Bucs and Rams talk picks

The world of professional football is harsh, and loyalty of a player is easily lost thanks to the deals agents and teams make. Players have to adapt to change as fast as it is possible because everyone expects them to be at their best when they transfer.

Physiotherapists are there to help athletes adapt to the new environment. They oversee their training and come up with ideas that would help them get ready for the beginning of the season.

Yesterday, Chris Steuber at profootball.scout.com posted an interesting blog regarding possible exploratory talks between the Bucs and Rams swapping positions with their 1st round picks. Reports have swirled for several weeks that the Rams are very interested in obtaining Michael Vick from the Eagles but Philadelphia has played their quarterback positions very close to the vest. Headed into the offseason it was widely believed the Eagles would trade Vick to a team needing a quarterback but talks haven’t resulted in much in the way of Philly tipping their hand just yet.

Exploratory talks about pics

In this article, the writer reports to have knowledge that the Bucs and Rams have had exploratory talks about swapping St. Louis’s  first overall pick for Tampa’s #3. The interesting twist to his column is that while it was widely believed such a move would cost the Bucs one of their 2nd round spots, he believes that the trade could be consummated with Tampa surrendering their 3rd round pick, #67 overall and trading 2nd year quarterback Josh Johnson to St Louis. I happen to like Johnson as a potential talent but he won’t see much playing time with last year’s first round pick Josh Freeman being the starter. Steuber seems to believe the Rams are very high on Johnson and would like to obtain him. Such a trade would allow Tampa to select one of the two premier defensive tackles in the draft this year, Gerald McCoy or Ndamukon Suh while St Louis could then select either quarterback Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen.

Back in September when Johnson was named the starter, I wrote this about the move on my personal blog, fishandbucs.blogspot.com,

“No. I’ve not changed my opinion on where this season is heading, but Josh Johnson brings a new dynamic to the Bucs which has sadly been lacking. Johnson, (6′3″ 215) is a product of the University of San Diego. During his senior year, Johnson passed for 2988 yards, rushed for 726 yards and produced 46 passing touchdowns and 1, yes 1, interception. That interception was a result of a ball which bounced off of his tight end’s shoulder pads.

Johnson was pretty impressive in the preseason games which he appeared this year. He’s a very accurate passer, with a quick delivery and very mobile. I believe this decision gives the Bucs the best chance to finally crack the win column this season.”

The replacement of Byron Leftwhich and other related news

Johnson replaced a very ineffective, Byron “The Human Windmill” Leftwhich but only started four games. In those games he threw for 685 yards, 4 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, but he did rush for 148 yards. In his defense, Johnson started week 4 on the road in Washington and lost 16-13. The following week, the Bucs were plastered by Philly 33-14, again on the road. Week 6, Tampa returned home and Josh played well, but the loss fell squarely on the shoulders of the horrible defense. The Bucs lost by giving up the winning touchdown with 29 seconds left to Carolina, 28-21. In his final start week 7, the “home” game against the Patriots in London, Tampa was steamrolled by Brady and the Pats 35-7. Week 8 was a bye week and as expected Freeman started after the bye and for the rest of the season.

While I think this article does have some merit, there is always posturing by teams prior to the draft. Perhaps St Louis is trying to pressure Philadelphia to tip their hand and get a deal done to obtain Vick. But what I feel is happening here is the Bucs are trying to get a package deal from a team lower in the draft that wants one of the particular quarterbacks in this years draft. By allowing this story to surface now, puts pressure on teams like Seattle that might covet one quarterback this year and would fear that St Louis would take that player with the number three pick.

What will happen after the trade?

If Tampa were to trade Johnson, and as expected release Leftwhich, that leaves no one in a back up role, and the talent pool of veteran quarterbacks in this years free agency is very thin. And finally we come back to the financial situation in Tampa. Amid all the denail from the front office, does Tampa have the fiscal wherewithal to pull off signing an overall #1 pick in this years draft? I think not. As much as I’d love to see either Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh on the defensive line at Ray Jay next season, I firmly believe that this rumor is a calculated move in order to trade down in this years deep draft while trying to stockpile another 2nd and 3rd round pick.