Linked heavily to Jameis Winston since locking up the No. 1 pick and recently reported to be undeterred by the quarterback’s latest legal issues, the Buccaneers may be backing off that stance slightly. There now could be two draft slots available for teams desperate for signal-calling help, reports Bob Glauber of Newsday.
Although the Bucs, who haven’t held the No. 1 draft choice since taking Vinny Testaverde at that position in 1987, are expected to take either Winston or Marcus Mariota, they are willing to listen to offers for the selection, sources told Glauber. The possibility of stockpiling picks and either selecting a second-tier quarterback later or further determining Mike Glennon‘s legitimacy are contingency plans.
The Browns and Chargers are the most likely teams to pull the trigger on a trade, reports Glauber, with the Jets and Eagles now backing off their pursuits due to Gang Green only possessing six selections and the Eagles unwilling to pay what it would cost to vault from No. 20 to a top-two slot. Glauber notes the Eagles are prepared to go into the season with Sam Bradford as their starter.
A team hasn’t traded a No. 1 pick during the draft since the Eli Manning–Philip Rivers exchange 11 years ago, and the Falcons trading up in 2001 representing the last time a franchise that didn’t finish with the worst record the previous season made the No. 1 overall selection.
Some other notes from around the NFC.
- The Mariota-to-Philadelphia rumor has indeed lost steam, according to Dave Spadaro of PhiladelphiaEagles.com, with the prospect of the Eagles adding picks by trading down gaining it. The Eagles own seven picks as of now and traded out of their first-round window last year.
- Despite being one of several teams in the late derby to add Stevie Brown, the Giants are still considered “one of the favorites” to re-sign him, reports Jordan Ranaan of NJ.com. The Giants’ offer, however, may not top the market that includes the Cowboys, Falcons, Titans and Raiders. But the 27-year-old former seventh-round pick would be a crucial land for Big Blue, as they are in need of two starting safeties. Little-known commodities Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor are their incumbents at strong safety, increasing the likelihood of a high draft choice coming to help the Giants on the back end. Although converted corners Chykie Brown, Bennett Jackson and Josh Gordy may provide competition at the free safety position, Brown would immediately surge to the top spot there if he re-signs, reports Ranaan.
- Roy Helu‘s exit to Oakland leaves Washington without a proven backup to Alfred Morris. More importantly, Helu (47 receptions, 477 yards last season) was the team’s only proven third-down back. Chris Thompson is now the favorite to assume that role despite seeing backfield action in just two games in 2014, report Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com. Tandler, however, adds that Washington’s coaching staff grew impatient with the 2013 fifth-rounder out of Florida State due to injury struggles and expects this position to be addressed in the draft. Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon, Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Missouri’s Marcus Murphy are among those who would fit here, reports El-Bashir, with Pierre Thomas and his 327 career catches still sitting in free agency.