Bucs tag WR Antonio Bryant

February, 18, 2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gone ahead and placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Antonio Bryant, co-worker John Clayton has just reported from Indianapolis.

The Bucs were hoping to reach a long-term agreement with Bryant before Thursday. But that wasn't happening so the team went ahead and used its other option. The tag will come with a cost of nearly $9 million, but that might only be temporary. The Bucs are expected to continue to work to sign Bryant to a long-term deal and the franchise tag buys them more time.

Even with Bryant locked up, the Bucs still are likely to make a play for a high-profile wide receiver once free agency starts. It's unclear if the Bucs plan to keep Joey Galloway, who had a disappointing 2008 season, and new coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski has made it clear he wants the downfield passing game to be a big part of the offense.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter



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