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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Byron Leftwich to Steelers for 7th-round pick

20

April

The Bucs have traded Byron Leftwich to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a seventh-round pick in a deal that had long been rumored.

The Bucs will receive the 225th overall pick, No. 18 of the seventh round.

Leftwich left the Steelers for the Bucs after the 2008 season, opening 2009 as the starter here before being quickly supplanted by Josh Johnson in the starting lineup in Week 4. But with Steelers starter Ben Roethlisberger facing a likely suspension -- a decision is expected on Wednesday -- Pittsburgh needed some insurance at quarterback. A bonus for the Steelers is the fact that Leftwich already knows the offense and the personnel.

The Bucs had little use for Leftwich at this point. They envision Johnson as starter Josh Freeman's primary backup. They also have little-known Rudy Carpenter on the roster and could add a veteran before the start of training camp who would fight for a roster spot in the preseason.

The Bucs now have 12 total draft picks, tied with New England for the most in the league.

This is a deal that has been speculated about for a long time. Roethlisberger's off-field issues forced the Steelers to consider their options, and Leftwich was as good as any. By the way, this sure would seem to suggest that the Steelers know a suspension is coming.

And a related issue to keep an eye on this: The Bucs reportedly will play the Steelers in Week 3 (the entire schedule will be released at 7 p.m.). If Big Ben is suspended for any length of time, the Bucs could catch a huge break.

If Commissioner Roger Goodell makes his discipline public on Wednesday, as expected, we'll have some clarity on this point.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:59pm]

    

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