Welcome Back, Stylez, Stovall, Joseph?April 27th, 2011
As the courts, the NFL and its players sort out the legal mess of the lockout being lifted (for now), the chance of the 2011 season being played under the labor rules of the 2010 season seems to have increased quite a bit.
And there’s a decent chance those rules could take effect by the end of the week.
For those who forgot, it was widely reported the Bucs slapped restricted free agent tenders on a pile of players in February, including Stylez White, Jeremy Trueblood, Quincy Black, Davin Joseph, Tim Crowder and Maurice Stovall. It was sort of a just-in-case move if the NFL was going to continue to only recognize players with six years of service as unsrestricted free agents. Two months ago that seemed unlikely, as both sides were negotiating and there wasn’t much chatter about the lockout eventually being lifted by the courts.
So if the 2010 rules are put into place to govern the NFL while the owners and players continue to work on a new labor agreement and slug out their lawsuits in court, it’s likely those restricted free agents would have guaranteed contracts with the Bucs for 2011, unless other teams matched the Bucs’ price and gave up compensation to sign the player.
Right now, Joe can’t stomach writing about a return of Stovall. After his brutal let up/missed tackle against Atlanta that set up a kickoff return for a touchdown, Joe’s still in agony over that season-changing play.
Crowder and Stylez’s return with a guaranteed deal would be a bit more interesting, especially given the Bucs’ likely picking a defensive end or two in the draft. With a rookie DE or two, Crowder, Stylez, Michael Bennett and Alex Magee, it sure seems like Kyle Moore is a longshot for the 2011 roster.
As Joe has written before, Joe knows fans like to point to Stylez’s sack totals and then point him to the nearest Greyhound bus out of town, but Joe can’t go there. A veteran who has proven to be extremely durable (one missed game in four years) and extremely effective as a role player, Stylez has value.
Joe prefers Stylez’s 24 sacks in four years over Kyle Moore’s zero sacks in two years.