Category: Tampa Bay Buccaneer

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Add Attitude To Roster

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have invested $50 million dollars in the team’s defensive line this offseason which is more than any other team in the league. The return on the investment the Bucs are looking to get is more pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback. The team performed horribly in this category last season.

When looking at the list of players the Buccaneers signed this offseason it is sure that the team has added one thing to the team: Attitude. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given contracts to players with some serious chips on their shoulders.

First is former New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul who suffered a serious injury to his hand as a result of a fireworks explosion while celebrating the Fourth of July in 2015. Pierre-Paul has not shown after the accident that he is the dominant pass rusher that he once was and is eager to regain form with his new team.

Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht says the team feels like the Pierre-Paul can still be a top-rated pass rusher in the NFL. Licht’s next words were a proclamation that Pierre-Paul plays football “with a chip on his shoulder.”

On the offensive side of the ball new center, Ryan Jenson became a starter in the league with the Baltimore Ravens for the first time a season ago. Jenson played Division II college ball in Colorado and was a late-round draft pick whose place in the league was anything but assured. Not surprisingly, Jensen attributes his ascension into becoming an NFL starter to the chip on his shoulder with which he plays football.

It can even be noted that the team’s new kicker has a chip on his shoulder. Chandler Catanzaro says that he was always criticized for what was a perceived witness with kickoffs. Catanzaro says he always practiced kickoffs on the side and says that he’s got constantly better at it each season he has played.

The roster acquisitions by Licht it seems are intended to accomplish much more than an overhaul of the team roster. Licht is determined to bring in players that are capable of changing the culture of the team. The general manager has centered his search on players who both give the team a talent upgrade at their position as well as bring fire to the team.

DeSean Jackson’s Position With Buccaneers In Jeopardy

Most believed a year ago that the deep threat ability of Desean Jackson was the piece to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense that had the team had been sorely missing. A year later, many observers of the team feel that the speedy wider receiver is just an extra piece.

The Buccaneers gave both star receiver Mike Evans and number two receiver Cameron Brate lengthy contract extensions and it is presumed that Chris Goodwin and O.J. Howard, both impressive in their rookie seasons, will see more time on the field in the upcoming season.

Many believe the writing is on the wall for Jackson and that he will not be a member of the Buccaneers organization for much longer.

Jackson is in the second year of a three-year contract worth $33.5 million with the team that is set to pay him $11 million this season with $7.5 million of this season’s salary being guaranteed. Jackson’s salary for next season is $10 million with none of the money guaranteed.

The Buccaneers have a lot to consider in regards to Jackson’s contract as the team presently has $35.2 million of salary cap space allocated to the wide receiver position. The Dallas Cowboys are the only team whose spending on the wide receivers position comes close at $33.9 million and the league average for the position is a much lower $20.9 million.

The Bucs have $10 million of free salary cap space at the moment which will be enough to cover the contracts of this year’s draft picks but then leave the team pretty much out of money.

The salary cap will increase by $10 million dollars next year but this space is expected to go quickly as many key players have contracts that increase in value next season. To put this matter in perspective, the contract of quarterback Jameis Winston will increase from $8 million in 2018 to $20 million in 2019 if the team decides to pick up the option year of his contract.

Once all factors are considered there is little incentive to keep Jackson around as his production for the 2017 season showed a dramatic drop from 2016.

Bucs Make Big Moves in Free Agency

During the 2016 NFL season one of the most surprising teams movie where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers ended up winning nine games and losing just seven while finishing just outside of playoff contention. The team looks very good during the year you largely to the play of their young quarterback Jameis Winston and other star players. While 2016 made the team look very promising; the following season was not as strong.

In 2017, the team did not do as well as they did the prior year. During the season, the team struggled to find the cohesion that they had in the prior year. In 2017, the Buccaneers ended up winning just 5 games while losing 11. This had them finished in fourth place and far behind the third place team in their division. While the Buccaneers looked like they took a big step back last year, there is still plenty of reason for hope for the future. Thus far through the first few weeks of the offseason, the team has made many moves that could situate them well for the future (https://thepewterplank.com/2018/03/18/tampa-bay-buccaneers-arent-done-free-agency/).

Through the first week of free agency, the Buccaneers have been as active as any other team in the league. The team ended the year and clearly needed to find ways to improve their defense. After the first few weeks, the clearly have made a few additions that should make them better in the future. The team recently signed defensive lineman Beau Allen and the athletic Vinny Curry. The additions of these players should make their defense much better and allow them to shut down the opposing defenses.

While the team did a good job signing new free agents, they are also looking for ways to lock in star players for the future. Over the past few weeks, the team has signed star wide receiver, Mike Evans, and starting center Ryan Jensesn to long-term contracts. Both of these players should be around for the foreseeable future while the team looks to continue to grow.

While free agency has been big for the team, the Bucs are also looking forward to the draft at the end of April. This draft will help the team build the depth and bring in a lot of talent that they need to succeed.

Bucs make Jensen Highest Paid Center in NFL!

With a swipe of his pen on the contract, offensive linemen Ryan Jensen made history on March 16th signing a $48 million dollar contract that earned him the distinction of becoming the highest-paid center in all of the league. While the $22 million guaranteed money is quite a lot, the Bucs front office clearly believes that Jensen is worth locking down for some time. It’s difficult not to like the move: the chance to add a reliable offensive linemen who has shown durability and is still only 26 years old only comes around so often, and these opportunities need to be seized if the Bucs want to improve.

Jensen is a bit of an underdog story, to say the least. He was a largely unheralded prospect after his college career at Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo, and wasn’t picked until the 6th round by the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, he was even cut from the Ravens main team and given a shot with the practice squad, but with relentless hard work he worked his way back onto the active roster. Once given the opportunity to start Jensen began proving the doubters wrong and started all 16 games for Baltimore last season.

Many reporters are wondering if this changes the Tampa Bay front office’s gameplan for the upcoming NFL Draft. Offensive line is a position of need for the Bucs, to say the very least, but now that they’ve shored up the Center position there is speculation the Bucs may try and fortify another position where they need help, by drafting cornerback Joshua Jackson out of the University of Iowa. On the other hand, there are a number of intriguing offensive line prospects (such as Orlando Brown out of the University of Oklahoma) expected to be available when Tampa Bay picks at #7. Many NFL front office’s have long subscribed to the belief you can never have too many good players in the trenches, and Tampa Bay may choose that path.

One thing is for certain, Tampa Bay has added a Center in Ryan Jensen that is a proven workhorse. While the amount of money in the contract may be high, nobody can argue that it is unearned — Jensen has made the most of every opportunity in the NFL, and he’ll bring that attitude to Tampa Bay each and every day.

Bucs Looking Forward to Big Draft Day

Like every other team in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are using the current offseason to try and rebuild their team. The 2017 NFL season was not a very good one for the Buccaneers. After having a very strong 2016 season that saw the team win more games than they lost, most people are expecting 2017 to be another great year. However, things did not go as planned and the Bucs won just five games while finishing in last place in the NFC South Division.

Now that the NFL season is over, the Buccaneers are looking for many different ways to revamp their roster for the future. This offseason, the team has already made several big moves that show the direction they are taking. One big move that the team made was the decision to release star running back Doug Martin. Martin had made a couple of Pro Bowl teams in his time in Tampa, but also struggled to stay on the field this past year. At the same time, the team looks like they are ready to commit to the team’s passing game when they signed Mike Evans, a wide receiver, to a long-term extension.

One of the biggest days of the offseason for the Buccaneers, and every other team in the NFL, will be the NFL draft. The draft is always one of the biggest events of the offseason as many people try to predict what every team will do. Since the Buccaneers have a pretty high overall draft pick, they are a big focus of many experts. While some teams have a clear direction of what they will do with their picks, the Bucs are not as easy to predict (https://thepewterplank.com/2018/03/21/tampa-bay-buccaneers-draft-strategy-still-question).

At this point, many people seem to think that the Bucs will try and improve their defense. The team already has to compete with three of the top quarterbacks in the league in their division so finding ways to slow down passing attacks is crucial. Because of this, many seem to think that they will go after a safety or corner back if one of the top players falls to their slot. Another option they are considering is finding a way to improve the offensive line by adding a tackle high in the draft.

Buccaneers Sign Mike Evans to Largest Wide Receiver Contract in NFL History

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed wide receiver Mike Evans to a five-year contract extension with $82.5 million, with $55 million injury guaranteed. The deal is set to keep Evans, 24, in Tampa Bay until 2023 and would see the receiver average $16.5 million a year, making him the second highest-paid wide receiver in the league behind the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown. Worth a maximum of just over $95 million, counting bonuses, the new contract has also set a record for the highest agreed upon sum for a wide receiver in NFL history.

Talks of a new deal between Evans and the Buccaneers had begun before the 2017 season, but intensified during the off season with Evans approaching the option year of his entry-level contract, which could have seen him become a free agent. With the young Pro-Bowler already in the franchise top three for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, securing him with a long-term contract was one of the Buccaneers’ priorities. Evans announced the new deal on Instagram, pledging to “continue to strive for greatness on the field as well as in my community.”

Since being selected out of Texas A&M with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft , Evans has tallied more than 1,000 yards every season, establishing himself as one of the league’s foremost offensive players. Last season saw him tally up 71 receptions for 1001 yards and five touchdowns in 15 appearances. This run puts him behind only A.J. Green and Randy Moss for consecutive seasons with 1000 yards or more after being drafted; Green had five and Moss had six. In 2016, Evans set his career high in receptions (96), yards gained (1,322) and touchdowns (12), earning selections to the Pro Bowl and the second-team All Pro list.

Despite Evans, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and quarterback Jameis Winston combining to lead Tampa Bay to fourth in the league in yards per game with 272.9, the Buccaneers are looking to rebound from a disappointing season that saw them post a 5-11 record and finish bottom of the NFC South.

Bucs Look For New Backup QB

In 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the best young teams in the NFL. The team ended up finishing with a record above .500 and looked as if they were poised to be great in the future. While there was a lot of promise heading into the 2017 season, the team struggled a lot during the year. This was largely due to injuries as well as clarity that the team was not as strong and some positions as they had bought. While the team ended up finishing with the record of just five wins and 11 losses, there are still reasons to believe they could be good in coming years.

One of the main reasons for optimism in Tampa Bay is due to its quarterback. The team is led by young quarterback Jameis Winston. He was previously a number one overall pick out a Florida State University and has continued to show that he’s very talented and seems to be developing at a good pace. At this point, the team will have a lot of choices to consider when it comes to trying to walk him into a longer-term deal. While this will be a priority for the team in the future, there are other decisions that need to be made at the quarterback position as well (http://www.espn.com/blog/tampa-bay-buccaneers/post/_/id/20178/bucs-qb-plan-secure-backup-before-spending-big-jameis-winston).

As the 2017-18 offseason continues, one of the biggest choices that the team will have to make is about how to handle the backup position. During 2017, the team was able to sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick seemed to be a great fit for the team due to the fact that he was a seasoned veteran that also could play well when necessary. However, now that the season is over, there is a good chance that he could be moving on to another team. If Fitzpatrick is to leave, the team will need to find a backup immediately.

Currently, the team has just one other quarterback on its roster in Ryan Griffin. While he is not a back third option, the team will need to find someone who can reliably play if Winston was to get hurt. The team will likely focus on this in the coming weeks as team look to sign free agents and also prepare for the draft.

Buccaneers Keeping Options Open In Draft

It is hard to believe but we already just over a month out from the 2018 NFL draft which means front offices across the league, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are buzzing with anticipation surrounding the incoming prospects. After a lackluster 2017 campaign in which Tampa Bay finished a disappointing 5-11 the Bucs hold onto the #7 overall pick and could go a number of different ways with the selection.

One area that may need most urgent fortification is the offensive line. The Bucs finished 27th in total rushing yards last season and gave up a total of 40 sacks throughout the season. If the Buccaneers plan to continue building around Quarterback Jameis Winston, and by all indications that is their plan, then perhaps taking a Guard such as Quenton Nelson out of Notre Dame. Nelson at 6’5 329 pounds has the type of size that General Manager’s love, and he’s considered to be one of the stronger run blockers in this year’s class. Opening up the running game and therefore some play-action looks may be exactly what the Tampa Bay offense needs to avoid another middling season in 2018.

However another area that needs urgent addressing is the Bucs pass coverage which allowed a league-high 260 Yards Per Game last season, this means the Tampa Bay front office is surely looking into a Defensive Back prospect such as Minkah Fitzpatrick out of Alabama. Fitzpatrick is a player who has an extremely high work ethic in addition to top level size and athleticism and has seen his draft stock rising in recent weeks. While it’s unclear if he’ll be available with the #7 pick, it’s easy to see the Buccaneers taking Fitzpatrick in order to shore up the porous secondary. If Fitzpatrick is off the board, the next highest rated defensive back is Denzel Ward out of Ohio State. Ward is considered a little bit undersized (5’10, 190 lbs.) and that has led some scouts to worry about his ability to lock down bigger receivers, but his elite athleticism and eye for the game will surely lead him to be selected in the first round — it’s just a question if the Bucs will be willing to take a flier on Ward as early as pick #7.

One thing is for sure, Tampa Bay has a lot of decisions to make before the draft begins on April 26th.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Look Forward to Draft

During the 2016 NFL season most experts agreed that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the most surprising teams in the league and that they also showed a lot of signs of promise. While the Buccaneers had a great 2016 and were expected to take a big step forward, the team did not perform very well in 2017. This resulted in a final record of 5 wins and 11 losses, which placed them into last place in the division. To make matters worse, the team looks like they will continue to have their hands full as the other three teams in the division made the playoffs and will come back just as strong next year.

There are many reasons why the Buccaneers had a hard time continuing their positive momentum last year. One of the main reasons was due to injuries. During the season, several key players suffered injuries and missed a lot of time. This included injuries to Mike Evans and Doug Martin, two of the key pieces to the offense. This made it hard for young quarterback Jameis Winston to develop cohesion and the whole team suffered.

Now that the season is over and the team is moving into the offseason, Tampa Bay will look for ways to improve their team for the future. One of the biggest days of the year will be the NFL Draft in which the team will have a very high pick in the first round. Most experts agree that the team needs to focus on improving its defense (http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/Buccaneers-Mock-Draft-Roundup-30/4704e7b1-f9a9-4d94-b484-9d6ade521e6d). While the team did not do greatly offensively, the return of some key players and further development at quarterback will help.

Some of the top targets for the team during the draft will be Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James. Fitzpatrick is a DS from Alabama and was a clearly dominating player all year. James was a safety at Florida State and can be a huge run and pass stopper.

While they are focused on rebuilding through the draft, they also recently cleared some cap space. This included releasing running back Doug Martin. Martin just finished his 6th year in the league and is a former All-Pro player. However, he has been injured a lot recently and had an expensive contract.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS RELEASE RIGHT BACK DOUG MARTIN

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced the release of running back Doug Martin. Martin, 29, was a first round draft pick in 2012 and has spent his entire NFL career with the Buccaneers, becoming a two-time Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro running back in 2015. Martin, who signed a five-year, $35.75 million deal in 2016, and was thus contracted to remain with the team till 2020, will now become a free agent, while the Buccaneers will clear nearly $7 million in salary cap space.

Martin has endured a streaky career, rushing for over 1,400 yards in both 2012 and 2015, while rushing for less than 500 in other years and a career low of 406 on 138 carries in 2017. He was benched in favor of sophomore Peyton Barber during the last three games of the season.

In addition to his inconsistent play, Martin tested positive in 2016 for Adderall, a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He served a four-game suspension as a result and subsequently checked himself into a rehabilitation facility. The violation also invalidated the $15 million guarantee in his contract, meaning the Buccaneers could release him without any financial obligations.

The handwriting has seemed, for a while, to be on the wall, with Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht blaming the team’s struggles running the ball on Martin’s underwhelming play post-suspension.

“Obviously Doug had a down season by his standards and by our standards,” Licht said. The team ranked 27th in the league last season in rushing yards.

Martin released a statement on Instagram thanking the owners, general manager, coaches, players and fans of the Buccaneers organization, while also revealing that he was unhappy about the decision, but respectful of it.

“I am in the best shape of my life physically and mentally and my best football is ahead of me,” he said.

He leaves the team as the franchise record-holder for most rushing yards in a single game, with 251 against the Oakland Raiders in his rookie season, while also ranking fourth in rushing yards in team history with 4,633.