Buyer beware
So the Bucs are supposedly interested in Jeremiah Trotter and the former Eagle linebacker has been to Tampa for talks with the Buccaneer front office. And everyone thinks we should immediately sign him. Why?

Why is he on the free agent market in the first place? Don't you think for just one minute that if he was able to contribute to Philadelphia's defense, then he would still be there? There is a reason why any player gets cut from an NFL team. And remember the phrase "buyer beware".

Go back two months and the Bucs release Shelton Quarles because of age and injury concerns. Around the NFL, 31 other team chatrooms all start threads with "Hey, the Bucs have released Shelton Quarles. He's won a Super Bowl and been to the Pro Bowl. We should sign him". And did anyone sign him? Did they Buffalo.

All the Bucs fans knew why Quarles had been released. And more importantly, the Bucs' front office knew and the 31 other NFL front offices knew. And hence Shelton now has a job within the Bucs' front office himself.

Anyone seen Simeon Rice playing for an NFL team in 2007? And yet there will be 31 other team threads along the lines of "this guy can really rush the passer, we should sign him." And so it goes on.

For Jeremiah Trotter, last week it was the Packers releasing WR Robert Ferguson and sure enough, someone called WDAE620 The Sports Animal with a comment along the lines of the Bucs should sign him straight away. And on the same station yesterday, Ian Beckles was screaming down his microphone for the Bucs to add Trotter to their roster.

He is out of work for a reason - this is not Madden football where you just transfer a player to another franchise and his stats come across with him. This is not baseball where the left fielder for the Yankees does the same as the left fielder for the Devil Rays (OK, so the latter watches a lot more balls fly over his head into the stands). This is the NFL where defenses and situations are different across the league.

Perhaps the Bucs will sign Trotter because of their recent injury problems at linebacker. But how many players cut around this time in a season go on to be really worthwhile signings for their new teams? Buyer beware.

Paul Stewart, August 2007