Bucs will want to re-sign Cadillac Williams

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got more strong performances from young players than any other team in the NFL this past season en route to winning 10 games.

It’s that youthful production that has optimism brewing in the offseason. One of the players who looks to have a bright future is running back LeGarrette Blount, who offensive coordinator Greg Olson brought along at just the right pace after the Bucs picked him up when he was released by the Tennessee Titans. Blount is a big, physical runner who looks like he’ll be able to carry the load.

But most successful running teams do it with two backs these days, and the question remains what will become of former first-round draft pick Cadillac Williams. Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times reports there is “no question” the Bucs would like to have Williams back in 2011.

The question becomes: At what price? Tampa stuck with Williams through knee injuries that wiped out the 2007 and 2008 seasons for him. Williams became a change-of-pace back with Blount during the second half of the season, and he also was dependable on third down. He had a career-high 46 receptions and was the team’s best blocker in the backfield. Those are skills that teams pay a premium for, just look at what the Chicago Bears did with Chester Taylor last March, signing the former Minnesota Viking to a $12.5 million, four-year contract.

What money and offers await Williams remains to be seen. Certainly the Bucs could have real competition for his services. He’s been a model professional for them. Stay tuned.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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