What's the plan at receiver?
We dropped a lot of names around here yesterday as the Bucs blanketed the league with phone calls to prospective signees.
But you may have noticed that very few of those players were receivers. And you're probably wondering why in the world that is.
So were we. Here's what we've gleaned from various conversations:
It's clear the Bucs aren't that thrilled with the crop of free-agent receivers. We have yet to hear them connected to Bernard Berrian, who was considered the prize entering the weekend (assuming Randy Moss isn't up for grabs). No one has told us anything that indicates they're in the race for Donte' Stallworth, either. Regarding Seattle's D.J. Hackett, word is the Bucs don't think he's all that different from Michael Clayton and Maurice Stovall. So, why pay ridiculously to get him? They also had no intention of chasing Jerry Porter, who got a surprising $30-million deal from Jacksonville.
We expect they'll make a run at Devery Henderson, who visited Friday, or some other middle-of-the-pack free agent receiver. But it's becoming clear the Bucs think they can find a difference-maker in the draft. They might just be right. The selection in the draft is much deeper than what's on the free-agent market. And with Tampa Bay picking 20th overall, the Bucs are confident one of the better receivers will fall to them.
It's an interesting approach they're taking at a position that needs addressing. We'll see soon enough how it all plays out and -- more important -- whether it worked.