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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs discuss possibilities with Grant




   Saints defensive end Charles Grant visited Tampa Bay Friday with both sides hoping he might join the Bucs in the future.

   Bucs general manager Bruce Allen indicated the team did not intend to make an offer at this time to Grant, who is the Saints franchise player.

   If the Saints chose not match an offer sheet for Grant, the Bucs would owe them two No. 1 draft picks.

   But Allen raised the possibility that Grant could have the franchise tag removed at a later date or that the Bucs might be able to reach another compensation package with the Saints.

   ""If you pay attention to the franchise designations over the years, they take a lot of twists and turns,'' Allen said. ""Sometimes those designations are removed and sometimes players don't play under it for more than one year. We visited with Charles and wanted to see what he sees his future to be. Obviously, we've played against him the last five years and we have a lot of respect for the way he plays.''

   Grant's agent, Bill Johnson, said Friday the Bucs discussed all the scenarios that might enable Grant to eventually sign with the Bucs. That would include a possible trade of players or other draft picks. The Bucs own the No. 4 overall pick and are unlikely to part with it this year.

   ""It's such a great fit for Charles,'' Johnson said. ""He loves the area, loves the coaches and he's always enjoyed playing in Tampa and against Tampa. There's a lot that can be said for the twists and turns of franchise designations. We'll see what happens.''

   Grant's visit highlighted an extremely busy day for the Bucs, who also entertained Colts free agent linebacker Cato June and Carolina free agent linebacker Chris Draft.

   June led the Colts in tackles last season and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2005. Eventually, the Bucs will have to replace Brooks, who was named to his 10th straight Pro Bowl. Allen said June played strong side linebacker for the Colts last year.

   This is believed to be the first free agent visit of any kind for June, who has received lots of interest but many teams have been waiting for his market value to settle.

  It's unlikely the Bucs would deal two No. 1 draft picks for Grant. Since 1993, only three franchise players have switched teams, none since 1998.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:44pm]


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