With the Philadelphia Eagles willing to move veteran CB Asante Samuel, would the Tampa Bay Buccaneers be a possible fit? With four days remaining until the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, rumors are swirling at a fever pitch. A vast majority of mock drafts have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting LSU CB Morris Claiborne, but rumors are now suggesting the Minnesota Vikings are now taking a hard look at Claiborne. Would a possible trade for Samuel make sense for the Buccaneers this week?
A report from the Denver Post last week suggest that the Broncos inquired about a possible trade for Samuel, offering up two different scenarios, offering up no higher than a fifth-round selection. Even if the cost escalated to a fourth-round selection, the Buccaneers should entertain the possibility of a trade if Claiborne falls off the board.
Follow the reasoning which could justify making the trade. Minnesota selects Claiborne in order to shore up a secondary which allowed 34 touchdowns through the air last season. Cleveland selects RB Trent Richardson and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock. WR Justin Blackmon is still on the board but Tampa just inked a big dollar deal with WR Vincent Jackson. OT Matt Kalil is still on the board but Tampa has a solid left tackle in Donald Penn who just signed a long-term deal last season. QB Ryan Tannehill, the play which has seen his stock skyrocket over the last few weeks is also still on the board. Perhaps the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs or even the Philadelphia Eagles want to move up and select Tannehill.
In that scenario, Tampa misses out on Claiborne and Richardson but could move back in the draft, with the possibility of selecting Boston College LB Luke Kuechly, filling another need. By moving back, the Buccaneers would pick up another draft pick, making a trade for Samuel less painful while the Buccaneers pick up a veteran corner and a top linebacker prospect.
Yes, Samuel comes with a huge salary for the next two seasons, but he has stated in the media over the last few months that he would be open to restructuring his current deal.
It is quite likely that CB Aqib Talib has played his last game with the Buccaneers. That really would be a shame for Tampa as he really is a talent on the field but he simply cannot stay out of trouble off the field. He could be headed to jail, or even be facing another league imposed suspension from the league at the very least. Reports surfaced this week that the team was trying to trade Talib.
A trade for Samuel would put him at one corner position while Eric Wright lines up across the field from him. CB Ronde Barber rolled into the safety position during voluntary workouts this past week and entering his 16th season, has lost a step on the outside.
If the Buccaneers get on the clock with the number five pick with CB Morris Claiborne and RB Trent Richardson off the board, Tampa should seriously consider moving back and then trading for Asante Samuel.