Tampa Bay Buccaneers News & Rumors

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are Tuesday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with any additional moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Colts have waived wide receiver Josh Lenz, who has spent a good chunk of the last two seasons on Indianapolis’ practice squad, the team announced today in a press release. Lenz had signed a reserve/futures contract with the Colts following the club’s elimination from the postseason back in January.
  • The Steelers have claimed former Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Gardner was previously attempting to hook on with the Pats as a wide receiver before his release on Monday. To make room, the Steelers waived wide receiver L’Damian Washington, according to Steelers PR man Burt Lauten (on Twitter).
  • The Chargers waived tackle Bryce Quigley, a San Diego State product, to create roster room for Joe Barksdale, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego tweets.
  • Another player who signed a reserve/futures deal with his team this past winter, running back Demitrius Bronson has been waived by the Seahawks with an injured designation, writes Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. Bronson, who was on Seattle’s taxi squad for most of the 2014 campaign, suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the offseason.
  • The Buccaneers have signed UDFA Antoine Everett, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). To make room for the former McNeese St. guard, tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi was waived with an injured designation.
  • Wide receiver Malcome Kennedy cleared waivers and was placed on the Saints‘ IR, Evan Woodbery of The Times Picayune tweets.
  • The Chiefs signed running back Keshawn Hill, guard Melvin Meggs, center Dan Munye, and tackle Kelvin Palmer, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets. To make room, KC cut fullback Manasseh Garner, tight end Earnest Pettway, and tackle Charles Sweeton.

Extra Points: Tebow, Smith, Falcons

Can Tim Tebow find success with the Eagles? Former teammate Eric Decker seems to think so. “Chip’s been doing a lot of stuff this year, so I think anything’s possible,” Decker, now with the Jets, told Manish Mehta of the Daily News. “Really, (Tebow) can create his own role. I know he wants to be head quarterback, but he can create a role for himself that can help a team in many ways (whether it’s) the two-point conversion if it’s moved up or a goal-line package. He has the athletic ability to be a personal punt protector… and can play other positions. They’ll figure out a way to utilize him if it’s going to help them be a better football team.” Here’s more from the NFC..

  • Justin Smith told reporters, including Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter), that the left side of his body hasn’t been responding well as of late. “If you don’t have the tools, you can’t do the job. It’s time to go,” said the 49ers defensive end, who walked away from the game of football earlier today.
  • The Falcons rearranged their front office this winter, giving more responsibility to new head coach Dan Quinn and assistant GM Scott Pioli while taking some duties away from GM Thomas Dimitroff. So far, owner Arthur Blank is happy with how things have worked out, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes. “I think it’s working great,” Blank said. “There is tremendous respect both ways. They’re working off each other; playing off each other’s strengths. They’re both good listeners to each other and to others. And I think the dynamic has worked out as well as anybody could have possibly thought. I think Thomas and Scott have worked beautifully together as well. So I’m very happy with all of that.”
  • Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald says fellow DT Henry Melton is a great addition to the defense and will help the Bucs get to the quarterback, Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com tweets.

Minor Moves: Monday

Today’s minor moves..

  • The Buccaneers have signed safety Derrick Wells, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). The Lehigh, Florida native was one of the players in attendance for the team’s rookie mini-camp.
  • The Cowboys welcomed back fullback Tyler Clutts on a one-year deal and cut Jed Collins, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. Clutts joined the Cowboys late in 2013 and played in every game last season, helping DeMarco Murray to an NFL-high 1,845 yards.
  • The Giants removed Thomas Gordon from their injured reserve with an injury settlement, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Patriots have said goodbye to Cameron Gordon and Devin Gardner, Wilson tweets. Gardner was a former quarterback at Michigan and was looking to transition to wide receiver in the NFL.
  • Washington signed linebacker Alonzo Highsmith while waiving Brey Cook, James Gayle, LaKendrick Ross, wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck, and quarterback Connor Halliday, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. Halliday’s release was just formality after he abruptly announced his retirement from football.
  • The Saints announced the signings of linebacker Henry Coley, kicker Zach Hocker, offensive lineman Antonio Johnson, wide receiver Josh Morgan, and wide receiver Kyle Prater, as Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune tweets. To make room, offensive lineman Doniel Gambrell, guard Andrew Miller, and linebacker Stephon Sanders were shown the door while New Orleans waived/injured receiver Malcolme Kennedy (link).
  • The Titans announced (on Twitter) that they have agreed to terms with tight end Tevin Westbrook and outside linebacker Dezmond Johnson. Running back Lache Seastrunk and outside linebacker Dontay Moch were waived.
  • The Toronto Argonauts signed former NFL linebacker Brian Rolle, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Rolle, 27 in November, was drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. His last NFL gig was with the Steelers, who signed him on a futures/reserve contract in 2013. Meanwhile, the Argos said goodbye to wide receiver Mike Thomas and safety David Sims, who both have had multiple stops in the NFL (link).
  • Wide receiver/kick returner DeShon Foxx has agreed to terms with the Seahawks, accoridng to Wilson (on Twitter).
  • The 49ers signed Mylan Hicks and Justin Renfrow, according to Wilson (on Twitter).
  • The Seahawks signed Earnest Pettway and Charles Tuauu, according to Wilson (on Twitter).
  • The Chiefs cut Curtis Feigt with a non-football injury designation, Wilson tweets.

NFC South Notes: Winston, Newton, Coffman

In today’s mailbag, a reader asks ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas if he feels the Buccaneers will bring in a veteran quarterback to support Jameis Winston. Of course, Mike Glennon is also on hand, and every indication Yasinskas has received is that the Bucs are content to roll with him as the backup to Winston. They also believe that he’s enough of a team player to embrace a backup role. Here’s today’s look at the NFC South..

Extra Points: Winston, Peterson, Lions

Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith isn’t thrilled with former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and his comments about Jameis Winston, Greg Auman and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times write.

I’m disappointed. To say that the young man is an “embarrassment’? That’s pretty strong,” Smith said. “I just don’t think he’s speaking for all of Florida State, even though he’s in an official role there. Normally, what we’re doing today with our greats, you (embrace) them. Everybody on the outside may be throwing stones at them. Normally, when you’re in a family, you don’t do that. I’m very disappointed that somebody like that would make that type of statement.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Vikings coach Mike Zimmer claims that he doesn’t envision any issues with team harmony if Adrian Peterson returns to the club and remains disgruntled, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes. Peterson, who missed 15 games last season, has been (ostensibly) pushing for the Vikings to guarantee the money owed to him over the next three years of his contract. Peterson is set to earn $12.75MM in 2015 and Zimmer declined comment when asked if he has spoken recently to Peterson or if the running back will be at OTAs.
  • Ameer Abdullah‘s trainer offered up a very flattering NFL comparison for his client. “He reminds me a ton of Steve Smith and you see what he’s done in the league,” Otis Leverette told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I played with him in (a college) all-star game and played with him in the league for a while, they’ve kind of got that same thing to them. They just don’t know that they’re supposed to be small, they don’t believe in obstacles. The things that other people see as obstacles, they just see as another day at the office.” The Lions‘ second-round pick put pen to paper earlier today.
  • Cardinals fans who are wondering which rookie free agents will be making the final roster should look at the bonuses being paid to the UDFAs for clues, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic writes. BYU inside linebacker Alani Fua leads the pack with a healthy $17K bonus while North Carolina State tackle Robert Crisp is the runner-up with $15K.

Eight Teams Placed Claims On Swearinger

The Buccaneers, the team with the top waiver priority this offseason, were awarded D.J. Swearinger on waivers yesterday after the safety was cut on Monday by the Texans. A report earlier today indicated that the Jets also submitted a waiver claim for Swearinger, but Tampa Bay and New York were far from the only clubs involved.

According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link), a total of eight teams placed a claim on Swearinger. In addition to the Bucs and Jets, the Jaguars, Raiders, Falcons, Bills, Steelers, and Ravens all put in claims for the former Texan, says Yates. The Browns were also believed to have interest in Swearinger, but they – and perhaps other potential suitors – must have been hoping he’d clear waivers and become a free agent.

Since Swearinger was a second-round pick in 2013, his rookie contract still has two years left on it, and is fairly reasonable, featuring base salaries of about $722K and $881K for 2015 and 2016, respectively. That’s an affordable flier for virtually any NFL team to take, which explains why so many clubs placed waiver claims rather than waiting for Swearinger to become a free agent.

Presumably, those eight teams that put in claims were fonder of Swearinger’s performance in 2014 than Pro Football Focus was, or at least view him as a player who has the potential to improve. According to PFF (subscription required), Swearinger allowed opposing quarterbacks to compile a 99.2 passer rating to go along with five touchdowns on 59 passes into his coverage last season. Overall, he ranked as the league’s 78th-best safety out of 87 qualified players.

While Swearinger drew plenty of interest on waivers, it doesn’t appear that any of those teams were willing to give up anything of real value for him, since the Texans reportedly tried to trade the safety before cutting him.

Draft Signings: Falcons, Bucs, Bills

The latest draft signings from rounds 3-7..

  • The Falcons signed third-round pick Tevin Coleman, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With the running back in the fold, Vic Beasley stands as the last draft pick unsigned in Atlanta.
  • The Buccaneers signed fourth-round linebacker Kwon Alexander, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). The Bucs traded up in the fourth round with the Raiders to land the LSU product.
  • The Buccaneers also signed Nebraska product Kenny Bell, according to Smith (on Twitter). The wide receiver was taken in the fifth round.
  • FSU tight end Nick O’Leary, a sixth-round choice, has signed his rookie contract with the Bills, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Seventh-round wideout Dezmin Lewis has also signed his rookie deal with the team, tweets Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News.
  • The Bengals signed safety Derron Smith, a sixth-round pick, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Smith is just the second of nine picks to sign.
  • The Cardinals announced (via Twitter) that they have signed a pair of fifth-round picks in linebacker Shaquille Riddick and wide receiver J.J. Nelson.

Bucs Claim Khaseem Greene, Waive Jennings

The Bucs weren’t satisfied with adding just one player off waivers today. After grabbing D.J. Swearinger, the Bucs also plucked former Bears fourth round pick Khaseem Greene, Rick Stroud of WDAE tweets. To make room, safety M.D. Jennings has been shown the door.

Greene, 26, was a favorite of Rutgers coaches but never broke out as a major contributor in Chicago. Greene saw time in 25 games between 2013 and 2014 and made six starts in that time. Ironically, it was former Bucs coach Greg Schiano who recruited Greene to New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The Bucs’ total roster count is now at 89 players,one below the present league maximum.

Bucs Claim D.J. Swearinger

The Buccaneers have claimed safety D.J. Swearinger off waivers, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). Tampa Bay had No. 1 waiver priority and used it to grab the 23-year-old after he was discarded by the Texans.

It was reported last month that Houston was trying to trade Swearinger, on whom it used a second-round pick in 2013. Swearinger, who totaled 145 tackles and three interceptions in 22 starts during the first two years of his career, struggled mightily last season. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) ranked him 78th out of 87 qualifying safeties after he allowed opposing quarterbacks a 99.2 passer rating against him.

Swearinger’s old contract included roughly $460k in dead money and cap numbers under $1MM for the next two seasons. That was a price tag too rich for Houston, but Tampa Bay is happy to welcome him into the fold.

Draft Signings: Browns, Bucs, Titans

With less room for negotiations on rookie contracts under the new CBA, draft picks are coming to terms with their teams quicker than ever, and a few more have struck deals already today. Here are the latest updates on mid-to-late rounders reaching agreements with their respective clubs, with contract information provided by Over The Cap….

  • The Browns have officially brought a pair of draftees into the fold, announcing today in a press release that they’ve formally signed third-round defensive lineman Xavier Cooper and sixth-round fullback Malcolm Johnson. Their signing bonuses will be worth about $592K and $119K respectively.
  • Sixth-round wideout Kaelin Clay has signed his rookie deal with the Buccaneers, as Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com tweets. Clay, the second Tampa Bay pick to sign his deal, after Jameis Winston, will get a $130K+ signing bonus.
  • The Titans have started to lock up their draft picks, agreeing to terms today with sixth-round outside linebacker Deiontrez Mount, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. Mount’s four-year contract will have a total value of $2.428MM, including a signing bonus of about $148K, and a 2015 cap hit of approximately $472K.
  • Saints third-round draft pick P.J. Williams signed his rookie contract on Tuesday, according to a post on his Instagram account. New Orleans has now inked all of its picks with the exception of Stephone Anthony and Andrus Peat.
  • The Eagles and sixth round draft pick JaCorey Shepherd have agreed to terms on a four-year contract, Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.