9:18am: Dotson will end his holdout and report to the Bucs’ mandatory minicamp next week, according to Mark Cook of PewterReport.com. As I noted below, that should help restart contract talks between the two sides, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if a deal was agreed upon before training camp.
8:46am: A week ago, we learned that Buccaneers tackle Demar Dotson was seeking a new contract, and wasn’t in attendance at the team’s OTAs as he angled for that new deal. According to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, Dotson’s absence from the Bucs’ voluntary program has created an impasse in negotiations.
Sources tell Cummings that the Buccaneers previously entered contract talks with Dotson’s camp, aiming to secure their longest-tenured player to an extension. Per Cummings’ sources, negotiations were nearly complete, but they stalled due to a team policy that prohibits the negotiation of contracts with players who are absent from workouts, whether those workouts are voluntary or mandatory.
Based on Cummings’ report, it sounds like the impasse between Dotson and the Bucs may be temporary. The club is holding its mandatory minicamp next week, and if the veteran right tackle reports at that time, it sounds like talks could resume, and an agreement could potentially come together quickly. For now though, as long as Dotson is away from the team, those discussions are at a standstill.
While the Buccaneers have struggled to find a reliable left tackle in recent years, they have received steady production on the right side from Dotson, who has started all but one game for the team since the start of the 2012 season. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Dotson has recorded a positive grade in each of the last three seasons, and ranked 28th out of 84 qualified tackles in 2014. He’s set to earn a base salary of just $2.5MM in 2015.