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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

What if: The cost of the Bucs trading up



Here’s what we know: The Bucs love Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Here’s what’s less clear: Are they willing to pay a premium price to land him?

There continue to be suggestions and reports that the Bucs might be willing to swing a deal with the Vikings, enabling Tampa Bay to move up to the No. 3 pick in tonight’s draft from its current No. 5 selection. Because the Browns are widely expected to select Richardson with the No. 4 selection, the Bucs would have to move at least two spots to draft him.

We’ve known all along that the Bucs were more likely to move down than up, but let’s consider the possibility anyway. If the Bucs are actually willing to move up, the biggest question – as always – will be the price. What would it take?

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, it’s believed more teams will be willing to make deals because top picks will have more manageable salaries. If that proves true, that means there could be more demand, which would affect the price.

The conventional wisdom says a third- or fourth-round pick would be enough to make a hypothetical deal with Minnesota. But the Bucs don't have a fourth-rounder this year, complicating matters. And what if someone offers more? Anything more than a third should probably be considered out of the question for the Bucs because – after finishing 4-12 last season – it’s not as if they’re one player away from a Super Bowl run.

Again, we don’t necessarily anticipate this deal. But here’s one reason it could happen: This is not a Mark Dominik draft, but a Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik draft. Schiano, hired as the coach in January, is expected to have a major imprint on this class of draft selections. And Schiano, as we well know, is a big fan of Richardson.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:22am]


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