Live From Indy: A new home for Lorenzo Neal?

Just days after the story broke regarding the Chargers' plans to trade Lorenzo Neal, A.J. Smith was spotted in Indianapolis dining with an old trading partner who happens to be in the market for a fullback. Was this a mere coincidence? Or was it the first step to moving the All Pro fullback out of the AFC? SDBoltReport.com has the latest.

Smith was spotted by Bucsblitz.com having dinner with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen at an Indianapolis Champps Restaurant on Sunday night. Smith actually showed up first at a pair of tables that were reserved for the trio, followed by Allen and Gruden.

What were they talking about? It's impossible to say for sure, but both teams, at the moment, are reportedly the subjects of trade rumors. The San Diego-Union Tribune reported on Saturday that the Chargers will try to trade Lorenzo Neal rather than cut him.

Neal could be seen as a possible replacement for the retired Mike Alstott, though Neal is no youngster himself as he enters his 16th year in the NFL at age 37. Neal is still considered one of the NFL's best blocking fullbacks. And, the Bucs' incumbent fullback, B.J. Askew, struggled with injuries in the latter half of 2007. Neal also has three years left on his contract.

Askew's backup is, at the moment, Byron Storer, the second-year back from California who made three starts in Askew's absence. A player of Neal's reputation and skill could allow the Bucs to breathe a little easier should Askew come up hurt again.

The Chargers and Buccaneers have dealt with each other before. On June 9, 2004, the Buccaneers sent OT Roman Oben to the Chargers for a fifth-round pick. On Oct. 29, 2004, the Bucs sent WR Keenan McCardell to San Diego for a package of draft picks.

Of course, it could have just been a couple of old friends getting together for a drink. Smith worked for Allen's father, George, when George ran the Chicago Blitz in the USFL in the early 1980s.

The conversation appeared friendly, with the trio laughing on several occasions.

At one point Allen unfolded a piece of notebook paper, put it in front of Smith and Smith looked at it thoughtfully before Allen retrieved it.

Matthew Postins of Bucsblitz.com contributed greatly to this report.


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