NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed their franchise tag on WR Antonio Bryant.
A fantasy sleeper in his first season with the Bucs, Bryant came out of nowhere to produce 83 receptions for 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns. He was especially productive during the fantasy postseason, posting 23 receptions for 435 yards with four touchdowns from Week 14- to 16. His combined 64 points on NFL.com led all wide receivers for that three-week stretch.
Now that he has been franchised, Bryant is almost guaranteed to remain the top wideout in a Buccaneers offense that will have a new look in 2009. Gone is Jon Gruden‘s offensive attack, and in its place is new coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski‘s version of the West Coast offense.
“I think it’s going to be a lot more player-friendly,” Jagodzinski told the Tampa Tribune. “I don’t think it’s going to take three years for guys to learn the system. And we’ve had success doing it with a bunch of different types of quarterbacks.”
The Buccaneers also will have a new quarterback, as Luke McCown is expected to take over the reins from impending free agent Jeff Garcia.
McCown is an athletic player with a strong arm and potential at the NFL level, but how soon he absorbs the offense could have a direct affect on Bryant’s numbers.
As it stands, Bryant will be worth a middle-round selection as a No. 2 fantasy wideout.
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