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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Trade deadline pushed back, but Blount still worth watching



The Bucs and the rest of the NFL now have until Thursday afternoon to negotiate any trades, as the NFL has pushed back its trade deadline because of Hurricane Sandy. Several teams’ operations and the NFL’s Manhattan headquarters have been affected by the storm.

Meanwhile, there continues to be speculation about Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount, and the notion of him being traded is not something you should dismiss.

It’s unclear whether the Bucs are willing to move him, but the reason for the speculation about Blount’s fate has to do with his bit role in the Bucs’ offense. Rookie Doug Martin is heating up, and coach Greg Schiano seems unlikely to take the ball away from Martin when he’s got the hot hand.

That’s left Blount marginalized despite his 1,000-yard season two years ago. He had a season-high eight carries Thursday night at Minnesota, but it took a blowout victory for that to happen.

We can’t speak to whether the Bucs have made calls offering Blount in potential trades, but it’s a fact that teams who have a surplus at any one position often are approached with trade propositions. It’s the job of personnel department employees to analyze other team’s rosters and target players who might be available via trade.

The Bucs’ running back lineup could draw attention from other clubs because of its depth. Besides Martin and Blount, the Bucs have D.J. Ware and rookie Michael Smith. That group makes Blount somewhat expendable. But he also could be attractive to other teams given his past success. Another appealing aspect is Blount's salary -- just $540,000 this season.

Something to keep in mind: Bucs general manager Mark Dominik likes to pull off trades to stockpile draft picks. And under coach Greg Schiano, who is driving most of the personnel decisions these days, the Bucs already have traded two key players: tight end Kellen Winslow and defensive tackle Brian Price.

But here’s a warning: Don’t expect Blount to fetch a high draft pick. Running backs rarely produce high picks in trades, and Blount would be no different.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 2:14pm]


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