Buccaneers Rumor Mill: Tuesday 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 former Bucs coach Joe Barry, John Wade, Javon Walker, Warrick Dunn, Matt McCoy, Marques Johnson, Bryant Johnson and D.J. Hackett.

Updated: 11:59 p.m.


Warrick Dunn: Dunn met with the Buccaneers on Monday night, according to several Tampa-based media outlets. Dunn's agent told TBO.com that the Bucs were one of "several teams" Dunn was interested in playing for, as he's looking for a playoff contender. Dunn keeps his offseason home in Tampa and played for the Bucs for five years before signing with Atlanta six seasons ago. Indianapolis, Dallas and Denver are rumored to be interested. The Detroit Free Press reported that Dunn's agent, Jim Steiner, has had contact with the Lions, as well. In a related update, the Bucs have reportedly shown some mild interest in Tennessee's Chris Brown, according to the Tampa Tribune.

John Wade: The former Buccaneers center is slated to meet with the Houston Texans this week, according to TBO.com. Wade's place in Tampa Bay would appear to be taken by the recently-signed Jeff Faine. The good news? Wade is probably the best option on the market right now, in terms of centers.

Marques Douglas NFL Network is reporting that Douglas will visit the Bucs sometime this week.

Matt McCoy: NFL Network reported that the Bucs signed McCoy, but there is no official confirmation from the Bucs.

Joe Barry: Yes, the former Bucs linebackers coach is in the rumor mill. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Lions defensive coordinator is trying to collect as many former Bucs as possible. The Lions have already signed safety Dwight Smith. Now they're targeting cornerback Brian Kelly — a report we brought to you on Saturday — and defensive tackle Chuck Darby. The Lions use the same Cover 2 defense the Bucs use, so all three players are considered good, if albeit ancient, fits for the scheme.

Eugene Wilson: The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reported that Wilson was to meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday, part of his free-agent tour. Wilson met with the Bucs on Sunday but there appears to be no movement on the Bucs' part to sign him. Wilson, a fifth-year pro out of New England, has two Super Bowl rings and can play both safety and nickel corner. Reports had at least a half-dozen teams interested in Wilson before he met with the Bucs on Sunday.

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 Barry (now the Lions defensive coordinator). The Lions run the same Cover 2 defense the Bucs do.

D.J. Hackett: Under the headline of "D.J. Hackett's agent not panicking," the Tennessean reported that the Titans should meet with the wide receiver this week. Hackett's agent, James D. Robinson, confirmed the scheduled meeting. Robinson also said the Redskins wanted a meeting. Buffalo and Chicago, which now has a huge need at wide receiver, are also rumored to be interested. Robinson made no mention of the Buccaneers, who had been rumored to be interested last week.

Bryant Johnson: The Cardinals WR met with Buffalo on Monday and talked to the media afterward, saying that he'd "definitely like to be a Buffalo Bill. I'm definitely eager to get more opportunities to show my abilities, and I think this is a good place to do so." That report is courtesy of Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News. Gaughan also reported that Johnson is scheduled to meet with the Buccaneers today, though there is no confirmation of a meeting yet.

Keyshawn Johnson There is no new news about a potential comeback by the former Bucs wide receiver. Speculation remains that if Johnson decides to come back, Miami is his most logical destination.

Teddy Lehman: Lehman, a backup in Detroit, reportedly signed 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.

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 met with Troupe on Monday.

Julius Jones: Julius Jones reportedly met with the Lions on Monday, who are looking for a back to complement or compete with their starter, Kevin Jones. Julius' brother, Thomas, played for the Bucs in 2003 and there have been rumors that Tampa Bay could be interested in Julius as well. But, with the Bucs entertaining Warrick Dunn, thoughts of talking with Julius or his agent could be on the backburner.

Javon Walker: Walker has reportedly signed a $55 million, multi-year deal with the Oakland Raiders.

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: He signed with Denver on Monday. He met with the Bucs on Friday.


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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