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Alstott return feasible but far from assured
Agent says fullback "is giving serious consideration to playing in '07" for Bucs.
By STEPHEN F. HOLDER
Published February 10, 2007
TAMPA - For the second straight year, Bucs fullback Mike Alstott entered the offseason without a declaration about his future.
But the veteran off 11 seasons harbors some hope of playing in the fall, his agent said Friday. Jim Steiner said Alstott "is giving serious consideration to playing in '07."
It isn't a dramatic change of heart, and an Alstott return is a long way from reality. He has long been open to playing if the Bucs expressed an interest and a willingness to pay him more than a nominal salary.
Steiner said he has had no talks with the Bucs regarding Alstott's future. General manager Bruce Allen and coach Jon Gruden have been noncommittal. Neither was available for comment Friday.
Allen and Alstott were expected to speak Friday afternoon, however, in an effort to clarify the situation after Alstott's wife, Nicole, reportedly made an emphatic statement that Alstott had made up his mind about a return to the NFL. Alstott has not expressed his position nearly as strongly.
The Bucs gave Alstott a one-year contract that paid him $1.5-million for 2006. But that came after weeks of negotiation. Money would be a sticking point in any discussion of an Alstott return this year, too. Given his limited role last season - 171 yards in 60 attempts with three touchdowns, plus 21 receptions - the team may be less willing to commit that kind of money to a 33-year-old fullback in this critical rebuilding year. It is unlikely Alstott will play elsewhere because no other team is expected to offer him a salary he deems acceptable.