|"In any move we make, we're going to do what we think is best for the Bucs," Schiano said Tuesday. (US PRESSWIRE)|
The Buccaneers signed veteran tight end Dallas Clark to a one-year deal Monday. The team also shipped Kellen Winslow to the Seahawks for a 2013 conditional seventh-round pick, a move that, presumably, would allow Seattle to feature more two-tight end sets.
Except that, according one NFL personnel source speaking to TheSidelineView.com's Adam Caplan, Winslow and his six career knee surgeries might not be anything more than a role player at this point in the proceedings.
“We talked to the Bucs before the draft and talked about [Winslow] further internally,” the source told Caplan. “We just didn't think he could be more than a rotational player at this point after examining his tape and performance.”
Winslow intimated Monday morning that new Bucs head coach Greg Schiano was unhappy that the tight end wasn't taking part in voluntary workouts and that, in part, led to the trade. Schiano spoke in generalities about the move during an interview with ESPN Tuesday afternoon.
"In any move we make, we're going to do what we think is best for the Bucs, and at this time it's what we felt was best," he said. "You know, it's always been my philosophy that once we make a move, whether it's in college when things happened or here in the National Football League, that we're going to talk about the guys that are Bucs. Like Dallas (Clark) and the other guys that are busting their hump out there in practice and I'm really excited about which direction we're going in."
Earlier in the day, Schiano noted that the trade wasn't about sending a message but about making this team better.
"There is really not a message," he said according to the Associated Press. "It's not one of those situations," Schiano said Tuesday. "The only message I want to address is we need to be the best football team we can be. Time is our enemy. We are running out of time. Teams in our division have a head start on us."
In addition to unloading a player that may not fit with what Schiano wants to do, Tampa Bay also got out from under Winslow's contract. ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas writes that while Clark's scheduled to make $2.7 million in base salary next season (with $1 million guaranteed), the team freed up $4.8 million in salary-cap room by trading Winslow.
Although Winslow has been productive during his three years in Tampa Bay (40 games, 218 receptions for 2,377 yards, and 12 touchdowns) and Clark has battled injuries the previous two seasons (16 games over that span and only 71 receptions), Schiano said the organization didn't come into either decision willy-nilly.
"I think he is definitely a proven player," Schiano said of Clark. "He has had some health issues as of late, some things that have kept him from playing at the level of football he played earlier in his career, but I believe wholeheartedly that he is going to return to his form and play the way he is capable. I think he can do everything we are going to ask him to do, and it is really good to have strong veteran presence in that tight-end room as well."
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