The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to get rid of veteran tight end Kellen Winslow. As fans of the St. Louis Rams well know, dumping freelancing veterans with pricey contracts is not an unusual move for a new coaching staff. Winslow's reputation as a player has been criticized before, but he is a capable tight end. That might benefit a team like the Rams with more questions than answers among its offensive skill players.
Winslow is not exactly known as a the model of a team player. In fact, he claimed the Bucs' decision stemmed from his regular practice of forgoing spring workouts for his own personal regimen.
Winslow has been productive in Tampa Bay. He recorded more than 700 yards in each of his three seasons there. He led the team with 75 receptions last season. Winslow can catch the ball, and his catch rate with the Buccaneers has ranged from 65 percent to 75 percent.
Lance Kendricks is currently the only tight end on the Rams' roster with any sort of bona fides as a receiver, and there are plenty of questions about him after a mixed showing in his rookie season. Behind him, the roster gets really shaky. Michael Hoomanawanui, a former 5th-round pick, has shown flashes of potential, but his injury history makes him hard to count on for a full season. Winslow would give the Rams, and quarterback Sam Bradford, another option and a known commodity among the players tasked with catching the ball.
Winslow's knees are iffy, having been under the knife in the past. He played 15 games last season, 11 the year before than and 14 in 2009. In terms of finances, he is owned a flat salary of $3.3 million this season. It's not a huge amount, but could be seen as a little pricey for the troubles he potentially brings.
How he would impact the chemistry of a team with a new head coach and a young roster would be the biggest gamble for the Rams.
The Rams really could use another player with a track record of catching the ball. Other than Danny Amendola, the team is looking to lean on a pair of rookie receivers and a long list of unknowns at tight end. Winslow was a big help for Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay, and could be the same for Sam Bradford as he tries to rebound from a rough sophomore season in the NFL.
If the price is right, the Rams really ought to take a look.