Bucs News And Notes

March 26 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have asked fullback Mike Alstott to restructure his contract, and on Tuesday one of his representatives was in town to rework his deal. ALSO: The Minnesota Vikings beat out the Buccaneers for the services of one of college football's all-time great punt returners, David Allen.

A-TRAIN RESTRUCTURING CONTRACT: According to Bucs sources, Jim Steiner, one of the agents for Mike Alstott, was in town on Tuesday to talk to the team about restructuring the contract for Tampa Bay's Pro Bowl fullback. The Bucs want to reduce his salary to free up cap room to pursue free agent wide receiver Johnnie Morton among others.

Alstott has two years left on his current contract, and carries a $4.66 million cap charge for the 2002 season, which includes a base salary of $2 million and a roster bonus of $2 million payable on April 15. Alstott's salary cap value for the 2003 season shoots up to $8.86 million and features another $2 million roster bonus to go along with a $6.2 million base salary.

There has been some talk that the team is shopping Alstott to other teams and hopes that a reduced salary could make him more tradeable. But our sources tell Buccaneer Magazine that they would only trade Alstott if they were to receive an offer that really "wows" the front office. Management wants to see how he fits into Jon Gruden's offense during the team's first mini-camp, which is scheduled for April 5-7, before deciding on his future with the team.

Alstott showed up for his first scheduled weight lifting session at One Buc Place. Tampa Bay's offseason conditioning program began on Monday.

Quarterbacks Brad Johnson, Rob Johnson and Shaun King are attending a quarterback class this week headed by Gruden. Gruden will work closely with the quarterbacks and personally install the offense.

BUCS LOSE OUT ON ALLEN: Former Kansas State punt returner David Allen opted to sign with the Minnesota Vikings instead of the Buccaneers on Tuesday. The Vikings had offered Allen a richer signing bonus and more incentives while the Bucs countered with the fact that there is no income tax in the state of Florida and the likelihood that he could cash in on some playoff bonus money by playing in Tampa Bay instead of Minnesota.

The fact that the Vikings had released return man Troy Walters seemed to increase the chances that Allen could make Minnesota's final 53-man roster. The Bucs have several candidates with kickoff and punt return experience on their roster already, including Frank Murphy, Aaron Stecker, Keith Poole and Byron Hanspard.

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