Bucs trade surplus DL to Ravens
The Bucs are expected to announce later today they have traded DE Marques Douglas to the Ravens, reportedly for a late-round draft pick in 2009.
The news, first reported by NFL Network, is a sign the Bucs have a pretty good idea of which defensive linemen they intend to keep at final cuts on Saturday. Douglas, a 49ers free agent signed to a lucrative four-year contract in the offseason, seemed to be on the bubble, particularly with the emergence of another newcomer, DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson.
Douglas did not seem to mesh with the Bucs' defensive system and perhaps will be a better fit in the Ravens' 3-4 scheme. Baltimore also has a sudden lack of depth on the defensive line after fifth-year backup Dwan Edwards was placed on injured reserve this week.
In Tampa, it's becoming clear the Bucs are encouraged by the play of other backups like Wilkerson, Greg White and Ryan Sims. Their performances made the 31-year-old Douglas expendable, and it was wise of the Bucs to recoup something for a player they likely would have been forced to release. According to the NFL Network, the Bucs could also receive a conditional 2010 pick in the deal, but the conditions are not clear. Right now, the depth chart lists Gaines Adams (RE), Jovan Haye (DT), Chris Hovan (NT) and Kevin Carter (LE) as the starting linemen.
Douglas started all 16 games for the 49ers in 2007, recording three sacks. But San Francisco also runs a 3-4 defense, reinforcing the notion Douglas is better suited to play in such a system.
The Bucs have not yet confirmed the news as it appears the trade might not be finalized yet.
And to update you on a story we told you about Tuesday, nothing has been decided by former Bears OT Fred Miller, who was offered a contract by the Bucs on Tuesday but is still considering returning to Chicago. Talks with Chicago aren't complete, and Lewis' agent has said his client intends to give the Bears a legitimate opportunity to sign him.