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Buccaneers trade for guard Rishaw Johnson, send Kelcie McCray to the Chiefs

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a trade for a guard, but it's not the big name many in Tampa have been clamoring for over the past few weeks.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded from an area of depth to add to an area of weakness on Thursday, giving up safety Kelcie McCray to obtain Rishaw Johnson from the Kansas City Chiefs.

McCray was made expendable by the addition of Major Wright and the emergence of Bradley McDougald, which forced McCray down to the fifth or sixth safety on the Bucs' depth chart.  The former Dolphin did see playing time in 2013, but didn't seem to figure into Lovie Smith's plans heavily in 2014.

In return, the Buccaneers get a former highly coveted high school lineman in Johnson who ran into trouble during his time at Ole Miss, and was kicked off the team for a violation of team rules. He transferred to California University of Pennsylvania where he would finish his college career before going undrafted and signing with the Seattle Seahawks.

Lovie Smith told the media on Thursday that Johnson's flexibility to play guard and center made him an attractive option, as the Bucs are currently lacking in depth at both positions.

Our friends over at Arrowhead Pride, SB Nation's Chiefs community, had some positive things to say about Johnson, including notes regarding a strong performance against the Chargers late last year. There seemed to be a lot of hope regarding his potential, but either the Chiefs ran out of patience waiting for him to develop, or simply have too much depth at guard, and felt the need to move him for a player who could compete for a roster spot.

Here's what Arrowhead Pride's Joel Thorman told us about Johnson.

If you had told me a few months ago this trade would happen, I wouldn't have believed you. Rishaw Johson entered the Chiefs offseason first in line for the starting right guard job after a solid Week 17 effort in 2013. The Chiefs drafted Zach Fulton in May and he has since overtaken Johnson for that job. Ricky Henry and Jeff Linkenbach are other guards on the Chiefs roster who have a shot to make it. In fact, my Chiefs 53-man roster prediction was difficult because I thought you could make a case for any of those guards on the roster. Johnson does seem to have slipped behind the others over the last few weeks.

Either way, this seems like more than an addition of "just a camp body". Rishaw will compete for a backup job from day one, with the potential to pass Oniel Cousins should he struggle in his presumed starting role. Johnson's ability to backup the center position makes him even more likely to make the roster, as the Bucs don't have any standout candidates to play behind Evan Dietrich-Smith.

And even if he doesn't pan out, the Bucs didn't lose anything of real value, as McCray was the longest of long shots to make the 53-man roster. This was a wise deal for both teams, and it could really impact how the final depth charts and roster bubble positions shake out in Tampa and Kansas City.

Update at 2:46 p.m.: Added Joel Thorman's quote.