Player News - Buccaneers

Date: Team: Pos:

Bucs hired ex-Cardinals DL coach Brentson Buckner to the same position.

Buckner enjoyed a 12-year career before getting let go by the Panthers in 2006, ending his run as a player. He jumped into coaching a couple years later, landing the head coaching job at a local North Carolina high school. Buckner, 46, spent the last five seasons in Arizona as Bruce Arians' DL coach where he earned a reputation as one of the better DL coaches in the league.
Feb 19 - 6:03 PM

The agent for Mike Evans said he and the Bucs are not currently negotiating a new deal.

After the Bucs picked up his fifth-year option last year, Evans is scheduled to earn $13.2 million in 2018. Tampa would almost certainly like to work out a long-term deal, but Evans' agent suggests his client plans to play out the contract. "If the Bucs come to us with something we’re going to evaluate it," Deryk Gilmore said. "At this point, we’re not really talking about contracts. We’re just letting it play out." Evans has topped 1,000 yards each of his first four seasons in the league.
Feb 12 - 10:57 AM

DeSean Jackson said he and Jameis Winston "have to merge" this offseason.

Jackson had just four catches of more than 25 yards his first season in Tampa Bay after 14 such catches in 2016. "As far as me getting down the field, we got to get that timing down pat," Jackson said. "Last year we were missing a couple of big-time hits. This year we can’t afford that." Jackson said he has already worked with Winston this offseason, and the duo will meet up again on the Texas A&M campus and in Los Angeles.
Feb 11 - 10:05 AM

Trevor Sikkema of Pewter Report expects restricted free agent Cameron Brate to command a deal worth $6.5-7.5 million annually.

The high end of that would put Brate firmly in the top-ten at his position, though the Bucs may be reluctant to dish out that kind of coin, especially after taking O.J. Howard in the first round of last year's draft. Brate remained productive with 591 receiving yards in 2017 and has visited the end zone 14 times in his last two seasons, third among tight ends behind only Jimmy Graham and Kyle Rudolph. Because he's a restricted free agent, the Bucs can keep Brate by matching any offer he receives on the open market.
Feb 1 - 9:30 AM

Coach Dirk Koetter said Todd Monken will be the Bucs' full-time offensive coordinator in 2018.

Monken also coached the wide receivers last season, but the Bucs are promoting Skyler Fulton to that job. "Monken will be a walk-around OC like almost every other team has," Koetter said. "Really nothing more to it than that at this time." Despite the head coach playing down the move, it at least opens up the possibility of Monken taking over play-calling duties, although Koetter has already said he plans to continue calling plays in 2018.
Jan 29 - 9:18 AM

The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud believes there's "no chance" the Bucs keep Doug Martin for 2018.

Martin just turned 29 four days ago and has three years left on his contract. But as a result of his drug-induced suspension at the end of the 2016 season, the guarantees in his contract were wiped away. The Bucs decided to keep him around in 2017, but Martin proved to be a waste of $7 million for Tampa Bay, averaging a pitiful 2.9 YPC for the second straight season. He has two 1,400-yard rushing seasons to go with four sub-500-yard years and is a non-factor in the pass game. Martin's sure release will save the Bucs $6.75 million against the 2018 cap.
Jan 17 - 9:47 AM

Bucs GM Jason Licht blamed injuries for the team's struggles in 2017.

Licht said he did not want to use the injuries "as excuses" before proceeding to use the injuries to Jameis Winston and several defenders as excuses for why the Bucs are keeping the coaching staff intact despite a season which fell well short of expectations. "We feel like it's continuity," Licht said. "The answers are here in terms of the coaches, the personnel people and we have a lot of good players we feel like in this locker room that can turn this thing around." If that does not happen in 2018, Dirk Koetter and company probably will not be as lucky next January.
Jan 16 - 9:44 AM

Bucs GM Jason Licht said Doug Martin "wasn't ever the same" after returning from suspension.

Martin looked great in his first game back, rushing for 74 yards and a score on just 13 carries against the Patriots, but it was all downhill from there. He was disciplined for a team-rules violation in Week 13, and he watched Peyton Barber jump him on the depth chart. The Bucs can wipe all of Martin's $6.75 million salary off the cap by cutting him. It would be a shock if that did not happen.
Jan 16 - 9:34 AM

Bucs TE/FB Alan Cross is recovering from sports-hernia surgery.

The combo lead blocker/tight end played 117 snaps in 2017. He has 11 catches in two seasons. With coach Dirk Koetter returning, Cross should retain his 53-man roster spot for 2018.
Jan 11 - 3:10 PM

Bucs S T.J. Ward was arrested for marijuana possession Wednesday morning.

It's a misdemeanor, and Ward is already out of jail. Signed ahead of Week 1 after surprisingly being released by the Broncos at the end of last summer, Ward was a flop in Tampa Bay. He played 405 snaps as the Bucs' No. 3 safety, showing well in run defense but expressing frustration with his role under DC Mike Smith as a part-time player. Ward is 31 and will be a free agent in March.
Jan 3 - 12:59 PM

Dirk Koetter said he will not give up play-calling duties in 2018.

The coach also said there have been no changes to his staff, although he left the door open for that to change. Keeping the status quo is an odd decision for a team which dramatically underachieved in 2017, but it looks like that is what the Bucs will do. Koetter's offenses have finished in the bottom half of scoring each of his three years in Tampa.
Source: ESPN
Jan 1 - 1:20 PM

Impending free agent CB Brent Grimes said the Bucs would like to bring him back.

Grimes will turn 35 in July, but he is coming off yet another quality season. It is unlikely anyone offers multiple years of guaranteed money at his age, but Grimes is certainly worth bringing back and would likely get offers from contenders if he hits the open market.
Jan 1 - 1:18 PM

Cameron Brate caught 3-of-5 targets for 37 yards in the Bucs' Week 17 win over the Saints.

After leading all NFL tight ends in touchdown catches in 2016, Brate took a 2017 step back as he lost significant playing time to rookie O.J. Howard. Brate wraps his third NFL season with 48 catches for 591 yards and six scores. Brate has proven to be a useful possession and red-zone tight end, but Howard is the future in Tampa Bay. Expect Howard to take over as the Bucs’ full-time tight end in 2018. Brate will likely regress into even more of a passing-down-only, sub-package role.
Sun, Dec 31, 2017 08:11:00 PM

Adam Humphries caught 7-of-11 targets for 102 yards in the Bucs' Week 17 win over the Saints.

Humphries wraps his third NFL season with 61 receptions for 631 yards and a touchdown, averaging fewer than 10 yards per catch. Sunday's big finale was the byproduct of extreme volume in Tampa Bay's comeback win; Jameis Winston attempted a whopping 51 throws. A replacement-level slot receiver, Humphries is now ticketed for restricted free agency, where he doesn’t figure to draw much outside interest. The Bucs need to find ways to get Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Godwin on the field together in 2018, which would likely mean moving Godwin into the slot to play ahead of Humphries.
Sun, Dec 31, 2017 08:07:00 PM

Peyton Barber rushed 17 times for 71 yards and a touchdown and caught 2-of-4 targets for 18 yards in the Bucs' Week 17 win over the Saints.

A former undrafted free agent out of Auburn, Barber took over as the Bucs’ late-season lead back due to Doug Martin’s utter inefficiency, logging touch totals of 29 > 13 > 16 > 15 > 19 over the final five weeks. Barber is mostly a get-what’s-blocked runner with limited elusiveness and receiving ability, but he will be worth keeping on the 2018 roster as a backup. The Bucs flirted with Dalvin Cook in the 2017 draft and will likely pursue a running back upgrade this offseason.
Sun, Dec 31, 2017 08:00:00 PM


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