The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to move up the list in the upcoming NFL Draft, and word is the player they are targeting is wide out Calvin Johnson. The move makes perfect sense for the Bucs, who went out and grabbed last years surprise QB in Jeff Garcia, and are sorely in need of a big playmaker on offense, and Johnson fits that bill. Tampa Bay GM Bruce Allen has been talking to Raiders owner Al Davis about moving up, and Davis is considering the move according to sources.
Word is that Tampa Bay is looking to offer the Raiders all four of their picks in the first three rounds just for the chance to move up to one to take Johnson, who many consider to be the best athlete in the draft. Johnson and the Bucs met on Friday, and Johnson’s agent said the meeting went well. Of course they also met with QB’s JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, but pretty much everyone in the league knows that they have their eyes set on Johnson.
The pressure is on Tampa Bay and more on head coach Jon Gruden to win this season. They have only made the playoffs once in the last four years, and made an early exit in 2005, losing in the wild card round to Washington, despite playing at home after winning the NFC South. Last year was a disaster, losing QB Chirs Simms early in the year and never getting on track, the Bucs limped to a 4-12 record, with their last win of the year coming on Christmas Eve over the Browns in Cleveland.
Gruden has to know that if the team comes out and struggles that whispers will start and his job may be lost. The team starts the season with a tough road game vs the team they lost to in the last week of the season last year – Seattle. Then they host the high powered Saints and Rams, only to then play at Carolina and Indianapolis. A 1-4 or 0-5 record may mark the end of Gruden in Tampa Bay. Can Johnson get on board and make enough plays to help out? That’s for the upper brass in Tampa to decide, but all indications point to that they want to make a deal to find out.