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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs seek trade for Clayton with no success

25

April

The Bucs have been trying to unload receiver Michael Clayton but no teams have expressed any interest in the former first-round pick.

Clayton became expendable this weekend when the Bucs used a second round draft pick on Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn and a fourth round pick on Syracuse receiver Mike Williams. The Bucs believe both players will be starters.

A year ago, Clayton signed a five-year contract worth $26-million that included $10-million guaranteed. But he was unproductive in 2009, catching just 16 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown in 13 games.

Since his rookie season in 2004, in which he led all first-year receivers with 80 catches for 1,193 yards and seven touchdowns, Clayton has averaged just slightly more than 20 receptions per year and has three touchdowns in the past five seasons.

There are two obvious reasons why Clayton will be virtually impossible to trade -- his lack of production and his salary.

At 27, most teams believe Clayton's rookie season was the abberation. And nobody wants to inherit his contract, which would pay him  a base salary of $3-million in 2010.

As it stands, Clayton will fall further on the depth chart behind Benn, Williams and Reggie Brown, who was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. Second-year pro Sammie Stroughter will be the Bucs' slot receiver and Maurice Stovall also will vie for playing time. 

The Bucs only options with Clayton are to release him now or keep him on the roster until the final cutdown if necessary hoping teams will suffer injuries at the receiver position.

The Bucs also have been shopping defensive tackles Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims with no takers. Both went on the trade block when the Bucs used their first two draft picks on Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (third overall) and UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price (35th overall). Roy Miller, a third-round pick from Texas last season, also is expected to be in the rotation with McCoy and Price.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 4:00pm]

    

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