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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2004 Free Agency Preview

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2004 Free Agency Preview

Postby WebHamster » Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:01 am

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers failed to defend their Super Bowl crown last year, missing out on the playoffs entirely with a disappointing 7-9 mark. The offseason is sure to be full of change, and that includes the future of Keyshawn Johnson.

The Bucs continue to work on a trade that would send Johnson to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for speedy wideout Joey Galloway. The Cowboys are said to be close to a new contract with Johnson, while the Bucs tend to their unhealthy cap situation to clear space for Galloway.

Tampa Bay is in the process of working on restructured deals with linebacker Derrick Brooks, defensive end Simeon Rice, cornerback Brian Kelly and wide receiver Keenan McCardell. If the Bucs can improve their salary cap status, re-signing Warren Sapp, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 3, could become a reality.

Sapp, who had five sacks and two forced fumbles last season, has publicly stated his desire to return to the team that he helped make a world champion. The combination of a poor market for Sapp's services and the Bucs' hopes to retain the former Miami Hurricane could result in a new deal.

Filling the void in the offensive backfield has become a top priority for head coach Jon Gruden, who is ready to make a splash by going after one of his former players. Oakland's Charlie Garner, an unrestricted free agent, could be reunited with his old coach. The Bucs also have interest in Oakland's Matt Stinchcomb, a versatile lineman who played all five positions last season.

The club also re-signed DT Ellis Wyms, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent.

KEY UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB-Shaun King, RB-Thomas Jones, RB-Aaron Stecker, WR-Reggie Barlow, TE-Rickey Dudley, TE-Todd Yoder, OG-Cosey Coleman, OT-Cornell Green, DT-Warren Sapp, LB-Nate Webster, S-David Gibson, P-Tom Tupa.

KEY RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FB-Jameel Cook, DT-Chartric Darby, S-John Howell.
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