Bucs trade for TE Winslow
The Bucs have traded for Browns tight end Kellen Winslow.
Tampa Bay dealt undisclosed draft picks to Cleveland in exchange for the former University of Miami star. Winslow, 25, was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2007 season in which he caught 82 passes for 1,106 yards and five touchdowns.
"I'm coming here as a leader and I'm coming here to win,'' Winslow. "Plain and simple. We're going to have a lot of wins in that stadium.''
Winslow had a tumultuous start to his career in Cleveland. He missed 14 games as a rookie with a broken leg. Then he suffered a torn ACL and internal injuries from a motorcyle crash prior to the 2005 season when his motorcyle hit a curb at 35 mph and he flipped over the handlebars while practicing in a parking lot near his home.
"I think everybody makes mistakes,'' Winslow said. "The mistake I made when I was I was 19-years-old -- I'm 25 now - was on national television. Everybody got to see it. I stand here before you now, I think I'm a changed man.''
Winslow also has suffered two staph infections as a result on surgeries on his knee since 2005. In fact, the Browns attempted to suspend him for a game last season for speaking out about the matter, but he won his appeal and was fined $25,000.
"I would say misunderstood would be a better word to use,'' Winslow said. "People don't really know me yet.''
Winslow said he was 'blessed,' to return to the state of Florida, where he played collegiately.
For his career, Winslow has 219 career receptions for 2,459 yhards with 11 touchdowns in 44 games. Those numbers include five games with 10 or more receptions.
Winslow played his first five seasons with the Browns after being selected with the sixth overall pick by Cleveland in 2004.
But he has wanted a contract extension, something the Bucs may have to consider. Winslow is under contract until 2010. He is scheduled to earn base salaries of $4.5-million in '09 and $4.75-million in '10. But it's likely the Bucs may renegotiate a new deal with Winslow.
It had been speculated that Winslow might become available for trade shortly after the Browns hired Eric Mangini as head coach.
"Cleveland treated me right,'' Winslow said. "Everything didn't go as planned there, but I had a good time playiung there.''
Winslow won't be without friends in Tampa Bay. He played in Cleveland with Luke McCown, Jeff Faine and Antonio Bryant.
Last season, Winslow played in just 10 games, catching 43 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns.
"Today's trade with Cleveland fits in with the new direction we are establishing for the Buccaneers' franchise,'' general manager Mark Dominik said. "We are very excited to add an explosive, dynamic playemaker to our offense. We believe Coach Morris and his staff will be able to get the most out of Kellen's talents.''