TAMPA - Keyshawn Johnson could be traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for Joey Galloway as part of a blockbuster deal that would swap the team's highly paid receivers.
When reached at his home in Los Angeles on Monday night, Johnson confirmed that Bucs general manager Bruce Allen has granted permission for his agent, Jerome Stanley, to talk to the Cowboys about a possible trade.
It likely would hinge on both players agreeing to restructure their $6-million per year contracts.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones approached Allen about a possible Galloway-for-Johnson trade last week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. It's not known whether draft picks are involved in the potential trade.
Both players pose salary-cap problems for their teams and likely would have been released in cost-cutting moves.
If the deal is completed, the Bucs would have a speed receiver in Galloway, who also returns kicks, and Johnson would be reunited with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, whom he played for with the Jets.
Trades cannot be consummated until March 3.
The Bucs owe Johnson, who was deactivated for the final six games of the 2003 season, a $1-million roster bonus on April 1. Even if the trade is completed, the Bucs would absorb $7.15-million of so-called "dead money" in accelerated signing bonus on their salary cap.
Galloway, 32, has three seasons left on a seven-year, $42-million contract. The Cowboys are attempting to negotiate a reduced salary for Galloway to make him more attractive in a trade.
At 5-foot-11, Galloway is shorter than Bucs receivers Joe Jurevicius, Keenan McCardell and Charles Lee. But he would give Bucs coach Jon Gruden the downfield threat with speed he has been lacking.
Allen could not be reached for comment. Gruden did not want to speculate on Johnson's future at the combine Sunday.
"I'm not going to comment any further on his situation," Gruden said. "We'll see what happens."
If he becomes a free agent March 3, Johnson said he expects to draw interest from the Cowboys, Lions, Jaguars and Cardinals. But the only way for the Cowboys to make sure they get Johnson is to complete a trade for him.
Like Johnson and the Bucs, Galloway had reached a crossroads with the Cowboys.
After being traded from the Seahawks before the 2000 season for two first-round draft picks, Galloway tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the first game he played for the Cowboys.
Galloway's best season in Dallas came in 2002 when he caught 61 passes for 908 yards with six touchdowns. Last season, Galloway finished fifth on the team with 34 receptions for 672 yards (19.8-yard average) and two touchdowns. He also averaged 8.9 yards on 20 punt returns.
"What I will say is he is on our team and under contract," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Monday. "Now we've got some work to do on that contract."
Johnson, 31, has four years remaining on an eight-year, $56-million contract he signed with the Bucs in 2000 after Tampa Bay traded two first-round picks to the Jets for him.
Johnson caught 106 passes in 2001 and was named to his third Pro Bowl. In his first season under Gruden, he caught 76 passes for 1,088 yards and five TDs in helping the Bucs to a Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Raiders.
This probably is better for Dallas. They already have two down-the-field options in Antonio Bryant(who I hear is a younger version of Galloway) and Terry Glenn, and severely lacked a decent possession receiver last season. The only potential problem I can see is Me-shawn not accepting a role as a possession receiver.
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And isn't Keyshawn a little younger than Galloway??
The big thing is that both teams will now be able to restructure contracts that they were a little worried about. May help Dallas be able to work under the cap to get a solid back, like Cory Dylan (sp) or something like that.
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