A year ago this time, Demar Dotson had just suffered an MCL tear in Week 1 of the preseason, putting his future in Tampa in question. On Monday, though, that question was answered and the Bucs longest-tenured player will add to his years in Tampa.
Tampa Bay announced it re-signed Dotson to a three-year contract, (term details still to come). He was set to earn $1.75 million this season in a contract-year.
Dotson returned from his injury in Week 12 last season and slowly inserted himself back into the starting lineup, taking over for Gosder Cherilus, his capable replacement, at right tackle for the final three games. Before 2015, Dotson had built a reputation for his competitiveness and stamina.
An undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss in 2009, the 6-foot-9 tackle kept battling to stay on the team and eventually won the starting job over Jeremy Trueblood three years into his career. He played in all 48 games from 2012-2015, starting 47.
Update: 1:35 p.m. Dotson spoke later in the afternoon and said the new contract gives him even more motivation to perform at a high level.
“If a team wants to invest in you and show you something – I call it love – then its my job to go out there and give it back to them,” Dotson said. “With them investing in me like that, then I know one thing – they are going to get my best.”
Dotson called last year’s injury “disheartening,” especially considering he was in the market for a contract extension then, in 2015. But he stayed focused, continued to rehab his knee and came back strong for Tampa Bay – and they rewarded him. Now his job is to hold down the right side of the line and help the young unit take the next step in 2016.
“For me, (my goal) is to go out there and be the best right tackle I can be,” Dotson said. “I believe I can be the best right tackle in this game and I think, collectively, as a unit, we have to buy into what (O-Line coach) George (Warhop) is teaching us and go out there and put it on the field. Coach Warhop has great experience and is a great teacher of this game. I think if we buy in and do what he’s telling us to do as a collective unit we can do better.
“You see what those guys did last year,” he continued on rest of the O-Line. “Those guys went out here and fought and I’m sitting on the sideline like, ‘Man, I wish i was out there with them.’ Gosder Cherilus did a great job; he is a great pro and a great guy. I can’t say enough about him as a pro because he reminds me of those old guys like Davin Joseph, Jeff Faine and things like that so he comes from that old school.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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