Looking through the 146 Buccaneer trades
The trade of Anthony McFarland to the Indianapolis Colts last week was the latest in a history of trades dating back to six months before the Buccaneers ever even took the field. The changes in the NFL in terms of free agency and the salary cap has cut down on the number of deals done in modern times, but only in time can you see how effective a trade really was.
When it comes to the best trade the Bucs ever made, you cannot go much further than May 19th, 1995 when Rich McKay persuaded the Cleveland Browns to give up a 2nd round pick for TE Harold Bishop. The latter played a grand total of six games and never caught a pass for Tampa Bay and did not do a lot more after leaving Florida. The Bucs merely selected Mike Alstott with that draft pick.
On the negative scale, you can take the deal with Cincinnati that gave us Jack Thompson in return for what became the first overall pick in 1984, or perhaps the 1990 deal with the Colts for QB Chris Chandler that became the second overall pick two years later.
In fact, there are a lot of very bad deals including the one with the Bears that enabled us to draft Booker Reese in 1982, or the deal for Wally Chambers that Chicago turned into Dan Hampton.
Some deals look bad on paper now, but simply had to be done at the time. The trade of Hugh Green to Miami in1985 for 1st and 2nd round picks looks bad on paper now because of the bad selections that the Bucs made with those selections (Rod Jones and Kevin Murphy) but Green's attitude at the time made a deal a necessity.
More recently, the Bucs were able to dump Keyshawn Johnson on Dallas in return for Joey Galloway. The Bucs wanted to get rid of Keyshawn so to get anything for him was a bonus, but a receiver who had the sort of season that Galloway did in 2005, it becomes nearly daylight robbery.
Amongst the 146 deals are some real non-entitites involving players who even the most devoted Buccaneer fan will not have come across. How about the May 1976 trade of S Jim Kearney to the Saints for S Johnny Fuller? Or the Super Bowl year blockbuster that sent WR Jonathan Pittman to the Jets for P David Leaverton?
The Bucs have also traded a player for cash, naturally during the Hugh Culverhouse years. G Mitch Grier to the Jets for cash in 1987.
Some other deals involved conditional draft picks that were never utilised such as as the 1999 trade of Regan Upshaw to the Jaguars. The deal was obviously dependent on Upshaw reaching certain playing or statistical levels to return the Bucs a low-round pick that never happened.
Whilst reconciling all these trades and draft picks, I managed to find nearly 20 deals that are not currently listed in the Buccaneers' official media guide. This is going to be updated for the 2007 season, but the process of seeing who was taken with the various draft picks involved has been an interesting sidebar to the project.
Paul Stewart, October 2006.