Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs in market for receiver as trade deadline looms? Don't count on it

TAMPA — With the NFL trading deadline fast approaching on Tuesday, it might appear the Bucs could use another veteran receiver.

Vincent Jackson is on injured reserve with an ACL injury and it's uncertain if he will be recalled. Louis Murphy, who began workouts two weeks ago in hopes of being activated from the physically unable to perform list, suffered a setback unrelated to his ACL injury.

Certainly, there are pass catchers who are likely to be dangled by teams out of contention. The 49ers would probably love to unload Torrey Smith. Maybe the Bears could be persuaded to deal Alshon Jeffery or the Jets would part with Brandon Marshall for a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

But all of that sounds more like fantasy football than what is likely to take place. Barring a deal that presents itself at the last minute, the chances aren't good that the Bucs swing a trade for another receiver.

What does that mean? Well, for one, Mike Evans needs to stay healthy. Coach Dirk Koetter has done a good job of moving Evans around to prevent defenses from taking him out of the game plan.

The team also will have to develop some production from receivers such as Cecil Shorts, Russell Shepard and Freddie Martino. And of course, Adam Humphries and tight end Cameron Brate have to become a bigger part of the passing game.

As for needing someone to stretch the field vertically, the Bucs could activate Donteea Dye from the practice squad once he works himself into football shape.

IT BEGAN WITH THE RAIDERS: If you want to trace the beginning of the Bucs glory days, you have to remember when the Raiders visited Tampa on Nov. 10, 1996. The night before, there was a big boxing match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A group of Raiders players watched the fight, which began late on the eve of the game.

The Bucs were 1-8 in the first year under Tony Dungy. Raiders kicker Cole Ford missed a chip shot 23-yard field goal that would've won the game with 5 seconds left in regulation. Bucs running back Mike Alstott had 54 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving to set up Michael Husted's winning field goal in overtime.

With the victory, the Bucs won five of their last eight games to end the season and were on their way. Koetter's team can only hope a win today over the Raiders will spark a similar turnaround.

MAN OF MANY HATS: If you're wondering why the Bucs don't just make Shepard the No. 2 receiver, consider his value to the team is also as its best player on all special teams. Therefore, Koetter has limited Shepard to 30 snaps on offense. He played 28 offensive snaps against the 49ers on offense last Sunday and 17 on special teams.

"We've got to be careful," Koetter said. "Somewhere around 30 reps is probably about right on offense. I mean, that's exactly how we say it in the room: be careful."

Bucs in market for receiver as trade deadline looms? Don't count on it 10/30/16 [Last modified: Sunday, October 30, 2016 3:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …

  2. Celtics legend Bill Russell discusses Red Auerbach, today's players and more


    There are decorated athletes, and then there is Bill Russell.

    Celtics center Bill Russell and coach Red Auerbach had many happy moments together.
  3. Women baseball players pay tribute to "A League of Their Own"

    The Heater

    TAMPA — In 1948, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League drew more than 900,000 spectators.

    Members of the New England Red Sox gather before taking the field against the East Coast Yankees in Tampa. The Red Sox won 10-7.
  4. Rays Tales: 10 smart decisions that helped the Rays get where they are

    The Heater

    The Rays this week will reach the midpoint of their season and, all things considered, it hasn't been half bad. To have logged 40 wins in 77 games without a pitch being thrown by two guys expected to play key bullpen roles in Brad Boxberger and Shawn Tolleson, without an at-bat by starting SS Matt …

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  5. Rays vs. Orioles, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Orioles

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)