the Buccaneers in the 2006 NFL Draft. 2010 SEASON:
Joseph played in 11 games last season. He broke his foot in the Bucs' Week 12 game at Baltimore. Tampa Bay placed Joseph on injured reserve, but the veteran guard expressed some skepticism about that decision and indicated that he believed he could have finished the season after missing just a few games. CAREER UP TO THIS POINT
Joseph has been a quality guard for the Buccaneers since he broke into the starting lineup in 2006. His best seasons came in 2007 and 2008 under former offensive line coach Bill Muir and head coach Jon Gruden. Joseph was a better fit for the offense that he was drafted for, which was primarily a man-blocking, power scheme. After the 2008 season in which he played in 12 games, Joseph made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
In 2009 and 2010 under offensive line coach Pete Mangurian, Joseph was misfit as a zone blocker. He is at his best in power-man scheme where he is free to manhandle defensive linemen. Joseph is a powerful drive blocker and Tampa Bay has had more success running behind Joseph and the right side of the offensive line.
At times Joseph has struggled in pass protection, especially against undersized speed rushers like Seattle's Rocky Bernard and Atlanta's Jonathan Babineaux. Another negative thus far in Joseph’s career has been injuries. In 2008, he suffered a broken leg that caused him to miss the first four games of the season. The leg, in addition to his broken foot injury from last year, could hurt his market value in free agency. Joseph played and started 16 games in the 2007 and 2009 seasons.
WHY HE COULD RE-SIGN
The Buccaneers feel that Joseph is the most critical player for the team to re-sign. The depth behind Joseph is veteran Jeremy Zuttah and second-year players Derek Hardman and Brandon Carter. Zuttah was a massive disappointment as a starter at left guard in 2009, and played better in 2010 at guard and center after injuries knocked out the Bucs' starters.
Tampa Bay’s staff feels that it is essential that Joseph is re-signed because they think there is a big drop off from Joseph to the backups. The Bucs believe that Joseph is a critical piece of the running game, and that he has his best football ahead of him.
Joseph is a much better fit for new offensive line coach Pat Morris and his power-man blocking scheme. Morris had a lot of success with the Minnesota Vikings and bigger powerful blockers like Joseph. WHY HE COULD DEPART
Joseph could see a lot of interest in the free agent marketplace. After Logan Mankins, who was given the franchise tag by New England, Joseph figures to be the next best guard available. Guards have been getting increasingly bigger contracts over the past five years, so perhaps Joseph will command a contract that the Buccaneers aren’t willing to pay.
If the Bucs can't re-sign Joseph or are unwilling to meet his contract demands, Arizona's Deuce Lutui remains a candidate in free agency. The 6-foot-4, 338-pound Lutui is a massive run-blocking guard built like Joseph, who would be a great fit in Tampa Bay's return to a power-man blocking scheme under Morris. PREDICTION
Pewter Report’s prediction is that Joseph will be re-signed by Tampa Bay. Of all the Bucs’ free agents, Joseph may be the most likely to get a lucrative multi-year contract and that is what it will probably take to get a deal done.PREVIOUS PR PREDICTS
DE Stylez White
DE Tim Crowder
WR Maurice StovallLB Barrett RuudTE John Gilmore
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.