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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs might find a Kellen Winslow trade difficult

The Bucs, according to tight end Kellen Winslow, have informed him they're going to trade him.

But let's look beyond the ramifications of Winslow departing and examine another angle of this story: Like the fact that the Bucs might have a hard time actually making a deal for Winslow.

The problem isn't Winslow's production. His 75 receptions last season ranked seventh among tight ends, and he remains a valuable asset in the passing game. He's 28, so age isn't necessarily the issue, either.

But making a deal that will bring the Bucs value in the form of draft picks will be complicated by a couple of matters: Winslow's health and contract.

Winslow hasn't missed any games in his three seasons with the Bucs, something for which he should get significant credit. But Winslow is seen by many as a player with a history of knee problems and surgeries, and it's fair for teams to wonder how long he can remain effective. Any team that engages the Bucs in trade talks will have plenty of questions about his health. Furthermore, the tape will show that Winslow has struggled to get separation from defenders, something that suggests he's lost a step.

As for Winslow's contract, he's owed three years and $13.3 million in base salary. When combined with his medical questions, it's not a pretty picture for teams who might be interested in making a deal. If and when a deal can be reached, look for Winslow to be asked to restructure his contract before a trade is completed.

All of this means that teams might be willing to wait out the Bucs, who at some point could simply opt to cut Winslow.

[Last modified: Monday, May 21, 2012 11:43am]


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