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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A Need for Speed

As General Manager Bruce Allen concedes during a discussion of the reported trade talks between Tampa Bay and Dallas, Joey Galloway has an asset the Bucs covet


Dallas WR Joey Galloway led the NFL with a 19.8 yards-per-catch average in 2003

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acknowledged Friday that they are intrigued by the idea of acquiring Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Joey Galloway, and it's easy to see why.


As everyone knows, Galloway has it. And Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen knows his head coach, Jon Gruden, wants it. In fact, Allen suspects Gruden would go to great lengths to add more of that commodity to his team.

"Joey Galloway is one of the fastest players in the NFL and I know what Jon Gruden can do with speed," said Allen. "(Gruden) really gets excited (about that). I think we might be able to trade one of his sons in order to get a player with that type of speed. Ever since I've known Jon, he's wanted speed."

Deuce, Michael and Jayson Gruden should be safe – the NFL Management Council would likely frown on that sort of deal. But the Bucs will continue to look for ways to make the rumored Keyshawn Johnson-for-Galloway deal a reality. The obvious stumbling blocks for both teams are Johnson and Galloway's respective contracts (the details of which the Bucs do not comment upon, as policy).

Allen said he would be speaking with Galloway's agent again on Friday night.

"Obviously, we can't accept his contract the way it is; it would have to be restructured," said Allen. "We've had those discussions. I couldn't tell you right now if it's 50-50 or 75-25 or 25-75."

Galloway's speed was certainly inviting to the Cowboys in 2000 when they traded a pair of first-round picks (coincidentally the same price the Bucs paid for Johnson) to Seattle to get the former first-round pick. Galloway's Dallas career got off to a rough start when he tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2000 opener and missed the remainder of the season, but he has played in all but one game since and given the Cowboys 147 receptions for 2279 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Galloway's career yards-per-catch mark highlights his speed – 15.7. Though he had his lowest catch total in three years last season (34), he averaged 19.8 yards per grab, the best mark in the NFL by over two yards.

If Galloway were to continue his NFL journey eastward, he would land with another team that would highly value those skills, and he can personally be assured of that after recently speaking with Gruden.

"I know Joey would be excited to play here," said Allen. "He and Coach Gruden had a terrific telephone call, and you could here him all the way down the hallway, laughing. I've heard from a lot of Joey's friends how much he would like to play for Jon."

There is no guarantee, of course, that the Bucs will be able to devise a way to bring Galloway and Gruden together. One way or another, the team expects to add some of Galloway's greatest asset.

"Whether we could work it out economically, we don't know," said Allen. "If we can work it out with Joey, that would be fine. If we don't, we're going to look for (speed) somewhere else."

In a related note, Allen also responded to the Bucs' reported interest in another big-name receiver, San Francisco's Terrell Owens. Allen preferred not to comment on the issue of Owens' possible loss of free agent status but did point out that the Pro Bowl receivers' expected salary level makes the Bucs unlikely suitors.

"I don't know where that rumor (of the Bucs' interest) came from," said Allen. "I've heard how much T.O. allegedly is asking for, and we're not going to be able to do that. That's a lot of cap room. Maybe that's one of those Disneyworld stories."

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