Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Don't dismiss Matt Cassel trade rumor

28

February

If you abide the notion that the appearance of smoke indicates a fire, then Matt Cassel will be in a Bucs uniform before you know it.

Still, we weren't initially inclined to share the mushrooming rumor that the New England QB is the subject of ongoing trade talks between the Bucs and Patriots because it could be traced only to a little-known blog in New England.

However, since then, I received a call from an agent who also heard the talk from someone in another team's front office. That gave me reason to pause. I can recall on Feb. 10 blogging here about persistent talk in NFL circles of DT Albert Haynesworth being someone the Bucs were planning to pursue. As you know by now, Tampa Bay went down to the wire with him Friday morning before being outbid by the Redskins.

Like the Haynesworth buzz, this rumor also makes sense. The Bucs have WR Antonio Bryant and now TE Kellen Winslow in place. Adding a seemingly dynamic quarterback like Matt Cassel would certainly give the Tampa Bay offense a chance to be potent.

But it won't be easy to land Cassel, who was designated the Patriots' franchise player. Landing such a player as a free agent requires a team to compensate his club with a pair of first-round picks. But we understand the Patriots are willing to make a deal for something in the neighborhood of one first- and one fourth-round pick.

It's been an interesting past 48 hours. We're not predicting anything here given the absence of factual information. But as we wrap things up for the night, we can't help but wonder whether things are about to get a lot more intriguing around here.

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

    

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