Buccaneers Rumor Mill: Wednesday 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 a fresh update on Brian Kelly.

Updated 7:30 p.m.


Brian Kelly: The former Bucs cornerback met with the Lions on Wednesday, 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. Ken Palmer of giantsinsider.com informed Bucsblitz.com on Wednesday night that Kelly is on his way to the Big Apple to visit with the Giants, who are also in need of secondary help.

Jevon Kearse: The NFL Network reported that the Minnesota Vikings will be hosting Kearse on Thursday, a day after the free agent defensive end meets with the Tennessee Titans. Vikingupdate.com's Tim Yotter confirmed the visit with a source. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rumored to be interested, but Yotter reported that the Vikings are craving a pass rusher after missing out on players like Justin Smith and Travis LaBoy. Kearse may not get out of Minnesota.

Kalvin Pearson: ESPN is reporting that the Detroit Lions have made Pearson an offer of a three-year contract worth $3.5 million, including a $1.1 million signing bonus. Because Pearson is a restricted free agent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have seven days to match the offer. The Buccaneers offered Pearson the $927,000 tender they were required to in order to obtain the right of first refusal on Pearson, but Pearson refused to sign. Pearson's agent told Bucsblitz.com two weeks ago that his client wanted a long-term deal, and he apparently got what he wanted out of the Lions. It's unclear if the Bucs will match the offer, but they'll receive no compensation from the Lions if they don't.

Warrick Dunn: There is nothing new on the Dunn front. The former Falcons back met with the Bucs on Monday and is reportedly contemplating his next move. Dallas and Houston are reported to also be interested in Dunn, who is looked upon as a back that could give a playoff-caliber team valuable depth at the position.

Julius Jones: There are now reports of a dialogue between the former Cowboys back and the Bucs, according to TBO.com. Jones is, at the moment, the best back on the market and is perceived as a nice complement to the backs the Bucs already have under contract — Earnest Graham, Michael Bennett and Carnell Williams, though Williams' future is uncertain due to injury. The Nashville City Paper is reporting the Titans have expressed interest in Jones.

John Wade: The Houston Chronicle's John McClain reported that the Texans met with the free-agent center on Tuesday. The Texans also entertained Falcons FS Chris Crocker. There were no reports of an imminent deal between Wade and the Texans. The Texans have had serious injury problems at center lately and could use the durable Wade.

Marques Douglas: NFL Network is reporting that Douglas will visit the Bucs sometime this week. Bucsblitz.com has not received confirmation of the visit from Douglas' agent.

Joe Barry: 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 met with the Steelers on Tuesday, but did not sign. The next stop for Wilson is reportedly Tennessee. Wilson met with the Bucs on Sunday and Monday 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..

D.J. Hackett: There is rumored interest on the part of Washington and Tennessee in Hackett, but there's no official word on whether Hackett has meetings set up or not. It's one of the most curious storylines of free agency, as many people expected the Seattle receiver to be highly sought after.

Bryant Johnson: With no official word from Johnson's agent, it's difficult to track him. But a report in the Buffalo News had Johnson meeting with the Bucs on Tuesday. TBO.com reported that a meeting may have happened.

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 signed with the Buccaneers on Tuesday.

Ben Troupe: The Bucs and Bills are the two teams reportedly vying for Troupe's services. They're the only two teams with confirmed player meetings at this time.

Javon Walker: The oft-injured receiver signed a $55 million deal with Oakland on Tuesday. The Bucs, like most teams, weren't willing to overpay for Walker. But this is the Raiders we're talking about.

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.


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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