Buccaneers Rumor Mill: Monday 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 Griese, Niko Koutouvides, Warrick Dunn, Brian Kelly, Eugene Wilson, Ben Troupe, D.J. Hackett, and Bryant Johnson.

Updated 10:15 p.m. Monday


Warrick Dunn: The Falcons released Dunn on Monday, less than a day after signing Michael Turner. Dunn is reportedly meeting with the Bucs Monday night, according to Tampabay.com.

Leon Joe: Tampabay.com reported on Monday that the Bucs re-signed Joe, a fourth-year pro and a player they had on the roster during last offseason. Bucsblitz.com is working to confirm the signing.

Eugene Wilson: Wilson's agent confirmed with Bucsblitz.com that his client met with the Buccaneers on Sunday. Wilson, a fifth-year pro out of New England, has two Super Bowl rings and can play both safety and nickel corner. With the signings of most of the top cornerbacks, Wilson may represent the Bucs' most likely free agent target to find a corner to complement Ronde Barber and Phillip Buchanon.

Brian Kelly: The former Bucs cornerback is reportedly meeting with the Lions this week, a move that could reunite him with former Bucs defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and former Bucs linebackers coach Joe Berry (now the Lions defensive coordinator). The Lions run the same Cover 2 defense the Bucs do.

Bernard Berrian: Now that Berrian and Donte Stallworth have signed, they've set the market for players like D.J. Hackett and Bryant Johnson, two players many assume are on Tampa Bay's radar entering this week. But there are no confirmed visits at this time.

D.J. Hackett: There are rumors that both Washington and Tampa Bay are interested in Hackett, but there are no confirmed visits at this time.

Chad Johnson: The trade rumors have died down — for now. The rumblings now are that if a Johnson trade is executed it will come much closer to the draft, much like Randy Moss' deal last year.

Randy Moss: Speaking of Moss, he is still unsigned and there is speculation that he'll land in Dallas or Green Bay. Given the Bucs' cap space at the moment, they could be potential players for Moss' services, too, should the situation drag out. But there are no rumors at the moment to back that up.

Keyshawn Johnson The ESPN analyst is reportedly mulling a comeback after retiring last year. Tennessee is reportedly one of the more interested parties. So is Miami, where Johnson's favorite coach, Bill Parcells, is now running the front office.

Teddy Lehman: Lehman, a backup in Detroit, is scheduled to meet with the Bucs on 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.

Randall Gay: By signing Gay, the Saints have undercut the Bucs on three of their intended targets. The other two were current Saints Devery Henderson and Aaron Stecker. The Bucs met with Henderson on Friday and had a phone conversation with Stecker the same day.

Bryant Johnson: The Cardinals WR is meeting with the Buffalo media on Monday to talk about his visit. Johnson is considered a good fit for the Bucs' West Coast offense, but no meeting is scheduled. Scout.com's Adam Caplan reported that Washington is Johnson's next destination if he can't get a deal done in Buffalo.

Ben Troupe: The Tennessee tight end is now in high demand and that may end any hope Tampa Bay had of signing him. There were reports a deal was close on Saturday, when Troupe and his agent visited the Bucs all day and reportedly negotiated a deal. But he left town on Saturday and his agent told news outlets that at least three teams wanted to talk to him. Buffalo is one of the interested parties.

Julius Jones: NFL Network's Adam Schefter said on Saturday night that Tampa Bay and Carolina could be two of the teams interested in Jones. There are no reports of a scheduled meeting between Jones and the Bucs, but his brother, Thomas, played for Tampa Bay in 2003.

Javon Walker: ESPN.com reported that at least 10 teams are interested in the free-agent wide receiver. The report says that Walker is "intrigued" with playing in a West Coast type offense like Tampa's.

Alge Crumpler: The saga may finally be over. NFL.com is reporting that Crumpler and the Tennessee Titans, have agreed to a contract.

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.

Niko Koutouvides: Published reports out of Denver have Koutouvides agreeing to a contract with Denver. The Seattle LB met with the Bucs on Friday, but those reports cited that Koutouvides wanted a chance to start, an unlikely scenario in Tampa Bay.


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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