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March 17, 2014 @ 9:05 am
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Agent Says Says Zuttah is Preparing To Be A Buccaneer

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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A report this weekend stated veteran Bucs offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah could be on the trade block after the signing of Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith. But Zuttah's agent told PewterReport.com that all of the conversations with Tampa Bay have been positive and Zuttah is preparing to be a Buccaneer in the fall.
When Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith was signed as a free agent by the Buccaneers last Friday, the question of Jeremy Zuttah’s future, along with his $4 million salary came into question. Two starters from last season’s starting five, Davin Joseph and tackle Donald Penn, have already been released, and  some have wondered if Zuttah could be next.

And while a release is not out of the question, Zuttah, unlike Joseph and Penn, may have some trade value. CBSSports.com Insider Jason La Canfora wrote via Twitter on Sunday, Zuttah could be moved as Tampa Bay is willing to listen to offers for the former Rutgers center.

“After signing OL Evan Dietrich-Smith from Packers, Bucs open to listening to offers on OL Jeremy Zuttah. If value not there will keep him. … Bucs, as I’ve noted, prioritized reshaping their OL this offseason and parting w/vets near the end of their deals factors into that. … But ultimately Bucs can still carry Zuttah’s salary if need be and prize his versatility. BAL, IND, NYG among teams w/need at interior OL.”

After the signing of Dietrich-Smith on Friday, PewterReport.com spoke to Zuttah’s agent Noel Lamontagne, who said all is quiet on any movement of his client.

“All of our conversations with the Buccaneers have been very positive, and all of Jeremy’s conversations with the staff have been positive,” Lamontagne said. “They are a great and professional staff, and are executing their plans for this team. Jeremy is taking care of his business preparing to be a Buccaneer. We both have a lot for respect for Lovie [Smith] and Jason [Licht] and what they are putting together.”

Head coach Lovie Smith, while at the Combine in Indianapolis back in February, stated the offensive line failed to live up to the expectations of their salary in 2013.

We didn’t play as well as we need to on our offensive line,” Smith said. “We have a lot of money in our offensive line and we should have better production from it. Right now we didn’t play as well as we need to in order to compete on the offensive side of the football, and again that evaluation process in going on.”

Working in Zuttah’s favor is his versatility. With experience at guard and center, Zuttah is a valuable swing player, but may be asked to reduce his salary if the team determines he will not be a starter. With guard Carl Nicks’ future still in doubt as he recovers from toe surgery and MRSA, Tampa Bay could opt to keep Zuttah as Plan B at guard in case Nicks is unable to resume his career.

Backup guard Ted Larsen, who also played some center, signed as a free agent with Arizona last week, weakening the Bucs already thin depth on the interior of the offensive line.



Last modified on Monday, 17 March 2014 09:28
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  • avatar


    Zutah needs to remain a Buc. He is good blocking in space and is a good pulling guard on either side, and is the smartest lineman and can fill in at center if needed and play all line positions well. Unless we are not using a FB, letting Lorig go was not smart. Perhaps the FSU Full Back can pick up the position and be our short yardage runner too, or just line up our 280 lb blocking TE as our FB and let him lead block for the FSU FB on short yardage!
  • avatar

    Just herd that Lorig went to the Saints with a 4 yr contract. Not sure of the numbers, but I assume they overpaid for him. Not sure how much Tedford even uses the FB anyway. We will see if they get him replaced or not. Hope we get some Oline and WR help before the draft. I know it is a deep draft, and fairly deep at those positions, but I would rather have some added depth before we get to May.
  • avatar


    They will keep Zuttah until they get something better in the draft and have a handle on Nicks health. They won't keep him on the roster at this salary, by opening day he will likely be restructured, or gone.
  • avatar


    Have heard Mike Jenkins is in Tampa for a visit. Would like to see him signed if true as he would upgrade the secondary and could excel in Lovie's scheme as a ball CB with good ball skills and the willingness to tackle. Nice value signing if it happens.
  • avatar


    This is ALL so refreshing after the past 2 Con-artists that we have had to endure. Ra-Ra & Rut-Ro Rutgers both used to say things like: We lost 5 games by less than a TD so we could just as easily be 9-7. Horse Hockey. Lovie KEEPS saying, we are a 4-12 team. That is what we are. Those that played for the Bucs last year are going to be held accountable for THEIR record. Zuttah is just the most recent example. 4-12 as a starter. Not good enough. 4.5 million?? Not worth it. There are better uses (ie more value) for that $$ somewhere else. I still fear our Offense because it is an unknown variable. But, I continue to see moves that I like OR at least can respect. I also love getting the direct, short answers that Lovie gives. Now, his lack of a poker-face could be costing us some trade value, but as a fan I can live with that. I also appreciate the way he treats the player. (Joseph cut before FA begins for example.) I have been concerned about the way Tampa treats its players since Gruden started coaching. (Sapp, Rice, Lynch, Brooks) That too, seems to be a thing of the past.
  • avatar


    surferdudes...I saw that yesterday but have not seen anything since.
  • avatar


    Have the Bucs signed Tommy Streeter former Cane?
  • avatar


    surferdudes. Tommy "TD" Streeter has been signed since January. See the link below....http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-smith/Bucs-Sign-12-to-ReserveFutures-Contracts/ebc016eb-39dd-484b-bda8-14347c987a9a
  • avatar


    They obviously view him as a back up, not a starter. If there's a chance to trade him, he's gone. If not his value a long the line is worth keeping so they will.
  • avatar


    I hope that a way can be worked out to keep Zuttah. He has also filled in before at LT and RT for a few series. I doubt he will be a regular starter, but a good back up that will be in most games and probably start in a few of them. I would think 3.25 million would be appropriate.
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