Joseph wants to return to the team, but it comes with a catch. He wants to see the Bucs committed to winning by bringing back some of his teammates.
“If [the Bucs] were to say they were committed to signing back guys that we played with last year, it would definitely [encourage] me to stay,” Joseph told Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times. “Guys like [Jeremy] Trueblood, guys like James Lee, guys on defense like Barrett Ruud. If you’re bringing guys like that back, then I know you’re about winning. It’s a step in the right direction instead of trying to reconstruct the whole roster. That’s not going to work to our benefit.”
The economics and timing of free agency makes this somewhat unrealistic. The team may have to choose between Joseph and Ruud. And since Joseph will be the most sought after player of the group, he figures to go first.
And as nice as it sounds to talk about re-signing other guys, free agency just comes down to who will spend the most. The Bucs are going to have spend big to keep Joseph and fill other roster holes after the lockout.