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RT Demar Dotson Misses OTA’s Over Contract Situation

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Right tackle Demar Dotson’s absence from the Bucs’ OTA practices this week is contract-related, and while the two sides have been engaged in negotiations on a new deal, his choice to not attend voluntary practices could escalate to a prolonged holdout if a deal isn’t reached, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Dotson, 29, who has started all but one game for the Bucs over the last three seasons, is playing under a three-year extension he signed in spring 2013 — originally a modest three-year, $4.5-million deal. Escalators relating to playing time added $1-million to his base salary in 2014 and 2015 — he is due to make $2.5-millon this year, with the possibility of improving a $1.75-million salary for 2016 to $2.75-million with similar playing time.

That still is below value for a starting NFL right tackle, and giving Dotson a new contract is certainly a possibility, but also sets a precedent for the Bucs and general manager Jason Licht in negotiating a bigger deal to a player with two years left on his contract. The team will also be hesitant to reward a player for using his absence from team activities as leverage for a new contract.

Licht did not have any comment on his absence, citing a team policy of not commenting on contract negotiations, and Dotson’s agent, Greg Hobbs, also declined to comment. Bucs coach Lovie Smith, asked about Dotson’s absence Thursday, only reiterated that workouts are voluntary this week and that he knew where Dotson was.


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