Money Time For Dekoda WatsonDecember 22nd, 2013
Lost in the painful home loss to the 49ers last week was Dekoda Watson posting career numbers. Watson led the Bucs with 12 tackles while starting at strongside linebacker.
Watson had never approached anything close to that number. He had 10 tackles all of last season.
An accomplished special teams player, one the organization has called “elite,” Watson has shown pass-rush ability, as well as durability. At 25 years old, he should be in demand when the unrestricted free agency bell rings in March.
Joe approached Watson about his individual performance against San Francisco and, as usual, Watson wouldn’t talk about anything from a personal standpoint if it shines a pretty light on himself. Watson is all about team. By contrast, ask Watson about a blown punt block, and he’ll share how he screwed up. But ask him about his success, and he just wants to talk about the team.
The Bucs might have trouble re-signing Watson. He was practically gifted the starting strongside linebacker job in training camp but lost it midseason to Johnthan Casillas. Watson might lean toward a team and a coaching staff that views him as a starter — and pays him as such.
Joe knows Watson won’t command anywhere near Quincy Black money (heck, Quincy Black didn’t even deserve Quincy Black money), but he might be able to score, say, a three-year, $6 million contract with some guaranteed cash. A good final two games this season could cement that market for his services.
Watson was a seventh-round draft pick in 2009, but elite athletes like him aren’t usually found there. Neither are players with Watson’s diverse skill set. Watson’s no star, but he’s not easily replaced. Joe would re-sign Watson. He represents the kind of depth found on great teams.