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After an injury-shortened 2007 season, New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey has been rumored to be on the trade market. There were rumors that the New Orleans Saints were close to acquiring the Pro Bowl tight end before, or during the 2008 NFL Draft. The Saints have been the team that has been most heavily associated with making a trade for the former first-round pick.

Sources have indicated to Pewter Report that the Buccaneers have had internal discussions about acquiring Shockey. In talks with the Giants, the price for Shockey was too high for Tampa Bay. The Giants are believed to be seeking a combination of picks and players, including a possible first-round pick. Sources have also indicated that some of the Buccaneers most influential staff members are intrigued by the possibility of acquiring Shockey.

Buccaneer players were discussed in a possible trade, with quarterback Chris Simms and wide receiver Michael Clayton possibly included. Other players could have also been involved in the trade talks.

In his career Shockey has made 371 receptions for 4,228 yards and 27 touchdowns. Last season he caught 57 passes for 619 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games.

The 6-foot-5, 251-pound Shockey turns 28 in August. He is one of the highest paid tight ends in the NFL, but Shockey is affordable, evidenced by his $1.925 million base salary in 2008. Shockey's base salary is scheduled to escalate to over $3 million in 2009. He is signed through the 2011 season.

The Giants are committed to keeping Shockey if they don't get what they want for him. Shockey's backup, Kevin Boss, immerged in his place during the regular season, and playoffs last year. There is rumored to be some bitterness between Shockey and the Giants front office. Allegedly, Shockey felt estranged from the team during their championship run, and would welcome a trade to a new team.

The former Miami Hurricane has been known to train at his college in the offseason. His absence from the Giants offseason workouts has been discussed as a possible point of contention between Shockey and the organization. If Shockey were to be traded to Tampa Bay, it would be much easier for the tight end to attend offseason training going to Tampa from Miami rather than Miami to New York.

There have also been talks that the Giants would like to receive a tight end in any trade for Shockey. This would address depth issues for the Giants if they were to part with the Pro Bowler.

No source has indicated that Buccaneers tight end Alex Smith was involved in the trade discussions. But one might speculate that if the Buccaneers were to deal a tight end in a trade for Shockey it would be Smith, a 2005 third-round pick.

Early in free agency the Buccaneers signed tight ends John Gilmore from Chicago and Ben Troupe from Tennessee. Smith is considered by some to be a more complete tight end then Troupe or Gilmore. Troupe is known primarily as a receiving tight end, and Gilmore is known more for his blocking abilities.

Last season Smith struggled with an ankle injury that held him out of two games, and limited him in others. Despite the injury, Smith started 14 games. He had the lowest number of receptions in his career with 32. Those 32 catches totaled 385 yards and three touchdowns. Smith did have a career high in averaging 12 yards per catch.

Shockey seems to be the kind of player that head coach Jon Gruden likes. An Ada, Oklahoma product, Shockey, is a fiery playmaker that creates mismatches. His best season was in 2005 when he hauled in 65 passes for 891 yards and seven touchdowns.

A trade for Shockey does not appear to be close at this time, but the Buccaneers are interested in him. Whether the Bucs are interested enough to have serious dialogue with the Giants about a possible trade for Shockey remains to be seen.

Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.

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