The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next in our series of team-by-team mailbags.
Pat Yasinskas: Nick’s question was asked in various ways by a whole bunch of Tampa Bay fans. I’ll try to answer them all right here. I realize it’s fun, easy and popular to see a big name on the market and automatically say the Bucs should go after that guy. It’s natural, but you’re getting away from reality. Fact is, like it or not, the Bucs are going through a rebuilding process and it’s not always going to be pretty or popular. But they’re sticking with their plan of building through the draft and that means it’s probably going to take time for this team to become good. The days of the short-term fix ended when Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen were shown the door. Yes, Holmes and Marshall are still relatively young, but they bring up another reality check as to what’s going on in Tampa Bay these days. Throughout the Tony Dungy days, the Bucs were big on character. When Gruden and Allen came in, things loosened up in that regard. Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris might not be quite as extreme about character as Dungy was, but they pay close attention to it. Holmes is facing a suspension at the start of this season. If he was a good guy that just needed a change of scenery, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin probably would have told his good buddy Morris to give the guy a chance. That didn’t happen. Marshall also carries baggage. The Bucs are building this franchise around Josh Freeman and they’re not going to bring in a receiver with the potential to destroy their quarterback. For the record, the Bucs had a No. 1 receiver in Antonio Bryant. He ripped Freeman and criticized the coaching staff and front office last year. Did you notice how quickly the Bucs pushed him out the door when free agency started?
JP in Inverness, Fla., writes: Since the Bucs passed on Brandon Marshall (which I am still not sure the risk was not worth it) might they be interested in Ted Ginn? I do not see that he would cost much, and while he is definitely not a number 1, he might be a number two and getting him for a fifth or sixth round pick could not hurt, right?
Pat Yasinskas: I’m definitely keeping my eyes and ears open on this one. Ginn doesn’t come with baggage and it sure looks likely that the Dolphins are trying to move him. Ginn never quite lived up to his draft status and his skill set doesn’t fit with the current Miami offense. But there is some talent there and you could throw him into the mix with Reggie Brown, Michael Clayton and all those other receivers the Bucs have and see who rises up as the No. 2 guy (while still looking for an answer at No. 1). I think this one is at least a possibility, although it’s hard to imagine the Bucs parting with any of their draft picks.
Scott in Tampa writes: Matt Mosley suggested that the Redskins may be willing to part with Albert Haynesworth for a package including a second round pick. Since the Bucs have two picks in the second round this year, do you see any way this could go down? It would allow us to use maybe use our No. 3 pick on a top offensive tackle like Russell Okung instead of Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy.
Pat Yasinskas: Very doubtful and it kind of goes hand-in-hand with my answer to the first question on receivers. The Bucs made a play at Haynesworth last year, but that was before they really locked into the whole idea of building with youth. They’re very serious about that. They value this year’s draft pick tremendously and don’t want to part with them. Plus, like the receivers, Haynesworth would come with some baggage.