The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have received interest for numerous players this year, and we can add another name to the list: teams have called the Bucs for Mark Barron, Ed Werder reports. The ESPN scribe also confirmed that the Bucs are receiving calls on Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson. We've talked about Vincent Jackson here and Doug Martin here, while there have also been reports suggesting that Dashon Goldson could be traded.
It's possible that all of these reports are coming from outside the Bucs' front office, but that seems like an awful coincidence -- no other team is the focus of so many rumors. It seems more likely that the team is simply holding a fire sale: they're effectively out of the playoffs, and they'll be moving on from some of these players in the near future anyway. Why not see what they can get? And the best way to drum up the price is to tell the media that teams are interested. This is just speculation, but it does make some logical sense.
Mark Barron's not likely to leave
The Barron rumor comes a bit out of left field, but it does make some sense. Barron's a very talented safety, but he's also best fit for a specific role: as an in-the-box enforcer who is also asked to cover tight ends in man-to-man. That, he can do well. He's less effective as a deep safety, either as the single safety or in a two-deep look. He's not bad in those roles, per se, but he's not going to make a difference, either.
Now, that doesn't mean the Bucs are about to replace Barron. He's a useful player in their scheme and overall, and they'd be hard-pressed to replace him this season, or even next year. But he's not irreplaceable, and a good offer -- say, a second-round pick -- could certainly see him leave town.
Nothing will probably happen before tomorrow's deadline
It's not overly likely that any of those players will really leave Tampa before the trade deadline on Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. ET. With the exception of Vincent Jackson, all of these players have been disappointing, which would depress their price and the level of interest for them. As for Vincent Jackson, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has noted the Bucs would require a second-round pick to part ways with him, which seems unlikely to happen given his age and contract.
But the trade rumors do make sense in another way: the Bucs are 1-6, all of those players are disappointing but certainly talented, and Tampa Bay will want draft picks to continue reconstructing their team in the coaches' image. It's clear now that the rapid re-tooling the Bucs tried this offseason did not work, and that means we'll likely see more re-tooling next offseason. Any and all cap space the Bucs can clear in trade and any and all draft picks they can add will help.
Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson are the most likely trade targets
While Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson could leave town, the most likely players to be traded are Mark Barron and Vincent Jackson. Ian Rapoport connected both the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia to Jackson. He'd be a good fit on either team: they could use a big, downfield threat, and both teams prefer good run-blocking receiver -- and Jackson excels in that role.
Meanwhile, Martin is likely to be traded simply because the Bucs appear to be moving on from him. Rookie Charles Sims will be available to play for the first time this week, and the coaches seem to love him. He's a better fit for their zone-blocking scheme, while Martin has done little to earn his job as a starter. If a possible playoff contender needs a running back who looked like a star two years ago, and who can at least pass-block and catch the ball, they may be willing to give up a solid pick for Martin. I'd imagine as little as a fourth-rounder would get that deal done.
Ultimately, though, I don't expect anything to concrete to happen tomorrow.