A method of setting up a delegated connection for processing by an offload unit is described. The method comprises establishing a TCP connection and determining whether or not to delegate the TCP connection for processing by the offload unit, producing a delegated connection, and setting up the delegated connection by creating a delegated connection table entry. When frames are received on the delegated connection by the offload unit, the offload unit determines if user buffers are available. When user buffers are available, the offload unit uploads payload data to the user buffers. When user buffers are not available, the offload unit uploads a portion of the payload data to a buffer allocated in Operating System memory space.