Bucs Not Moving On Landers

May 16th, 2009
To date, the Bucs have passed on James Madison Universitys Rodney Landers

To date, the Bucs have passed on the guy named the state of Virginia's college player of the year, James Madison University's Rodney Landers

Joe has a soft spot in his heart for undrafted rookie free agents. This is their time of year. A time to grab their dreams by the short hairs and create some buzz for themselves in OTAs and minicamp.

With no more NFL Europe, it’s almost completely make-or-break for them, or head to Canada and pray to be found.

Weeks ago Joe told you about Rodney Landers, the James Madison star quarterback who came unsigned to the Bucs rookie minicamp to throw alongside bust-in-waiting QB Josh Freeman.

Reports said Landers impressed the coaches and Raheem The Dream told the St. Pete Times, ““He’s a 6-footer who’s 220 pounds, moves around pretty good. You want to try to find stuff. I’m a project guy, so I want to see if I can get me a project guy in here to work with. Maybe he comes back. Maybe he’s the Wildcat quarterback. I don’t know. Maybe he comes back and he’s a (defensive back) for you. But he can do some things for you. He’s interesting.”

To date Landers has no contract.

As a senior at I-AA James Madison, Landers passed for 1,534 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions and ran for 1,770 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was named the state of Virginia’s college player of the year.

Landers languishing without a team has led to some depression at the James Madison campus, where he was a superstar.

Joe chatted wtih JMU head coach Mickey Matthews to get his perspective.

Joe: Rodney Landers was a special, talented player at James Madison. Where could he fit in for an NFL team?

Matthews: “Football is an easy game for Rodney. He would have been the best receiver we had, the best defensive back we had, and probably the best running back we had. His yards rushing speaks for itself. The NFL has those third down backs catching the ball, there’s no position that would surprise any of us that he played.”

Joe: Is it hard to think about him not catching on with a team? What if he doesn’t make it?

Matthews: “We’ve really been surprsed with the lack of interest in Rodney. Hopefully Tampa will see his potential. They don’t have that league in Europe any more for guys like Rodney. He’s just really a great, great talent. We always thought he was as good as Pat White. …He broke his foot or ankle in his last week of the season. And he’s just now getting well. He didn’t do anything for many weeks. They were impressed with him in Tampa. He just needs a team and I’m sure he’ll take care of the rest.”

One Response to “Bucs Not Moving On Landers”

  1. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Maybe the Cap Champion Glazers will offer a rookie minimum contract to Landers.

    If not maybe Josh Freeman will off Landers a contract to carry his gear. I suspect Landers would accept $50,000 from Freeman just to be around a pro NFL team – it would be more than he’d make in this job market.

    Why would Freeman offer another QB $50K to carry his gear?

    Top 5 reasons to have Landers around:

    5. Freeman should feel guilty for that multi-million contract he’ll sign for watching from the sidelines and carrying a clipboard

    4. Landers could be the “project” and that gets Freemn off the hook from spending too much time with the head coach.

    3. Landers could do all the rookie “hazing” for Freeman

    2. Hiring Landers would give Feeman an excuse to set up an offshore corporation like the Glazers where he can shelter his signing bonus money because this would be a tax write-off for Freeman

    and the #1 reason that Josh Freeman would hire Rodney Landers:

    1. Maybe Joe would stop referring to Freeman as “BIW – bust-in-waiting” with Landers around!!