Good-Bye Kregg Lumpkin?March 10th, 2012
Joe’s been waiting to see whether word of a restricted free agent tender offer to Kregg Lumpkin might trickle out this week.
And while BSPN reported the Bucs gave a tender offer to reserve tackle Demar Dotson and locked up LeGarrette Blount and Preston Parker to one-year, exclusive rights deals for 2012, there hasn’t been a peep about Lumpkin. With Micheal Bennett getting a fat tender offer, Lumpkin would be the Bucs’ only restricted free agent to be passed up.
Joe suspects Team Schiano took a look and Lumpkin’s 2011 film — he only had two carries entering last season — and figured they could do better, or should at least try. Rockstar general manager had high hopes for Lumpkin last season, but Lumpkin didn’t seem to be very good at much other than holding on to the football and staying healthy.
If Lumpkin’s out of the mix, then that leaves the Bucs with only two running backs on the roster: LeGarrette Blount and Moisses Madu. Free agent Earnest Graham still has months go in his recovery from a blown Achilles.
Obviously, the Bucs need to head into offseason training with at least a backup to Blount and a legitimate third down back. Joe’s not seeing how the Bucs don’t grab one rather quickly in free agency. It would be far too risky to hit the NFL Draft banking on drafting a running back without reaching for one.
There are plenty of names in the free agent market. Might the Bucs go old school and bring back Cadillac Williams or snatch LaDanian Tomlinson, who accepted the third-down back role with the Jets and was very effective as a receiver last year?
Might the Bucs shell out the for San Diego’s Mike Tolbert, who can pound it in short yardage and catch the ball? Benjarvus Green-Ellis has the versatility?
Joe can’t imagine the Bucs not having a new running back not named Lumpkin by this time next week.