Tampa Bay edition of the mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Time for the final installment of today's team-by-team mailbag. That's the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Hellfire in Tulsa writes: Ok it is time to ask this. What is going to happen to joey galloway?Are we talking retire? Or are we talking trade?

Pat Yasinskas: A very legitimate question. Age and injuries finally caught up to Galloway this year and he's become something of a forgotten man in Tampa Bay. I'm sure Galloway sees that and wonders about his future. Retirement certainly would seem like a possibility and I could also see a scenario where the Bucs might just release him. They've got Antonio Bryant now and I'm sure they're going to try to lock him up with a long-term contract. I also suspect they'll be heavy players for receivers in the draft or free agency. As far as trading Galloway, I think that would be heading down a road similar to Chris Simms. The rest of the league knows Galloway's not a big part of Tampa Bay's plans, so why give up a draft pick for him?

Noah in Lakeland, FL writes: Hey Pat, I was looking at an SI article that projected that the Saints would win the South and that the Bucs, Panthers, and Falcons all would not make the playoffs. Isn't this a bit ridiculous? The Saints defense is terrible, and they've only beaten one team with a winning record, and that was a 4 point win against the Bucs when Jeff Garcia wasn't himself. Am I the only one that thinks these projections are a little off?

Pat Yasinskas: We don't criticize other media outlets here. But I will tell you the Saints, who I picked to win the division at the beginning of the year, would be the last team I'd pick to win it right now. They're in a situation where they have to run the table or come very close to that. Is it impossible? No, they've got plenty of talent. But they've been inconsistent all year and just won back-to-back games for the first time. It's a little difficult to see them suddenly putting it all together. As for the rest of the teams, I think you have to say the Bucs are the favorite right now because they've got a better schedule than Carolina. Atlanta's only a game behind those two and I'm not counting the Falcons out of anything.

JC in Longview Tx writes: Tell me do you think the Bucs can win the number two seed in the NFC and if so do you think Thay can go on and beat the Giants ?

Pat Yasinskas: The Bucs are in the No. 2 spot right now and a decent schedule might make them the favorite to stay there. They definitely have a shot at the second seed. But, can they go into the Meadowlands and beat the Giants? That's a tough one to picture.

Shill in St. Petersburg: With the recent release of Shaun Alexander from the Redskins, do you think it would be wise for Tampa to pick him up for the eleventh hour and playoff run to use as a veteran backup. I think Warrick and Smith are doing good and I expect Williams to be productive, but I worry about injury to one of the RB. I would think a playoff caliber team as Tampa would like to have a verteran back up as opposed to Noah Herron. Do you think it would be fruitful to pick him up?

Pat Yasinskas: The Bucs are a team with a history of taking shots on veteran guys. But I don't see them going for Shaun Alexander unless they have another injury at running back. They seemed poised to take their chances with Warrick Dunn, Cadillac Williams and Clifton Smith. The key, obviously, is Williams. He's coming back from a major knee injury and nobody knows how he'll hold up. But the Bucs were very encouraged by his performance in Detroit last week. He showed he can handle some carries and I think Williams gained some confidence from the coaching staff. As far as Alexander, I think the fact that he's out there is probably a pretty good indication that he's not anything close to the back we remember from his Seattle days.