As I reported last night, the Buccaneers are shopping all three of their quarterbacks not named Josh Freeman. After talking again to some people who have been in contact with the Bucs, the focus is on veterans Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown, who have been competing for the starting job.
Leftwich has played better and engendered more locker-room support, but McCown is someone in whom ownership invested a $2.5 million signing bonus. Neither has won the job to this point — though Leftwich has been better — and by dealing one of them, the quarterback conundrum in Tampa Bay would be solved without having to pick one.
It might take an injury or another team’s backup to go into a deep funk to create a frothy market for either veteran. The Bucs likely would have to be satisfied with a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick for either quarterback.
Tampa Bay rates its fourth quarterback, Josh Johnson, highly and isn’t as inclined to part with him, according to league sources. That, coupled with the fact he has no real regular-season experience, makes it less likely a team would trade a mid-round pick for Johnson. I don’t see the Bucs dealing the second-year passer for anything less.