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Bucs Jump Into Free Agent Fray With Both Feet

Posted Feb 27, 2009 by Roy Cummings

Updated Feb 27, 2009 at 02:47 AM


TAMPA – Free agency has begun and the Bucs have apparently jumped into the fray with both feet.

Though they have yet to be confirmed by either the Bucs or the agents for the players involved, early reports have the Bucs entering into the mix for the market’s top two players – defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

The more curious of the two reports is the one suggesting the Bucs have made a run at Houshmandzadeh, who would fill a starter’s spot opposite Antonio Bryant, who signed the one-year tender that came with the franchise tag the Bucs placed on him last week.

One of Houshmandzadeh’s Bengals teammates told a Cincinnati reporter earlier in the evening that he heard the Bucs and Eagles were emerging as the two big players for Houshmandzadeh, but Houshmandzadeh’s interest in the Bucs may not be as strong as the Bucs interest in him.

In an interview on ESPN’s “NFL Live’’ early Friday Houshmandzadeh said there were four teams he wanted to play for but the Bucs weren’t one of them. The teams making Houshmandzadeh’s list were Philadelphia, Minnesota, the Giants and Seattle.

The Bucs, of course, are definitely in the market for a receiver after releasing Joey Galloway on Wednesday and failing to get a deal done for Michael Clayton before the free agent marketplace opened on Thursday.

They are believed to have very strong interest in Pittsburgh speedster Nate Washington and may revisit the idea of signing Devery Henderson, who was on their want list last year before signing with New Orleans.

The Bucs are also in the market for a defensive tackle and have long been considered a player for Haynesworth, who is a precise fit for the tackle spot in new coordinator Jim Bates defensive scheme. The Bucs aren’t the only players for Haynesworth, however.

The Redskins are also expected to be in that mix and ESPN’s John Clayton reported that as many as six or seven teams have called Haynesworth’s agent expressing interest in the tackle.

All of those teams, according to Clayton, have agreed to meet Haynesworth’s reported demand of at least $30 million in guaranteed payouts and a salary of approximately $15 million per year.

As for the Bucs own free agents, the team did not release news of any signings prior to the start of free agency. That’s an indication that in addition to Clayton, the likes of safety Jermaine Phillips, cornerback Phillip Buchanon and tight end Jerramy Stevens have hit the market.

The Bucs were believed to be in negotiations with the agents for all those players right up to and possibly beyond the deadline, and so it’s possible that deals can still be reached before the players actually begin testing the market.

The Bucs, meanwhile, are believed to be setting up potential visits with the likes of Washington, Falcons linebacker Michael Boley, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and tight end Chris Baker.

The Bucs are also in the market for a running back and are believed to be considering 49ers back DeShaun Foster, Browns back Jason Wright and Seattle back Maurice Morris.

Reader Comments

Por (Ick) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

i will believe it when i see it. Sign on the dotted line

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Por (Stephen Blackehart) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

It’s going to be difficult to land him (or other big-name WRS) with no marquee QB on the roster.  Maybe if we’d held onto Garcia for one more year…

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Por (Roland) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Stephen Blackehart, why would any WR want to play with garcia? EVER?—-
At RB, why not Ward from the G-men? He seems like the kind of power/read and explode type back we need in a zone blocking O. Foster wouldn’t be bad bu the lacks power.—-
What about DT and LE. And now LBer. That is what will make or break our season/future/current leadership. We could get by with a couple of draft picks and nothing else on O and be okay. We will be horrible with out impact additions to our D.

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Por (bucfan4life) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

haynesworth is reported to be signing w/ washington….7yrs $100 mill..41m gar/ next

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Por (Yamon) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

see, thats just it. NO big name player is going to want to come to Tampa right now.

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Por (BucFandango) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Someone forgot to tell the Daydream Team, that it’s winter and the pool was drained on Wednesday. Best wishes to the Dynamic Duo & The Glosers.

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Por (greg) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Aside from the Bengals WR none of the other names being mentioned are exciting. Dominik do your draft homework and take Heyward-Bey if he is available. If not, take Percy Harvin, then look for a DT,RB,LB,CB and best of rest. Do not make the mistake of paying too much for average skills.

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Por (Paul Keyes) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The Glazers are a joke. First they raise ticket prices 25 bucks a seat after a disappointing year, Super Bowl champs NYG 5 dollars a seat.

The title should read Bucs enter free agency BLINDFOLDED, GAG’d, and HANDCUFFED!!!

What a joke, we dont even have anyone scheduled for a visit yet. Players dont want to come here period!!! Nate Washington is scheduled to visit Detriot today. Pretty sad when Detriot has more pull over you!

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Por (Ben Forlaw) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Paul, NYG was two SB champs ago.  Let me know what the Steelers are doing with ticket prices now. 

We can forget about getting Housh, he wants “a talented quarterback, a strong head coach and an aggressive offensive system.” By talented, I’m sure he means “proven,” and we are not stable at QB right now, Raheem hasn’t coached a game, and other than AB, we don’t know if we have the means to have an aggressive offensive system, even though I trust Jags to do well with the O.  Let’s get Washington in here, he’s young and fast - time to shell out the money.

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Por (:PapaJohn) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Something tells me they won’t sign their first FA until next week.

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Por (George L Hicks) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

What I’ve seen is the count 1 to the bucs in that TE from Cleveland But the two got away the big DT & LB. But Tampa keep going,with all that money, Lets make a deal with all those young player at tampa. But please Don’t give up the 1st and 3rd. LETS GET THAT BIG DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OR BIG RB OR WR WITH PICK 19. tHEN PICK THE BEST OF THE OTHER TWO POSITION AT PICK 3 AND 4.Also how about bringing DE Marques Douglas back to Tampa,Since tampa sent him to balt in 2008.go bucs.

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