The Bucs are willing to trade Alterraun Verner or fellow cornerback Johnthan Banks to acquire a wide receiver, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets, before identifying Alshon Jeffery or Torrey Smith as a potential trade target (Twitter link).
However, Verner has not lived up to expectations in his two-plus seasons in south Florida and has a contract that could be somewhat difficult to move in a deal. Still just 27, Verner is signed through 2017 and stands to carry a $6.5MM cap number next season; that’s down slightly from his $6.75MM figure in 2016. Those numbers are manageable, but Verner hasn’t been a regular starter since 2015. A former second-round pick, Banks is in the final year of his rookie deal.
Both have seen their statuses in Tampa Bay take hits with the arrivals of Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves. Both Banks and Verner were full-time starters in 2014 before being steadily supplanted and relegated to backup roles.
Tampa Bay’s wide receiver depth chart houses recently acquired Cecil Shorts, along with youngsters Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard. Both have stood out in spots, but neither qualifies as a dependable starter-type player opposite Evans, while Shorts hasn’t replicated the form he showed with the Jaguars or even the Texans. The Bucs also have Louis Murphy on the PUP list.
Humphries leads non-Evans pass-catchers with 22 receptions for 233 yards. Shorts has played in three games but has just one catch for 12 yards for a Bucs pass-catching corps that’s taken a hit after the losses of Jackson and Charles Sims.
A report earlier this week linked Smith to the Eagles, but the deep threat remains on the struggling 49ers. Doug Pederson also denied any Philadelphia trade interest in wideouts earlier today. Jeffery is playing this season on the franchise tag.
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