- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. – Middle linebacker Mason Foster wants to stay with the Buccaneers, but it remains to be seen if that will happen.
Foster, a four-year veteran, can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
“I definitely want to stay in Tampa,’’ Foster said Wednesday. “Both my sons were born in Tampa. I’ve got a lot of ties down here, and I love Tampa. It would be great. It would be amazing to stay here. But football is a business so you know there’s a chance you won’t be here.’’
It’s good that Foster realizes that anything is possible because it’s unclear how the Bucs feel about his long-term future. Foster has battled injuries much of the season, and some critics say he’s not a great fit in the Tampa Two defense. The Bucs also seem high on Danny Lansanah, who has filled in for Foster at times.
“Those are my good friends,’’ Foster said. “They’re like big brothers to me and they had to go play for another team. It is what it is. I would love to stay in Tampa. Lavonte [David] is one of my best friends, Danny, I could just go down the list. They’re all family to me, even trainers, the strength coach, everybody. I definitely want to stay in Tampa but whatever happens happens. I’m thankful for my time here no matter what.’’
Foster said he’s comfortable in the Tampa Two.
“I love this scheme,’’ Foster said. “It definitely took us a while to get used to, to get familiar with. But, as the year went on, I think you saw the defense progress and guys get more familiar and guys understand their role in the defense. It was tough being hurt and then getting into it and getting hurt again and just dealing with little stuff all year. If I’m here or if I’m not here, they’re going to be successful.’’