The NFL Trade Deadline is looming, but so is Hurricane Sandy. On Sunday, the NFL announced that the league offices will be closed on Monday, and there is a chance the league will announce on Monday that the Tuesday trade deadline might be extended due to the impending hurricane. However, whenever the trade deadline will be, will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers be moving some players? Tampa Bay might have some players they want to jettison in order to reap some draft choices for next season.
Three players have been rumored to possibly be on the trade block for the Buccaneers. CB Aqib Talib. OT Jeremy Trueblood and this evening, RB LeGarrette Blount’s name has cropped up.
Talib is currently serving a four-game league imposed suspension after testing positive for the use of the banned substance Adderall. First year head coach Greg Schiano is running a very tight ship in Tampa and Talib’s most recent run in with the league, and second suspension might be enough to let the Buccaneers decide his fate. The former first-round draft pick has enormous talent on the field but has had more than his share of issues off the field.
Talib will be a free agent at the end of this season. Perhaps the Buccaneers have decided that they have had enough of his off field behavior and will decide to move in another direction without giving him a huge financial payday. Teams are always interested in adding talented corners in the NFL, and despite having to serve two more games on his suspension, I could see a team offering something up for him down the stretch run.
OT Jeremy Trueblood has lost his starting right tackle job with the Buccaneers. In the offseason, he renegotiated his contract down to $4 million a year. Trueblood has been with the Buccaneers for seven seasons, but has never been considered an exceptional offensive lineman. He is a serviceable lineman and a team like the New York Jets might be interested in adding him. NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi tosses out the idea that Trueblood could be on the block.
RB LeGarrette Blount has been replaced in Tampa by rookie Doug Martin. Martin struggled as the Buccaneers headed into their bye week, but as the Buccaneers have established their passing game, Martin has posted some strong numbers and is more of an all-round back than Blount is. Martin has recorded 467 total yards in his last three games and enjoyed his best game as a pro last Thursday. The Buccaneers added rookie RB Michael Smith and free agent D.J. Ware this season, so Blount should be considered expendable.CBS Sports Jason LaCanfora reports as much this evening.
Blount is a one-dimensional back with limited pass catching ability. Given the running back issues the Pittsburgh Steelers have been dealing with this season, he might garner some interest in the Steel City.
The Buccaneers have shown vast improvement on the field this season over the team which took the field in 2011. Tampa has an outside chance at getting themselves back into the wildcard race down the stretch but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the organization try to move one of these players.