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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs still considering trading running back LeGarrette Blount

The Bucs re-signed LeGarrette Blount, then a restricted a free agent, to a one-year contract last month that will pay him $1.75 million.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

The Bucs re-signed LeGarrette Blount, then a restricted a free agent, to a one-year contract last month that will pay him $1.75 million.

23

April

Don’t close the door on a LeGarrette Blount trade just yet.

Just as efforts to land cornerback Darrelle Revis had been well known for months, it’s common knowledge the Bucs have, for weeks now, been shopping their former starting running back, Blount.

So far there's been no deal, but don't assume the Revis trade has pushed other matters to the backburner. The Bucs continue dialogue with other teams and will look to strike during the draft. That’s when they believe their next real opportunity for a deal will come, the idea being to land an additional draft pick in exchange for Blount.

The Bucs re-signed Blount, then a restricted a free agent, to a one-year contract last month that will pay him $1.75 million. That makes him tradable because the salary is manageable. But keep in mind, that’s more money than a late-round draft pick would make under today’s rookie cap.

The Bucs have heard from at least a couple of teams receptive to the idea of acquiring Blount, though their identities aren’t known.

Blount rushed for 1,007 yards as a rookie in 2010 but had a significantly-reduced role last season, when rookie Doug Martin took the NFL by storm, earning all-rookie honors. That limited Blount to just 41 carries for 151 yards. And with free-agent signee Brian Leonard almost certain to perform the role of third-down back, Blount’s usage isn’t likely to change much, if at all.

One question that would remain in the wake of a possible Blount trade: Who, then, becomes the de facto backup running back? The candidates would be Leonard (far from ideal) and, perhaps, second-year player Michael Smith, who coaches are high on but is a prospect who remains unproven.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 1:03pm]

    

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