Of all the teams in the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the most enigmatic. They look really good on paper, especially after adding Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson on defense. Yet they fell apart down the stretch last season, leading some to down a number of their core players. Is that enough to entertain NFL trade ideas?
There were high hopes for Luke Stocker coming out of Tennessee. While not the most athletic tight end, experts saw a kid who could take advantage of soft coverages with his big frame and good hands. Sadly that hasn’t happened. His 2012 season was quiet with just 165 yards receiving. That was a big reason why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers added Tom Crabtree in free agency along with the “other” Zach Miller who showed signs of progress in Jacksonville before injuries took their toll. If either of them step up early, Stocker could lose his spot on the depth chart. That shouldn’t diminish his trade value though. For all his problems in the passing game, Luke is a stout blocker, especially against the run. A number of teams could use a player like that on the roster provided it doesn’t cost more than a late round pick.
The NFL has shown repeatedly that angry players are players that want to get traded. Tampa Bay may have sent Mike Williams in that direction. Despite a career year in yards (996) along with nine touchdowns the Bucs have apparently dragged their feet trying to give him an extension. This prompted Williams to cry out on Twitter, asking how a team that preaches family first could not show one of its sons more love. Whether that is completely true or not is debatable, but it is how the young man feels, which matters most. Williams is a free agent in 2014. If the Buccaneers start to sense he will choose to leave, that will increase the pressure on the front office to get some value back for him before it happens. The trick will be finding a team that wants him earlier rather than just waiting for the market to open next March.
Oh, he said it. Yes he did. It might not make a lot of sense on the surface, but things happen. Greg Schiano has softened his stance in recent months but everyone knew he wasn’t sold on Josh Freeman at times last year. That would explain why the team used their third round draft pick on N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon. While Schiano may insist the team is firmly behind Freeman, such statements are no better than half truths in sports terms. Glennon was brought in for a reason. Whether it was to push Freeman or replace him depends on how the season starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Losing has a way of ushering in change. Missing the playoffs in four tries certainly qualifies.