The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the offseason determined to improve their pass rush, and they’re apparently willing to go beyond free agency in an effort to meet that objective.

New Orleans Saints defensive end Charles Grant is scheduled to visit One Buccaneer Place, according to NFL Network.

Grant, 28, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent before he had the franchise tag placed on him by the Saints.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Grant has notched 36 career sacks since he entered the NFL in 2002 as a first-round pick out of Georgia.

Grant is regarded as one of the better defensive ends in the NFL. Grant had six sacks and a hand in New Orleans’ miraculous turnaround and playoff season in 2006.

Although he’s capable of playing from either side of the defensive line, Grant has spent the past two seasons playing at left end, which was one of the reasons for his dropoff in sack production.

According to, league rules state that Grant is permitted to sign an offer sheet from any team, and if the Saints opt not to match it, they are to receive two first-round picks from that team in exchange for his services.

However, there’s also a chance the two NFC South division rivals could work out another form of compensation in a trade that would send Grant to Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers, who recorded just 25 sacks through 16 regular season games in 2006, have already signed several defensive linemen, including Kevin Carter, in free agency. 

Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2007 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft? Subscribe to's Pewter Insider by clicking here.

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