Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

GM Dominik says Tampa Bay Buccaneers open to options for No. 5 pick in NFL draft

PALM BEACH — The hardest part of making a trade often is finding a partner to trade with, something Bucs GM Mark Dominik undoubtedly knows.

But if a team gets the urge to make a draft-night trade for Tampa Bay's No. 5 overall selection, Dominik will consider their offer with an open mind.

Dominik has ruled out trading up, but would welcome a trad down, he said this week at the NFL owners meetings. Such a move would likely provide additional lower-round picks.

"I really like where we're at in the draft, picking No. 5," Dominik said. "I know that we'll walk out with a good player if we stay at 5. But I'm willing to move back if I feel like the opportunity is there."

Dominik later added, "If I can move down some, do I? Yes. If I don't, then I'm happy where we're going to be at 5."

Teams rarely trade up near the top of the draft unless there is considerable value to be had, such as a top-flight quarterback who falls unexpectedly. The top quarterbacks in this draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, are expected to be chosen with the first two picks by the Colts and Redskins, respectively.

But there is an outside chance the Vikings won't take USC tackle Matt Kalil at No. 3, meaning he could fall to the Bucs. Tampa Bay might receive offers for the pick under that unlikely scenario, but might be tempted to select the top offensive lineman in the draft, too.

"I wouldn't rule it out," Dominik said.

NO INTERVIEW CHANGES: During this year's search for assistant coaches, the Bucs were repeatedly blocked by other clubs when attempting to interview assistant coaches who were under contract.

The rules that permit those decisions aren't likely to change.

While the league is discussing several potential rules changes at its meetings, there won't be debate about softening interview guidelines. Competition Committee chairman and Falcons president Rich McKay said the issue was not raised in the lengthy annual team surveys the committee distributes, meaning no change in the rule will be discussed.

"We expected to see some (feedback) in the surveys and really didn't see it," McKay said. "We had talked about the anti-tampering rules for an awfully long time (in previous years). The ruling we got to is that a contract is a contract."

BUCS BITS: Because the Bucs changed coaches, they can begin offseason work with players and the coaching staff on Monday. Other teams have to wait until April 16. The Bucs will begin with classroom work and meetings then progress to a minicamp later in the month. … Don't look for the Bucs to sign a starting-caliber linebacker before the draft because the new coaching staff first wants to take a closer look at the current group during minicamp. Mason Foster, for the time being, will remain at middle linebacker.

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