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NFL Free Agency Roundup - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Edition

Those crazy Buccaneers.  They go and lose the final four games of the season -- including a horrible season-ending, playoff-missing loss to the (snicker) Raiders -- and they feel they have to make some changes.  Not just a few changes.  A LOT of changes.  And they need to make them RIGHT FREAKING NOW!!

Head coach?   Fired.

General Manager?  Fired.

Quarterback?  Told not to come back.

Leading rusher?  Cut.

#2 Wide Receiver?  Cut.

Ha!  That'll show the league!!


Errrm, right.  So, what's left?  Wellll.........

They have a new starting QB in Luke McCown.  No, really.   They signed him to a 2 year deal and all but anointed him as the team's starter. Right now, he isn't a good fantasy option.

They have a new starting TE in Kellen Winslow, whom they got in a trade from Cleveland.  Considering the Bucs had three different tight ends with a touchdown reception last year, you wouldn't think that tight end was a big need for them.  But there you go.  Winslow won't be a good fantasy option either because Tampa always uses multiple TEs.

They have a new starting RB in Derrick Ward, whom they signed as a free agent.  Well, he's kind of the new starting RB.  He will probably take over the "pass catching speedster" role that Warrick Dunn had, splitting carries and leaving the "powerful bruiser" role to Earnest Graham in an attempt to recreate the dual 1000 rushing yard seasons that Ward and Brandon Jacobs had with the Giants.

It's a good plan.  And it's a plan that might actually work, if the Bucs put together a passing game solid enough (hint hint: Terrell Owens!) to keep defenses from stacking the line.  Instead of Eli Manning-Plaxico Burress, the Bucs have...wait, let me check...Luke McCown-Antonio Bryant.  Not really the same thing.

Oh yeah, Cadillac Williams (63 carries and 4 TDs) is still in the mix at RB as well.  Right now it's hard to see how Ward will be worth anything more than a flex position in fantasy leagues, but the potential for good things from Ward is there.

Do these moves make any of the Buccaneers listed better from a fantasy point of view?  No.  Ward will almost certainly be worth less than last season, Winslow will probably be worth the same (43 catches, 428 rec yds, 3 TDs seems right) and I don't know what to think about McCown although my initial reaction is "Bleaargh".

It should be an interesting summer in Tampa.  It wouldn't surprise me if they draft a tight end or another running back either, because that's how they roll.