Team Report: Tampa Bay

Why would Malcolm Glazer want to buy the Dodgers? <br><br> But the Bucs owner would like to gain a sports stranglehold on the No. 2 market in the nation.

He knows NFL rules regarding cross-ownership would force him to sell the Bucs. But their value may never be higher than after winning a Super Bowl, with a new stadium and more than 40,000 on a waiting list to buy season tickets.

What Glazer plans to do is return the NFL to Los Angeles, either by relocating another team or through expansion.

With 25 years remaining on their lease with the Tampa Sports Authority, the Bucs are not a team Glazer could attempt to relocate.

But Glazer has been telling people that Los Angeles "is a $1-billion market for the NFL," according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Certainly, no one is more familiar with its worth than Glazer, who sits on the NFL's Finance Committee and had an offer to move the Bucs to Hollywood Park in '95.

If he is successful in buying the Dodgers and their stadium, he could build a football stadium the team's 300-acre Chavez Ravine site.

"If a new owner of the Dodgers wants to build a privately financed, state-of-the-art facility on the Dodger stadium property, he would have my total support," former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley told the Los Angeles Times. "Because I still believe it's the best site for a football stadium."

Because Los Angeles has been considered the leading candidate for an NFL franchise since the Rams and Raiders left in '95, by selling the Bucs, he would be in compliance with the cross ownership policy which would allow him to own competing franchises in the same city.

Glazer has a house in Beverly Hills and his son, Ed, resides in Los Angeles.

Even though he took the Bucs from a laughingstock to world champions, Glazer has never been emotionally attached to the team or Tampa Bay. He has continued to live in West Palm Beach and only one of his sons, Joel, resides in Tampa.

As distractions go, Glazer's bid to buy the Dodgers and place the Bucs up for sale makes the Jon Gruden-Rich McKay feud a hiccup.

But no one should be surprised.

Glazer has made his fortune buying financially handicapped companies and selling them for profit.

The Bucs are his property, not his passion. Besides, what could be better than winning a Super Bowl? How about a World Series?

The best thing Bucs fans can hope for is that News Corp., the entertainment giant that owns the Dodgers, makes a quick decision on one of four bids for the team.

News Corp., chairman, Rupert Murdoch, is already business partners with Glazer, who paid $14-million for 2.9 percent of the English Premier League soccer club Manchester United. Murdoch is the primary owner of the $1.58 billion club.

No matter the outcome, how are Bucs fans, or players and coaches, for that matter, expected to feel secure about the team's ownership after this attempted venture?

Team Notes:
--Jacquez Green, who spent his first four NFL seasons in Tampa Bay, agreed Thursday (April 10) to a one-year deal worth $530,000. He will compete for the fourth receiver spot, but his most immediate impact could come as a kick returner, a role Green rarely played after his rookie year. The Bucs also announced the signing of restricted free agent Aaron Stecker to a one-year deal. Terms were not released. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Green does not resemble players that form a towering receiving corps for Bucs coach Jon Gruden. But he provides the Bucs a commodity they haven't had - speed. A second-round pick by the Bucs out of Florida in '98, Green enjoyed back-to-back seasons of more than 50 receptions in '99 and 2000. But his role was diminished after the Bucs traded for receiver Keyshawn Johnson, who caught 105 passes in 2001.

--Dwayne Rudd watched the post-game interviews of Super Bowl XXXVII when he heard Bucs coach Jon Gruden begin a recruiting pitch to free agents. "Tampa Bay was one of the first teams to call me and it was really hard for me to concentrate or even talk to other head coaches," said Rudd. "I was still visiting teams the last three weeks. It's almost like I should apologize to the other coaches because I told a lot of fibs. I never considered other teams. 

--Only two players - receiver Joe Jurevicius and defensive end Simeon Rice - missed three voluntary team workouts that ended Thursday. "I'm really proud of our team," said Gruden. "I think it says a lot about the kind of players we have here and what it means to them. Forget about what happened last year, it's over, it's done with.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We feel like to duplicate our success, we've got to duplicate our success. And it all starts with what I think is the best off-season program I've ever been associated with." -- Bucs coach Jon Gruden.

Team Skinny:


UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Reggie Barlow (late addition in 2002 as backup kick returner; little interest in re-signing); OT Lomas Brown (19-year vet served as mentor to Kenyatta Walker; may retire); TE Rickey Dudley (valuable addition in Week 2 who caught four TD passes. Bucs would like to re-sign him at the minimum); P Tom Tupa (Bucs looking for an upgrade after poor post-season performance included a 6-yard punt and botched hold for a field goal in the Super Bowl).

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): LB Jack Golden (not tendered as RFA); QB Joe Hamilton (not tendered as RFA); LB Eugene McCaslin (not tendered as ERFA); LS Mike Solwold (not tendered as ERFA); TE Damian Vaughn (not tendered as ERFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Charles Lee (tendered at $605,000 with 7th-round pick as compensation); LB Nate Webster (tendered at $605,000 with 3rd-round pick as compensation).

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: CB Corey Ivy (tendered at $375,000).

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: LS Ryan Benjamin (ERFA; $300,000/1 yr); QB Shaun King (UFA; terms unknown); OT Roman Oben (UFA; $4.655M/4 yrs, $700,000 SB; 2003 cap: $830,000); LB Shelton Quarles (UFA; $16.75M/5 yrs, $3.5M SB/$1.5M SB option '04; 2003 cap: $1.23M); RB Aaron Stecker (RFA; $605,000/1 yr); DE Ron Warner (ERFA; $375,000/1 yr); TE Todd Yoder (RFA; $605,000/1 yr).

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: WR/KR Jacquez Green (FA Lions; $530,000/1 yr, no SB; 2003 cap: $450,000); QB Shane Matthews (UFA Redskins; 1 yr, terms unknown); QB Jim Miller (FA Bears; $680,000/1 yr, $25,000 SB; 2003 cap: $475,000); LB Dwayne Rudd (FA Browns; 2 yrs, terms unknown); C John Wade (UFA Jaguars; $5.5M/4 yrs, $1M SB; 2003 cap: $780,000); OG Jason Whittle (UFA Giants; $8.2M/5 yrs, $1.8M SB; 2003 cap: $890,000).

PLAYERS LOST: C Jeff Christy (cut); S Dexter Jackson (UFA Cardinals; $14M/5 yrs, $2.75M SB); QB Rob Johnson (UFA Redskins; $2M/2 yrs, $245,000 SB); LB Al Singleton (UFA Cowboys; terms unknown); C Todd Washington (cut).

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

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