The Buccaneers have agreed to multi-year contracts with both RG Davin Joseph and RT Jeremy Trueblood. Joseph is expected to hold down the team's right guard position for years to come while Trueblood will compete with James Lee for the starting RT job.
A day after re-signing free agent strongside linebacker Quincy Black to a five-year, $29-million contract, Tampa Bay re-signed two more of their own free agents, right guard Davin Joseph and right tackle Jeremy Trueblood, to multi-year contracts. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Joseph signed a seven-year deal while Trueblood was locked up for two years. Joseph's contract is believed to be worth $52.5 million and have $19 million in guaranteed money.
Joseph, 27, was a first-round pick of the Buccaneers in the 2006 NFL Draft. In his career with Tampa Bay, Joseph has played in 68 games with 67 starts at right guard.
Last year Joseph played in 11 games before breaking a foot and missing the final five games of the season.
In 2009, Joseph played in 16 games for the second time in his career. The other season that Joseph played in every game was in the 2007 season. Joseph suffered a broken leg in the 2008 preseason and missed the first four games of the year.
The 6-foot-3, 313-pound Joseph projects to be a better fit in the blocking scheme for new offensive line coach Pat Morris. The past two seasons Joseph played in a lot of zone schemes by former offensive line coach Pete Mangurian. The first three years of his career Joseph played for offensive line coach Bill Muir.
The 27-year old Trueblood was a second-round pick of the Buccaneers in the 2006 NFL Draft. In his career with Tampa Bay he has played in 77 games with 68 starts.
Trueblood started 67 straight games for Tampa Bay before a knee injury knocked him out of the starting lineup after the sixth game of the 2010 season. After missing two games, Trueblood served as a backup to James Lee in seven of the remaining eight games. Trueblood started for an injured Lee in the Bucs Week 16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Boston College product is excited to be back with the team that drafted him and eager to continue working to protect quarterback Josh Freeman.
“I’m real excited about it,” Trueblood said of his return to the Buccaneers. “I think Josh Freeman is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL if he's not already. When you have a good quarterback you have a good team. You put everyone else around him and I think we have real quality players almost everywhere – young, hungry guys. I’m real excited to re-sign. It was a priority to get back and work with these guys.”
Trueblood and Joseph have played side by side on the right side of the Buccaneers line since their rookie season in 2006. Trueblood, who dined with Joseph, Freeman and Bucs general manager Mark Dominik last night to discuss the free agents' future in Tampa Bay, has maintained all along his desire to continue to play with Joseph, who he befriended at the Senior Bowl in 2006.
“It is big to have Davin back,” Trueblood said. “I’m really excited about [continuing my career with him]. We have a real good chemistry together. It’s not hard to work with Davin. He's a really good guard. Any tackle would be his friend.”
The 6-foot-8, 320-pound Trueblood projects to be a better fit in the blocking scheme for new offensive line coach Pat Morris. The past two seasons Trueblood played in a lot of zone schemes by former offensive line coach Pete Mangurian. The first three years of his career, Trueblood played for offensive line coach Bill Muir.
The six-year pro will apparently not be handed the starting job, but instead will have to compete with Lee for the right to once again be the starter at right tackle.
“You'll probably have to ask the coaches that kind of stuff,” Trueblood said. “All I’ve been assured of is that I will be given a chance to compete and play some football for a good team. We’ll see what they say.”
~ Charlie Campbell and Andrew Scavelli contributed to this report
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