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Bucs RT Dotson skips OTAs over contract dispute


The Sports Xchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson has been absent from organized team activities this week because he wants new contract.

Dotson, 29, chose to not attend the voluntary OTAs until he and the team can agree on a new contract, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. Both sides have been engaged in negotiations but have yet to settle on a deal.

The 6-foot-9, 315-pound Dotson has started 47 of the last 48 games for the Bucs over the last three seasons.

Dotson is playing under a three-year, $4.5-million extension he signed in 2013. He is signed through 2016 and due to make $2.5 million this year and $1.75 million next year, though that number could rise by $1 million if he achieves escalators in his contract.

With the Bucs using 2015 NFL Draft picks on left tackle Donovan Smith and right guard Ali Marpet, Dotson will move back to right tackle after getting a look at left tackle in the final three games of 2014.

Dotson said he spent the offseason preparing to play left tackle — until the Bucs drafted Smith.

“When I left, there were indications that I was going to come back and start off on the left, so I did train myself, prepare myself to come back and play left,” Dotson told the newspaper last month. “Shortly after we got back (April 20), they said it depends on who we draft. Then after we drafted the kid from, I’m not sure where he’s from, but the kid, Donovan kid, they said they were going to put me back to right and perhaps put that kid on the left.”

The 6-6, 338-pound Smith was picked 34th overall out of Penn State, where he started 31 of 32 career games. Smith is expected to start at left tackle as the Bucs prepare to upgrade their offensive line in front of likely starting quarterback Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

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