Tampa Bay Bucs: We Don't Need No Stinkin' Brandon Marshall
Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall, Sammie Stroughter, and Mark Bradley. That's your top four wide receivers, Tampa Bay fans.
However, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with their second- and fifth-round draft picks this week, it could have looked like this: Brandon Marshall, Santonio Holmes, Stroughter, Stovall, Bradley.
For the price of a Dexter Jackson and Xavier Fulton, the Buccaneers could have had a receiver who has caught 100 balls in three consecutive seasons, and the Super Bowl MVP one year removed.
Yet your general manager, Mark Dominik, told a group of reporters in a pre-draft press conference that the services of Mr. Holmes and Mr. Marshall were not needed in Tampa Bay.
"I'd say that we evaluated it internally and we've made a decision," Dominik said. "We are very aware that receiver is a position that we will continue to monitor and look at on this football team. At the same point you have to look into what you feel is best for this football team. We looked at both of them."
Looked but didn't touch with a 10-foot pole.
It's not like Holmes and Marshall didn't come with baggage.
Holmes is a pot head, as evidenced by his "wake and bake" twitter posting and his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
If you're suspended, it's not your first failed test. Santonio's antics are making Ricky Williams blush. He's one more Cheech or Chong away from being banished for a season.
Meanwhile, Marshall has willed his way out of Denver. He wanted a big-time contract, but with a rap sheet that makes DMX look like a choir boy, Denver wasn't willing to show him the money.
He reacted by being a general pain in Josh McDaniel's backside for most of the offseason, but when it came time to ball, Marshall pulled down 101 balls for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns—not bad for a disgruntled employee, eh?
If he and his new wife can keep from re-enacting a UFC match at their residence, it's quite possible that Brandon Marshall could become the impact player any team would want in its receiving core.
Yet the Bucs don't need him, right?
So much for it being all about No. 5 (Josh Freeman).
I understand Holmes: I'm sure Raheem Morris got on the horn with his old coaching buddy Mike Tomlin and got the skinny on Holmes. He's a turd. A talented one, but he's still a turd.
Marshall, however, is a completely different matter. His off-the-field troubles withstanding, this guy is a bonafide player on the field. He's never been in trouble with the league and yes, he acted like a horse's ass during the OTA's last year. He was immature and handled the entire situation poorly but still performed when the lights went on.
"I've made my mistakes," Marshall told the Miami Herald . "I'm 26 now. To some, that's young. But I'm now considered a veteran in the NFL."
I don't really believe Marshall's off-the-field issues were the driving factor behind the Bucs saying thanks but no thanks.
It's the dollars: $50 million of them to be exact. If the Bucs keep the third overall selection in Thursday's NFL draft, that youngster is going to get $31 million in guaranteed money.
The Glazers weren't going to bite down on that big chunk of cash, then turn around and pay Brandon Marshall $10 million a season.
It's just not going to happen.
No, the owners of the Buccaneers are sticking to the "free agency and veteran trades, what the heck are those?" philosophy and making sure they spend their money on rookies who may never amount to anything (especially considering the Bucs' draft history).
Heck, if the Bucs could just pass on the first round, the Glazer boys probably would be just fine with that.
Who knows? Maybe they'll figure out a way.
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