The Bucs aren’t as wishy-washy.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, re-signing Joseph is the team’s top priority. An underachiever to this point in his career, the former 23rd pick in the draft is expected to be a better fit for new offensive line coach Pat Morris’ power-based system after struggling in old assistant Pete Mangurian’s zone-blocking scheme.
In late June, Joseph said he wanted to see the Bucs retain veteran free agents like linebacker Barrett Ruud and tackle Jeremy Trueblood before deciding whether to come back. Tampa may be hard pressed to keep Joseph if he follows through on that approach.
Ruud isn’t a good bet to return, and Trueblood seems 50-50. NFL teams will have a 72-hour window to re-sign their own free agents before the free-for-all begins. Joseph is the top free agent interior offensive lineman on the market. If he doesn’t see Tampa re-signing its supposed core veterans during those three days, it will be awfully tempting to sign elsewhere with his phone ringing off the hook.