PewterReport.com has learned that the Buccaneers forced starting right tackle Jeremy Trueblood to take a $1 million pay cut prior to the start of training camp. Had Trueblood not taken the pay cut he would have been released.
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.”
Trueblood decided to take the $1 million pay cut in part because his 2012 base salary wasn’t guaranteed. In turn for taking the pay cut, Dominik went ahead and guaranteed Trueblood’s base salary.
“The bottom line is I wanted to be here,” Trueblood said. “That’s the bottom line. I wanted to stay here and be part of this team.”
Some Bucs fans and media pundits believed that Dominik overpaid for Trueblood last year, and that very well could have been the case for Dominik himself as to why he approached the Boston College product with taking a pay cut.
The Buccaneers have a policy of not discussing player contracts and Dominik was not available to comment on this story.
Given the fact that left tackle Donald Penn has missed the first week of training camp with a calf strain, Tampa Bay’s general manager has to be pretty happy Trueblood decided to take the pay cut. Otherwise the Bucs’ starting offensive tackles would be Demar Dotson and James Meredith right now without Penn and Trueblood, who has started 83 of the 92 games he has played in during his six years in the NFL.
Dominik and the Buccaneers dodged a bullet while saving the team $1 million. Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano is also happy Trueblood decided to remain a Buccaneer.
“I think when you’re an offensive tackle if it’s uneventful, it’s good,” Schiano said of Trueblood. “So if you’re not getting called out for a holding penalty and you’re not getting whooped on a pass rush, that’s a good thing. I think what he’s done has been steady. He’s working his tail off [with a] great attitude. So that’s what we need from him.”
The 29-year old Trueblood is in a contract year and needs a great season in order to earn an extension with the Buccaneers or land a deal with another team in 2013.UPDATED: Trueblood's contract also calls for a $250,000 incentive bonus
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