Non draft-day trades are so rare in the NFL these days that some people probably don't even know when the league's in-season trade deadline is (It's next Tuesday, by the way).
It's the exact opposite of say, Major League Baseball, where every fan in the league knows July 31 as the day. It's like a holiday on the league's calendar, as winning teams add their final piece to the puzzle, while losing teams look to gain some hope for next season. Having said that, there's been quite a few rumblings around the league the past few days about teams looking to swing a deal.
First, we had the news that Matt Millen laughingly tried to getDeMarcus Ware for Roy Williams, who may or may not be on the trade market. Then came a report that San Francisco might have interest in Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmanzadeh.
Now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be thrown into the rumor mill as well. Ira Kaufman at the Tampa Tribune wrote yesterday about the dilemma Tampa Bay currently faces heading towards next weeks deadline.
Through five weeks, the Bucs are averaging a league-leading 41 pass attempts per game, but the lack of production has Gruden frustrated. Tampa Bay averages only 9.2 yards per completion, tied with the Bengals and Chiefs for last in the NFL, and the Bucs have only five completions of 20 or more yards. In contrast, the Panthers have completed 35 fewer passes but trail the Bucs by only 22 fewer receiving yards. The Bucs are well under the salary cap and GM Bruce Allen has repeatedly suggested the club is positioned to make a run at a significant player if warranted.
Those are some nice stats you have there, now have some more.
Currently, the Buccaneers rank 28th in yards per pass attempt, and only have one receiver -- Antonio Bryant -- in the top 41 in receiving yards. Bryant and Ike Hilliard are in the top 25 in receptions, but Hilliard is averaging only eight yards per reception. Former first-round pick Michael Clayton is once again on pace to catch fewer than 40 passes, while veteran speedster Joey Galloway can't seem to get on the field due to injury. Clearly, the Buccaneers can use some help.
The Chargers, in a similar situation a year ago, swung a deadline day deal for Chris Chambers to provide Phillip Rivers with a big play target on the outside. The move paid off as Chambers scored five touchdowns -- including playoffs -- as the team finished the regular season on an 8-2 run, and went to the AFC Championship game.