Buccaneers safety Kalvin Pearson, who is a restricted free agent, has rejected the team's one-year contract offer worth $927,000.
"We rejected the tender and we're going to move onto free agency on Friday and we'll see how everything plays out," said Pearson's agent, Michael Hawthorne.
Should another team offer Pearson more than a $927,000 base salary in free agency, which begins on Feb. 29, Tampa Bay will either match that offer, which would prevent him from leaving, or allow Pearson to depart without receiving any compensation in the form of draft picks.
Pearson, 29, originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent and has since established himself as a solid special teams contributor, notching 61 tackles, including a team-leading 21 special teams takedowns in 2007.
Hawthorne suggested negotiations between he and the Bucs have been good up to this point, and he didn't rule out the possibility of Pearson re-signing with Tampa Bay.
Where Pearson winds up ultimately will be dictated by what types of offers he receives in free agency.
While he's played in 51 career games, Pearson has started just two games on defense. Last season, Pearson recorded 19 tackles in that particular area.
"I think the Bucs see Kalvin as a certain type of player for the organization," said Hawthorne. "I differ in my opinion of Kalvin and what he brings to the table."
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Pearson is looking for a long-term contract from the Buccaneers, who do not appear to be willing to invest more in Pearson at this point.
Tampa Bay has starting safeties Tanard Jackson and Jermaine Phillips and backups Sabby Piscitelli and Will Allen under contract for the 2008 season.
Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.