Buccaneers Rumor Mill -- Sunday edition

The rumors are flying fast and so are the potential player meetings for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bucsblitz.com is combing the Internet and talking to agents to get you the inside scoop on who's coming and how might come. Bucsblitz.com has updates on Brian Kelly, Eugene Wilson, Warrick Dunn, Ben Troupe, D.J. Hackett, and Bryant Johnson.

Updated 8:40 p.m. Sunday


Eugene Wilson: Bucsblitz.com has confirmed that Wilson is meeting with the Buccaneers on Sunday, via Wilson's agent, James Sims. With many of the top cornerbacks off the market, the Bucs could be seeking to convert the safety into a nickel cornerback for depth. There are reportedly at least five other teams in contention for Wilson's services.

Warrick Dunn: Now that Michael Turner has signed with the Atlanta Falcons, there will be rampant speculation about Dunn's place in the Falcons lineup. The Tampa Tribune has speculated for two days on their Web site that Turner's signing could lead directly to Dunn's release. If so, the Bucs could be interested, as the Tribune reported that head coach Jon Gruden lamented the loss of Dunn to the Falcons in 2002. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's James Wyche wrote in a Sunday Web report that Dunn's release was "probable," but no release has been announced yet. Oddly enough, Dunn was in Tampa on Saturday for a gala to honor retired fullback Mike Alstott.

Randall Gay: The Saints agreed to a four-year contract with Randall Gay, worth up to $17.6 million, according to a league source.

The deal is worth about $6.7 million in salary and bonuses over the first two years, with a chance to go up to $9 million, based on playing time.

Gay, who is from Brusly and played at LSU, made the Saints his first visit and his first priority in free agency. The Saints were likewise interested in the 25-year-old cornerback, targeting him as the best value at the position in free agency.

Brian Kelly: The NFL Network is reporting that the former Bucs corner will meet with the Lions this week. Given Kelly's relationship with Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, a former Bucs assistant coach, this is no real surprise. Kelly is, however, the first Buccaneers free agent to reportedly schedule a free-agent meeting, which may indicate how lightly regarded the team's free-agent class is in NFL circles.

Demorrio Williams: Williams has signed a five-year deal with Kansas City. The Bucs will now turn their attention to Seattle LB NIko Koutouvides, who they met with on Friday, and Lions LB Teddy Lehman, to address their depth at linebacker.

Bernard Berrian: The Minnesota Vikings signed Berrian to a six-year deal. With his signing, and the signing of Donte Stallworth with the Browns, D.J. Hackett is now be the most sought-after receiver on the market.

D.J. Hackett: Scout.com's Adam Caplan informed me on Saturday morning that the Bucs and the Redskins are still interested in Hackett's services and could set up meetings next week with the Seahawks receiver. But nothing has been reported or confirmed yet.

Chad Johnson: The vocal wide receiver is reportedly the subject of trade rumors again, with the potential suitors being the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The report came out of the NFL Network on Saturday, but has not gained any traction since. This is not the first time the Bucs and Johnson have been linked, but considering how slow the market for wide receivers moved the first two days of free agency, the Bucs might see an opportunity to make a play for Johnson, who would immediately upgrade the receiving corps and perhaps end speculation of any other free-agent signings at wide receiver.

Teddy Lehman: NFL Network reported that the Bucs have scheduled a meeting with the Lions free agent for Monday. Lehman could be seen as a valuable backup at the position and just finished his second season playing in the Lions' Cover 2 scheme. Nate Camanita of Roarreport.com told me Saturday that the Lions don't have much interest in brining him back.

Drayton Florence and Jacques Reeves: Florence signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, Dallas' Jacques Reeves has agreed to a deal with the Houston Texans. Both agreements significantly diminish the Bucs' prospects of adding a top-tier corner in free agency. Scout.com's top five free agent corners are either signed, franchised or restricted free agents. The Bucs may be pinning their hopes on signing Randall Gay, who is set to meet with the Bucs on Monday. Gay left New Orleans on Saturday without a deal.

Lance Briggs: Briggs has re-signed with the Chicago Bears, ending speculation about potential interest in bringing him to Tampa Bay.

Bryant Johnson: The Cardinals WR reportedly met with Buffalo Saturday. Now that Berrian has signed, Johnson could generate more interest. Johnson is considered a good fit for the Bucs' West Coast offense, but no meeting is scheduled.

Ben Troupe: There are conflicting reports on Troupe. The Tampa Tribune reported Sunday morning that the tight end was not slated to take any more visits. Later, on the Trib's Web site, TBO.com, they updated the story to say that Troupe left Tampa Bay without a contract. The Nashville City Paper reported later on Sunday that Troupe was visiting New Orleans and quoted his agent, Joel Segal, as saying that his client was "hot" right now and had at least three more visits lined up. It's looking as if Troupe has slipped through the Buccaneers' fingers.

Julius Jones: NFL Network's Adam Schefter said on Saturday night that he believes that Jones will have to wait until San Diego's Michael Turner signs, potentially on Sunday with Atlanta. Schefter said Tampa Bay and Carolina could be two of the teams interested in Jones.

Javon Walker: The Broncos released the wide receiver on Friday and thus far there is no reported interest on Tampa Bay's part.

Aaron Stecker: Stecker re-signed with the Saints on Saturday. The Bucs spoke to Stecker on Friday.

Devery Henderson: The Saints wide receiver, according to Scout.com's Adam Caplan, re-signed with the Saints on Saturday. It is believed to be a one-year, $2 million deal. Henderson met with the Bucs on Friday.

Alge Crumpler: Crumpler has agreed to a two-year deal with the Tennessee Titans, according to SI.com.

Jovan Haye: Haye reportedly received a first-round tender offer from the Buccaneers. A check of the restricted free agent tenders reveals that Haye may be in line for $2 million in 2008 if he signs with the Bucs. That's the amount the Bucs would pay him if he accepted the tender. That also means that a team would have to sign Haye to a salary higher than the tender and offer up a first-round pick to the Bucs. That's unlikely, but Haye is free to negotiate until April 18.

Andrew Economos: TBO.com reported that the Bucs have offered the long snapper a one-year tender and that Economos will likely sign the deal. The Buccaneers have not officially announced the deal.

Niko Koutouvides: Koutouvides' agent confirmed his client's meeting with the Bucs on Friday and his meeting Saturday with Denver to Bucsblitz.com. There is no word on which direction he will go.

Mewelde Moore: The Bucs are reportedly seeking a meeting with the running back. They entertained trading for Moore last year when Carnell Williams was injured in October.

Marques Douglas: The Bucs are reportedly trying to set up a meeting with the defensive end.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.


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