Judgment Days For Davin JosephDecember 14th, 2013
Several cold hard facts put Davin Joseph’s Bucs future in jeopardy.
With 15 days, and three games, remaining in the 2013 regular season, Joseph is playing for his Tampa Bay career. It’s a tough reality of the NFL, and a big decision for rockstar general manager Mark Dominik.
Consider the following:
1) Joseph has had a subpar 2013 season.
2) Joseph’s non-guaranteed contract is set to pay him $6 million next season.
3) Joseph is 30 years old.
4) Joseph has a long history of injuries, missing significant time in 2008, 2010 and all of 2012. And the Bucs have never really suffered during his extended absences. Jeremy Zuttah filled in admirably for Joseph in 2008. Rookie Derek Hardman got the job done in 2010, as LeGarrette Blount exploded late in the season. And the Bucs racked up huge yardage and were the 9th ranked offense in the NFL without him last year.
5) If the Bucs are going to carry two huge-money guards, they may opt to gamble on Carl Nicks for 2014 (due $7 million non-guaranteed). Nicks has less mileage on him and is more talented.
6) The Bucs have plenty of other veterans and leadership types along their offensive line.
Joe’s not knocking Joseph, who is returning from ACL and patellar surgery in August 2012. But facts are facts, and the NFL is a business.
Joseph likely needs to flash quite a bit in the final three games to feel like his job and contract is secure next season.
Joe wouldn’t be shocked if the Bucs attempt to re-negotiate Joseph’s deal, regardless of how he closes the season.