Are Bowers And Clayborn “For Sale?”May 1st, 2014
Now Joe has already brought up a possibility — nothing more than that — the Bucs could be shopping running back Doug Martin in order to stock up on valuable draft picks for next week’s draft. Martin, for a third-year guy, already has a lot of wear and tear on his tires and is coming off an ugly shoulder injury.
With the Bucs being deep at running back and some team dangling draft picks for Martin, would Bucs coach Lovie Smith nibble at the bait?
Yes, Joe has taken all sorts of flack about his speculation. But perhaps Lovie and general manager Jason Licht are floating a couple of names other than Martin to other clubs?
Tuesday on “Movin’ the Chains,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, co-hosts Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller wondered aloud if they are reading the Bucs wrong and instead of grabbing a quarterback or offensive lineman or wide receiver at No. 7, the Bucs may be targeting a pass rusher. And to make room for said pass rusher Tampa Bay is dangling Da’Quan Bowers and/or Adrian Clayborn as trade bait to either get more picks, or perhaps move up from No. 7.
Jim Miller: The reason why I am bringing up the Tampa Bay Bucs is I’m wondering if we have this team figured out wrong for the upcoming 2014 NFL draft because Lovie Smith was recently in the news down there in the Tampa Tribune — and this is atypical of Lovie — singling out a couple of players saying, “Hey, Da’Quan Bowers needs to prove he is a good football player.” We all knew about him coming out in the draft and thought he would drop to the second round because of the knee issue. Now you have a new coach with a new style of defense and I think there is a lot to prove. Both he and Adrian Clayborn, they haven’t slapped him with the fifth-year option, either. Is a pass rusher in the mix for Tampa Bay? Does someone like Anthony Barr out of UCLA fit that bill?
Pat Kirwan: We know our friend, Lovie, it is not his style to step out and say things about players. He is now, in my mind, the GM as well. He is kind of running the whole show and he senses that and all the responsibility. He did not draft Clayborn. He did not draft Bowers. Lovie was in the league then. He was looking for players. He studied Clayborn. He studied Bowers. He may have said he didn’t want them then for all we know. Or he may have said he expected more out of them than what he was seeing, they were better prospects than what they are. Is he trying to push their buttons? He is not going to be able to tell in shorts from now until the draft if they are going to be better. He also signed Michael Johnson so maybe Lovie is trying to tell the rest of the world they are for sale?
Joe thinks Kirwan is on to something. It’s not like Bowers and Clayborn appeared out of the blue. Lovie likely did his homework on them in Chicago.
Look, if Bowers needs a fire lit under him at this point, then he really is a lost cause. He should have read the tea leaves by now seeing many of his former teammates jettisoned in the past couple of months. Now on his third coach and with a pass-rush friendly position coach, if Bowers, who was injured (again) during last week’s minicamp, can’t figure out it is time to fish and cut bait, then he is beyond hope.
Clayborn is a little different situation. He showed promise as a rookie but hasn’t duplicated that success and also suffered an ugly knee injury two years ago. It could be that either he was slow to recover or maybe never be able to recover. Not being allowed to rush consistently the passer sure muddies the water here.
L&L have made no secret they not only are driven to get heat on quarterbacks, they are hunting for a way to get additional draft picks. If a team is willing to take Bowers and/or Clayborn to move up a slot or two in order for Lovie to get a pass rusher, or use them in a trade down to amass additional picks, then Kirwan might be on to something. That maybe these players really are “for sale.”