Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
That's the part that makes the decisions enticing. The Bucs can assure themselves that the loss of any of those three players will at least result in them receiving a draft pick in return, and in the case of Blount it could be a big one.
For those who don't know how this works: Legarrette Blount is a restricted free agent, which means the Buccaneers can put a tender on him. That tender would either be a first-round tender, a second-round tender or an original round tender. If the tendered player then signs a contract with another team, the Buccaneers would have the option of either matching that offer, or letting the player walk and receiving a first-round draft pick, a second-round draft pick or a draft pick equivalent to the original round the player was drafted in. In Blount's case, that would be no draft pick because he was an undrafted free agent in 2010.
Tendering Blount makes a bit of sense, even though he played just 9% of all offensive snaps last season. The Buccaneers don't have much depth behind Doug Martin, and Blount has at least shown he can be a productive main rusher. But after barely featuring him in 2012, using a first-round tender on Blount, which costs some $800,000 more than a second-round tender and $1.5 million more than an original-round tender, doesn't make much sense.
Here's the big question, though: why would the Bucs ever consider giving him a first-round tender instead of a second-round tender? Clearly they don't think he's all that good, or he would have been used more last year. And no one is going to give up their first-round draft pick for an inconsistent running back who won't do much for you on passing downs. So why would you consider a first-round tender instead of a second-round tender? Would you not find a quality back with that second-round pick you would get in compensation, on the minute chance that someone signs Blount?