Category Archives: Tampa Bay Bucs

Bucs, Pats beat trade deadline with deal

At a few minutes after 4 this afternoon, it appeared all was quiet at the NFL trade deadline.

Then the Tampa Bay Bucs announced they had traded suspended and oft-troubled cornerback Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots.

The league moved the deadline back 48 hours this week because Hurricane Sandy closed the league office early in the week and made things complicated for the day to day operations of several teams.

Unless something else changes or is announced, speculation involving Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams and a handful of teams, including the Bengals, was apparently just speculation.

There was one other deal this week. Jacksonville sent backup wide receiver to Mike Thomas to Detroit, which made a small ripple only because the Jags and Lions play each other this weekend.

Vikings open bidding, add drama to draft

The 2012 NFL Draft more or less starts with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings have officially started trying to sell their pick.

On Thursday, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman announced that his team has narrowed its pool of potential picks at No. 3 overall to Southern California left tackle Matt Kalil, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

Spielman’s not doing that as a favor to his fans, those players or as any kind of contract negotiating ploy. He’s telling the other 31 teams in this draft — six or eight them, in particular — that the Vikings are open to discussion about trading that pick.

This is especially relevant to the Browns, who sit right behind the Vikings at No. 4. We heard from Browns GM Tom Heckert on Thursday that his team knows who it’s going to pick if it stays at No. 4.

The Browns’ window for high-level negotiation in the top third of the draft probably passed six weeks ago when they were outbid by the Redskins in trying to trade up to No. 2 and having the chance to draft Robert Griffin III. That was a closed auction, with the Rams vowing not to drive up bids of competing teams.

What the Vikings are trying to do is conduct an open auction, bringing back as much as possible for that third pick. Such is business in the NFL and atop the draft.

When Heckert talked Thursday, he shared details and philosophies. He said the Browns will always be open to discussion and to adding picks if they can still get a player they covet. He didn’t give away any trade secrets, but he shared solid information.

In general, we should probably hear more of Heckert talking personnel and less of the team president talking about not asking him playoff tickets, but that’s for another day.

For more — and more direct praise of Heckert — check Pat McManamon’s article from Friday afternoon.

The first two picks of this draft are all but set in stone. That the Browns, picking fourth, would have their choice narrowed to two players going into it isn’t as much a victory for fortune tellers as it is for simple mathematics. The only way the Browns don’t get their Plan A Player is if he goes at No. 3 overall.

The Vikings are dangling that No. 3 pick. They want the Browns to call about it. They want the Bucs and the Dolphins to call about it, too.

If we’re sure the Browns’ Plan A Player is Trent Richardson, some nervous moments are ahead.

(For what it’s worth: I’m rarely right, but I’m pretty sure Richardson is the Browns’ Plan A Player).

The Bucs, at No. 5, could covet Richardson as well and have enough veterans in place to be able to afford to give up draft assets to get up to No. 3. The wildcard in the entire draft remains Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. We think we know the Bucs don’t want Blackmon, and it would be a huge surprise if the Vikings really wanted Blackmon over a tackle or cornerback, but the Vikings have to play up whatever element of surprise, uncertainty and anxiousness are out there.

The draft is next Thursday. For its first uncertain pick, the bidding is open.

Butch Davis making a money move vis a vis Bucs, Tar Heels?

Former Browns coach Butch Davis has been rumored headed to the Tampa Bay Bucs as a defensive assistant coach for quite some time now.

Davis and Bucs coach Greg Schiano worked together at the University of Miami.

Now the two share the bond of leaving college programs for an NFL job in January when the colleges could least afford them to leave.

Alas, we digress.

For some reason, there has been a holdup on Davis’ hire. Now, perhaps, we have an explanation.

Bucs Beat, the blog of the St. Petersburg Times, says that Davis’ delay is about (drum roll please) money.

Apparently when Davis was fired as coach of North Carolina, he agreed to a severance package that would pay him $1.7 million, $590,000 or so every Jan. 15 starting in 2013 (he got $933,000 in 2011).

All to get fired.

According to Bucs Beat, “… there’s one important condition attached: The payments would be made only in the event Davis was not employed as a coach elsewhere.”

In addition, there would be an offset. Say Davis takes a coaching job for $500,000 … North Carolina would “only” owe him $90,000.

So Davis evidently wants to double-dip – be paid a full salary by the Bucs and the severance by North Carolina. All he needs is a title that does not call him coach. Like advisor, or something like that.

Assuming North Carolina’s lawyers don’t go (Lady) ga-ga over the move, Davis could then be paid by two places. God knows he needs the dinero.

As for title, I’d suggest Vice President of Engagement, but I believe it’s been taken.