Tampa Bay Buccaneers  

 

Kellen Winslow trade not a 'message,' Bucs' Schiano says

  • By Associated Press
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TAMPA, Fla. -- New Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano insists he wasn't sending a message by trading tight end Kellen Winslow, just improving the football team.

Tampa Bay dealt Winslow to the Seattle Seahawks for a draft pick on Monday night and signed former Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark.

Winslow did not participate in a voluntary workout with the Buccaneers. He said in a radio interview Monday that Schiano had told him the team would likely trade the 28-year-old former first-round pick.

And a few hours later, Winslow was headed West. Tampa Bay received a conditional seventh-round draft choice in next year's draft for Winslow.

"There is really not a message. It's not one of those situations," Schiano said Tuesday. "The only message I want to address is we need to be the best football team we can be. Time is our enemy. We are running out of time. Teams in our division have a head start on us."

Winslow was the NFL's highest-paid tight end when the Bucs signed him in 2009. He never missed a game in three seasons and last year caught 75 passes, seventh most among NFL tight ends.

"Kellen (Winslow) is no longer a Buc," Schiano said. "I'd like to focus on the guys that are here. When we do make decisions, I am going to hesitate to look back and really just talk about guys that are Bucs right now."

The 32-year-old Clark has been one of the NFL's most productive tight ends for nine seasons with Indianapolis.

Since he was on the free agent market for so long, Clark was bothered by the perception that he was finished as a player. He had two other offers, he said, before signing his one-year contract with Tampa Bay.

"No one asked me if I was done playing and I'm not done playing, so I don't know where that came from," he said. "Just because I'm not part of a team doesn't mean, I'm done playing. As for the proving part, you're an NFL football player so every day you're having to prove yourself. The second you stop proving yourself, you're out these doors. You learn that day one."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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