Tampa Bay lost out on its bid for New England free agent tackle Tom Ashworth Thursday when he signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
Bucs general manager Bruce Allen and Ashworth’s agent, Tom Mills, had spent the past two weeks exchanging contract proposals in hopes of reaching an agreement on a long-term deal that would have mad Ashworth Tampa Bay’s starting right tackle.
According to Mills, Ashworth’s decision to sign with Seattle instead of Tampa Bay wasn’t easy.
“We had good conversations with the Bucs,” Mills said. “Tom was impressed with everyone he met there on his visit. In the end, he just felt more comfortable with the situation in Seattle. It was a very difficult decision that was really a win/win, because he could have been happy in either place.”
Kenyatta Walker, who started all 16 regular season games at right tackle for Tampa Bay in 2005, is an unrestricted free agent. The Bucs still have interest in signing Walker, Brad Hopkins (Tennessee) and Mike Pearson (Jacksonville), all of whom are unrestricted free agents.
Ashworth wasn’t the only player of interest that Tampa Bay watched sign with another team on Thursday. Fullback Fred Beasley, who had visited One Buccaneer Place earlier in the week, signed with the Miami Dolphins.
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