The Buccaneers used a first-round pick to bring running back Doug Martin to Tampa last season and they might want one in return for allowing the guy who Martin replaced in the starting lineup to leave as a restricted free agent.
Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune reports that the Bucs are considering placing the first-round tender on running back LeGarrette Blount. Doing so would pay Blount $2.879 million for the 2013 season if he didn’t sign a multiyear deal with the team as well as force any team that wanted to sign Blount away from the Bucs to fork over a pick in the first round.
The rationale for such a tender would be that General Manager Mark Dominik doesn’t want the team to find itself in a place where they’re short of healthy bodies in the backfield. That’s a genuine concern, but it might not be one worth spending $2.879 million to put the team’s mind at ease. Given current trends in regard to running backs, it’s hard to imagine any team giving up even a second-round pick for Blount and that tender would cost the Bucs $800,000 less than the first-round option.
Blount ran the ball 41 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns last season, numbers that wouldn’t seem be hard to replicate at a lower price. Blount might provide a greater sense of security than other options behind Martin, but it’s a pretty sizable price to pay for that piece of mind even with Martin locked in for less than $700,000 in 2013.