"We finished last with you, we can finish last without you." Those were the famous words uttered by former Pittsburgh Pirates owner Branch Rickey to slugger Ralph Kiner during contract talks. Kiner was one of the preeminent sluggers during his time. He wanted a raise. Rickey balked and dealt him to the Cubs.
I bring this up after a report surfaced the other day from NFL Networks Ian Rapoport that the Bucs were open to dealing wide receiver Vincent Jackson if the price was right.
Jackson is a terrific receiver. He's signed for a couple of more years. He's also on a bad football team. At 1-5, can a team have players that are considered untouchable? I couldn't stop asking myself this question when it came to that report. The honest answer would be no. All options should be considered when it comes to improving this Bucs team. But who would be considered untouchable in a trade? For me, three players are off limits. Lavonte David, Mike Evans, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Everyone else is fair game. If I am GM Jason Licht, guys like Jackson, Doug Martin, and Dashon Goldson all would be candidates to move at the October 28th trade deadline.
There is no question the Bucs have been active behind the scenes. Another report came out over the weekend about the Bucs being one of the teams that had interest in wide receiver Percy Harvin. Lovie Smith was asked about that topic at his press conference Monday.
“Kind of one blanket statement: as I’ve said to you, we’re always trying to improve our ball club. Teams in the NFL talk each week pretty much. You’re always talking about different guys. So if there’s a player that’s available, we look at him."
The Bucs need more talent. One way to address that issue is through trades. Even if the Bucs were to acquire draft picks instead of players then that's something they've got to consider. One guy that would bring back a huge return if traded would be Gerald McCoy. From people I talk to close to the situation, McCoy wants to be Buc for a long time. The team wants him here as well. A new contract seems inevitable. I'm not saying I would deal McCoy but I would listen to offers.
After all, if the Bucs finish last with these current players, then they can also finish last without them.
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