Go Back   New Orleans Saints - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints
Shop Horizontal

Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay (updated!!)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints DE Grant is set to meet Friday with Bucs officials In what might be a plot aimed at snatching away a standout young defender, or simply a ploy meant to rattle a division rival, the Tampa Bay Bucs will ...

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-18-2007, 12:39 PM   #1
The Dark Overlord
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: dirty south
Posts: 3,449
Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay (updated!!)

Saints DE Grant is set to meet Friday with Bucs officials


In what might be a plot aimed at snatching away a standout young defender, or simply a ploy meant to rattle a division rival, the Tampa Bay Bucs will meet Friday with New Orleans defensive end Charles Grant, designated by the Saints last month as a franchise player.



On face value, a huddle between the sides might be benign, little more than just a get acquainted session. But such meetings involving a franchise player are so unusual, given that franchise-designated players rarely change teams, that it must be considered significant.

Since the current player movement system was implemented in 1993, only three franchise players have switched teams, none since 1998.

The reason: The cost of pirating away a franchise player is prohibitive.

To secure Grant, the Bucs would first have to sign him to an offer sheet, and the Saints would then have seven days to decide whether to match it. If it matched, New Orleans would assume the terms of the offer sheet. If the Saints declined to match it, Grant would move on to Tampa Bay, but the Bucs would have to compensate New Orleans with a pair of first-round draft choices.

Tampa Bay owns the fourth overall pick in the 2007 draft and, even for a player as valued as Grant, that selection in itself would be pricey compensation. An alternative would be for the Bucs to sign Grant to an offer sheet, and then for the two teams to subsequently agree on a trade for something less than two first-round draft choices.

But trading Grant to a team within the division would be difficult for the Saints to reconcile.

Grant, 28, had hoped to avoid the franchise tag because of the acrimony it typically entails and because, like most free agents, he would have preferred to be in the unrestricted market. The value of the franchise marker for a defensive end, which basically represents a one-year qualifying offer, is $8.64 million.

There were some discussions during the season of a long-term contract extension for Grant, but they never resulted in a deal, and the two sides didn't have much dialogue after the 2006 campaign concluded. Not surprisingly, Grant was critical of the Saints after the team used the franchise designation to keep him off the open market.

A former University of Georgia standout, Grant was New Orleans' first-round choice in the 2002 draft, and played his entire tenure with the Saints under his original rookie contract.

Grant has never missed a game in five seasons. He is an intense two-way performer, a defender whose motor typically runs high, and who plays well versus the run and the pass.

In 80 appearances, Grant has 298 tackles, 36 sacks, one interception, 24 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and five recoveries. He totaled 20½ sacks in 2003-04, but fell off to just 2½ sacks in 2005, before improving to six in 2006.

Tampa Bay last week signed veteran defensive end Kevin Carter after he was released by the Miami Dolphins, but apparently wants to continue to upgrade the position.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2800490






Given that only three franchise players have switched teams since the current system was implemented in 1993, with none changing clubs since 1998, there is always much intrigue when a veteran who has been tagged visits with officials from another club.

And so it isn't particularly surprising that the Friday huddle between New Orleans franchise defensive end Charles Grant and Tampa Bay Bucs coaches and management personnel drew plenty of attention as soon as it was arranged.

There is, to be sure, considerable subplot involved here, not the least of which is the fact the Saints and Bucs play in the the NFC South and are rivals of some note. Yet the ramifications of the Bucs' seemingly serious flirtation with Grant, a fierce competitor coming off a 2006 season in which he rehabilitated his reputation, extends beyond the two teams, and down to a few individuals.

None more prominent than Bucs right defensive end Simeon Rice.


If the Bucs were to successfully pirate Grant away from the Saints -- a long shot under the best of circumstances, and all but impossible to imagine, since New Orleans would find it so difficult to reconcile losing the five-year veteran to a division foe -- it could well mark the end of Rice's tenure with a Tampa Bay franchise he has served well. As it is, the mere suggestion that Tampa Bay is even dabbling with signing Grant to a franchise offer sheet doesn't reflect well on how the Bucs' brass views Rice's future with the team.

One of the NFL's premier pass rushers for most of his 11 seasons in the league, and with 121 career sacks, Rice is trying to recover from a 2006 campaign in which he appeared in only eight games, finished the year on injured reserve with a shoulder problem and notched a career-worst two sacks.

Rice turned 33 last month, is entering the final year of his contract in 2007, and has a base salary of $7.25 million and a salary cap charge of more than $10 million. There were rumblings in each of the last two offseasons that Rice might be cut loose. And the potential pursuit of the younger Grant could signal that the Bucs are ready to jettison Rice this time.

General manager Bruce Allen insisted recently that Rice would be back with the Bucs in 2007. But Allen is the consummate politician, the brother of U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, and a guy known to tell a fib or two.

It's difficult to imagine that a Tampa Bay defense which generated only 25 sacks in 2006, the second fewest in the league, actually might think it could be better in 2007 without Rice. Hard to think that, even as brilliant a coordinator Monte Kiffin might be, he could conjure up an improved pass rush without a guy who has six double-digit sack seasons on his résumé, including 14 sacks as recently as 2005.

But stranger things have happened. And the stranger-than-truth fixation with Grant, who has just 8½ sacks over the past two seasons after registering 21½ sacks 2003-2004, suggests they could again.

The Bucs have one very good, if underrated, defensive end in leftside starter Greg Spires. Last week, they signed Kevin Carter after he was released by Miami and, while the 12-year veteran is showing some age, he is still performing at a high level. The Bucs lost Dewayne White to Detroit in free agency, and that hurt, because he is an emerging player. But they like what they've seen of youngster Jovan Haye.

Toss Grant into the mix and it's a pretty crowded, not to mention, expensive depth chart. It's one that might not have room for Simeon Rice.


http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insid...amp;id=2800665


Saints searching for WRs: New Orleans coach Sean Payton didn't want Joe Horn around anymore, but that doesn't mean he isn't looking for a veteran wide receiver to add some much needed guidance for his young corps of pass catchers. Toward that end, the Saints have recently entertained free agents Brandon Stokley (Indianapolis) and Bobby Engram (Seattle) and will meet soon with Keenan McCardell (San Diego) as well.

Quarterback Drew Brees, who played two seasons with McCardell in San Diego, is lobbying Saints' officials hard on behalf of his former teammate. McCardell, 37, didn't play much for the Chargers in the stretch run of the 2006 season, but he still registered 36 catches for 437 yards, although he failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 1994. The 15-year veteran has 861 career receptions and is still clever enough to know how to get open, even if he doesn't run very well anymore. New Orleans' top three wide receivers -- Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Terrance Copper -- have just six seasons of NFL tenure among them. There is little doubt the Saints will add a veteran wideout with more individual experience than that. No one should be surprised, given Brees' input, if McCardell turns out to be the guy.

I Live In Beastmode!
pakowitz is offline  
Old 03-18-2007, 12:45 PM   #2
Sammich Lover
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 682
RE: Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay

The Grant visit had more to do with next season's free agency. It is not uncommon for franchised players to do that.
wheelman is offline  
Old 03-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #3
The Dark Overlord
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: dirty south
Posts: 3,449
RE: Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay

he could still be franchised next year as well...
pakowitz is offline  
Old 03-18-2007, 01:21 PM   #4
The Dark Overlord
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: dirty south
Posts: 3,449
RE: Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay

Buccaneers | Team will make a run at C. Grant in 2008
Sat, 17 Mar 2007 10:13:19 -0700

Roy Cummings, of The Tampa Tribune, reports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talked with free-agent DE Charles Grant (Saints), who was franchise tagged by the New Orleans Saints this offseason. The Buccaneers visit with Grant was an attempt to let him know they will make a run at him in 2008 if he is a free agent again. General manager Bruce Allen said, "We never intended to discuss a contract with him. We talked about his dreams and discussed his options. We obviously have a leg up on our competition."

kffl.com

I Live In Beastmode!
pakowitz is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 12:29 PM   #5
Site Donor
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,607
Re: RE: Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay

General manager Bruce Allen said, "We never intended to discuss a contract with him. We talked about his dreams and discussed his options. We obviously have a leg up on our competition."


This makes a lot more sense than TB going after him this year. They get in Grant's head a little, he gets to show the Saints that he is still pissed. Everybody wins, including NO.

Why? Because if he doesn't play hard this year, he won't get the contract he wants next year, with TB or anyone else
ScottF is online now  
Old 03-19-2007, 12:40 PM   #6
Got a problem?
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 10,402
RE: Re: RE: Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay

I'd do a Grant for that TB pick in a heartbeat.
papz is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:13 PM   #7
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,403
RE: Re: RE: Charles Grant Visits Tampa Bay

I agree with wheelman.....
LongTimeFan is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:51 PM.


Copyright 1997 - 2013 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts