NFL Rumors: Buccaneers interested in Josh McCown, interview Manziel

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to upgrade the quarterback position, and Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel are, apparently, two options.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a "strong interest" in quarterback Josh McCownaccording to Ian Rapoport. Josh McCown had a career year last season under quarterbacks guru Marc Trestman, completing 66.5% of his passes at 8.2 yards per attempt, with 13 touchdowns and just one interception in five starts when Jay Cutler missed time due to an injury.

The Bears are fully committed to Cutler as a starter, though, which means they may not bring McCown back, or McCown may not want to be back. The Bucs have made it known that they want to add competition and depth at the quarterback position, where the only two players under contract are Mike Glennon and Mike Kafka. McCown would be a good fit as a veteran who can successfully execute an offense.

Last year's outstanding numbers were likely a production of an easy schedule and, well, random luck. The not-Luke-McCown-brother is effectively a career backup, and expecting him to be more than a high-quality backup to whoever wins the starting job would be unrealistic.

It's noteworthy that Rapoport called Michael Vick "not a real option" for the Bucs. Vick is probably the most successful available quarterback, but his inconsistent and (to an extent) unstructured play don't really fit Jeff Tedford's history with quarterbacks.

Meanwhile, Peter King in The MMQB reports that the Buccaneers have also met with Johnny Manziel, although he says that's based on "reports in various places." I haven't seen any such report, but I'm sure it's true: the Bucs are almost certainly going to meet with every potential top 10 player, including the top quarterbacks, if only to do their due diligence.

All of this interest (as well as the Bucs' own statements) make it clear that the Bucs really want to upgrade their quarterback position. The question is whether and how they will do that: with a new starter in free agency or the draft, or simply with competition for Mike Glennon rather than an outright replacement.

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