Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Trade Buenning to Bears

Tampa Bay continues to make good use of the often-overlooked trade option, sending fourth-year offensive lineman Dan Buenning to Chicago for an undisclosed pick on Tuesday


C/G Dan Buenning started all 16 games as a rookie in 2005 but has served in a reserve role since suffering a knee injury in 2006

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded fourth-year center/guard Dan Buenning to the Chicago Bears in exchange for an undisclosed pick in the 2009 draft, the team announced late Tuesday afternoon.

The move opens up a spot on the 53-man roster and also creates something of a shortage along the interior line. With starting right guard Davin Joseph temporarily sidelined by a foot injury suffered during the preseason, the Bucs had kept only Buenning and rookie Jeremy Zuttah as depth at the guard and center positions. Zuttah is expected to move into the starting lineup until Joseph returns.

Thus, it seems like a good bet that the open roster spot will be filled by another player that can help the Bucs with that concern.

Buenning first joined the Buccaneers as a fourth-round draft pick (107th overall) out of Wisconsin in 2005. He earned a starting job as a rookie and opened all 16 games at left guard for the NFC South champions in 2005. Buenning went into his second season in the same capacity but eventually missed half of the season due to a knee injury.

Since then, Buenning has remained in a reserve role. He returned from his injury to make the roster again in 2007 but was deactivated for all 17 games of that season, including the playoffs. During the Bucs' most recent training camp, Buenning learned the center position and engaged in a competition for the primary reserve spot on the interior line with rookie Jeremy Zuttah. When Joseph sustained his injury in the second week of the preseason against New England, it was Zuttah who started the following game in Joseph's spot.

Tuesday's deal marks the second trade the Buccaneers have swung in six days. Last Wednesday, just before the preseason finale in Houston, Tampa Bay sent defensive end Marques Douglas to the Baltimore Ravens for two undisclosed picks. Earlier this season, the Bucs also struck another deal with the Bears, acquiring quarterback Brian Griese for a pick.

Thus, the Bucs continue to be somewhat of an NFL anomaly, making frequent use of the trade option in a league that sees relatively few player trades. 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.

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