DE Marques Douglas joined the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent in March but he'll open the 2008 season back with his original NFL squad
Marques Douglas is going back to his original NFL home, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one step closer to forming their 53-man roster.
The Buccaneers announced Wednesday that they have traded Douglas, an 8th-year defensive end signed as an unrestricted free agent this past spring, to the Baltimore Ravens. Tampa Bay will receive a pair of undisclosed draft picks in return.
The Buccaneers continue to be somewhat of an NFL anomaly, making frequent use of the trade option in a league that sees relatively few player trades. Earlier this year, Tampa Bay traded for quarterback Brian Griese, who is battling to be the team's primary reserve behind Jeff Garcia. In 2007, the Bucs acquired defensive tackle Ryan Sims and running back Michael Bennett in separate trades with the Kansas City Chiefs, and both players have provided good returns so far.
Other players the Bucs have acquired via trade since 2003 include running back Thomas Jones, wide receiver Joey Galloway, quarterback Luke McCown and quarterback Tim Rattay. Players traded away in that span include tackle Roman Oben, guard Jason Whittle, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and defensive tackle Anthony McFarland.
Galloway and Johnson were swapped for each other – in a deal that has worked out magnificently for the Buccaneers – but most of the trades have involved lower-round draft picks. In many cases, the Bucs have been able to reacquire the same or similar picks not long thereafter. For instance, the Bucs gave up a 2009 seventh-rounder for Sims but were able to get it back in the Bennett trade. They gave up a 2008 sixth-rounder for Bennett but easily picked up a new sixth-rounder on draft weekend by making a small move down in the fourth round.
Douglas will rejoin the team that gave him his first crack at the NFL, as well as his first starting job several years later. Undrafted out of Howard in 1999, Douglas signed with the Ravens as a rookie free agent and worked for most of that season on Baltimore's practice squad. After spending 2000 and most of 2001 in New Orleans, Douglas returned to Baltimore in 2002, and by 2003 had moved into the starting lineup. He signed with San Francisco in 2005 and spent three seasons as a starter for the 49ers before hitting free agency this past spring. The Bucs signed Douglas on March 18, 2008.
Wednesday's trade reduced the Bucs' roster to 74 players, which means they will only have to make 21 cuts on Saturday. All NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 53 men by August 30. The deal also indicates that the Bucs are satisfied with the depth along their defensive line, thanks in part to the versatility of such players as Kevin Carter, Jimmy Wilkerson and Greg Peterson.