Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rumors & News

Bucs Sign Kicker Roberto Aguayo

The Buccaneers announced that they have signed second-round pick Roberto Aguayo. With the kicker under contract, the Bucs have now signed every member of their 2016 draft class. Roberto Aguayo (vertical)

Some were surprised when the Bucs traded into the second-round of this year’s draft to grab the FSU kicker, but it turns out that the team thinks even more highly of his leg than that. Recently, GM Jason Licht claimed that he had first-round grades on three of his rookies this year, including Aguayo. Along with Aguayo, the GM feels that he snared first-round talents in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and defensive end Noah Spence.

Hargreaves, meanwhile, inked his rookie contract roughly one month ago. The No. 11 overall pick was the second cornerback to come off the board in the 2016 draft, having been selected one spot behind Eli Apple, after the Buccaneers traded down from No. 9 to No. 11. The University of Florida product will compete for a starting job in Tampa Bay’s secondary this summer, joining free agent signee Brent Grimes at or near the top of the club’s new-look cornerback depth chart.

To recap, here is the full list of the Bucs’ 2016 draft class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Reached Out To Rodney McLeod

  • Before settling in on a five-year, $37MM contract with the Eagles, safety Rodney McLeod received similar offers from other teams. Jimmy Kempski of The Philly Voice tweets that McLeod heard from the Jaguars, Browns, and Buccaneers.

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Buccaneers Sign Two Defensive Backs

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/25/16

Today’s minor moves:

  • The Buccaneers have signed undrafted free agent Javien Elliott, formerly of Florida State, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Elliott accrued 37 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Seminoles last season.
  • Offensive lineman Darius Johnson, whom the Lions cut on Tuesday, has cleared waivers, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Johnson signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent from Middle Tennessee State earlier this month.
  • The Buccaneers have waived cornerback C.J. Wilson, according to Auman (Twitter link). Wilson missed all of last season after losing two fingers in a July 4 fireworks accident. Prior to that horrific accident, he appeared in a total of four games from 2013-14 – his first two seasons in the league. Wilson will continue his career in a vastly different climate, per Auman, who reports that he has signed with the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
  • Wide receiver Andre Debose, whom the Raiders waived/injured Tuesday, cleared waivers and has reverted to injured reserve, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Titans have been awarded tight end Jerome Cunningham off waivers, reports Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. Cunningham, whom the Jets waived Tuesday, appeared in nine games last season and caught eight passes for 59 yards.
  • The Broncos have an agreement with second-round defensive lineman Adam Gotsis, Mike Klis of 9NEWS tweets. As per his slot, Gotsis’ deal comes with a signing bonus of just over $1MM. Gotsis, a Georgia Tech product, is currently sidelined due to the torn ACL he suffered last year.
  • The Bengals signed fourth-round defensive tackle Andrew Billings, as Wilson tweets. In related news, the team signed fullback Andrew Bonnet and waived-injured kicker Jonathan Brown.
  • The Bears announced that they have signed linebacker Jarrett Grace, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame. To make room, fellow linebacker Danny Mason has been placed on waivers.
  • The Falcons announced that they have waived offensive lineman Cody Elenz. Elenz was signed as a college free agent following the draft. Even after cutting Elenz, Atlanta has 15 offensive linemen on their 88-man roster.
  • The Packers released guard/tackle Vince Kowalski, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.

Bucs Place Lowdermilk On Reserved/Retired List

  • The Buccaneers have placed safety Johnny Lowdermilk on the reserved-retired list, creating a second opening on the 90-man roster, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.
  • The Raiders announced that they have signed free agent wide receivers Robert Herron and Nathan Palmer. To make room, the Raiders have waived/injured wide receiver Andre Debose and waived quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Palmer auditioned for New Orleans last week alongside a handful of notable names, including Hakeem Nicks. Herron was originally selected by the Bucs in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played in eight games his rookie season, posting six receptions for 58 yards (9.7 avg.) and one touchdown.

Bucs OL Coach Not High On Team's Performance

  • Buccaneers offensive line coach George Warhop did not consider the team to have deployed a good offensive line last season. Although the Bucs employed now-retired Logan Mankins and potentially promising Day 2 pick Ali Marpet, the team allowed an NFL-high 124 quarterback hits. “Too many quarterback hits, regardless. I don’t care whose fault it is,” Warhop said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We all have a hand in that. It’s one of our points of emphasis this year. First meeting, ‘Hey, listen, guys. Everybody’s telling me what a great job you did. I thought we were just average, really.” Pro Football Focus graded tackles Donovan Smith and Gosder Cherilus as two bottom-tier performers at the position, but now-healthy Demar Dotson and newly signed J.R. Sweezy should bring some much-needed reinforcements to the group.

Bucs Had First Round Grade On K Roberto Aguayo

Draft evaluations are subjective and tend to vary greatly from team to team. This week, Buccaneers GM Jason Licht reminded us of that fact when he explained that he had first-round grades on three of his rookies this year, including kicker Roberto Aguayo. The Bucs thought enough of the FSU product to trade into the second round for him and apparently it’s a move that the Bucs made with confidence. Along with Aguayo, the GM feels that he snared first-round talents in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and defensive end Noah Spence. In 2015, Licht says he also hit it big.

  • New Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken admits that he wasn’t a big fan of Winston prior to the 2015 draft. Today, the former Southern Miss head coach isn’t afraid to admit that he has had a change of heart. “It’s who he is, how he’s wired,” Monken said, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I think that’s one thing that’s a misnomer. I think from the outside you would’ve looked at it with all the things that were publicized in the past about him and who he is. I was dead wrong. He wants to win as much as we do. He’s a competitive joker, man, he’s smart, he’s intelligent…you can win a lot of games with guys like that.”

Bucs Sign A.J. Francis

  • The Buccaneers announced that they have signed A.J. Francis, as Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com writes. The defensive tackle now joins his fourth team after beginning his career in Miami and later seeing time in Seattle and New England. To make room, second-year defensive tackle Davon Coleman has been waived.

Buccaneers Sign Noah Spence

  • The Buccaneers announced that they’ve signed second-round defensive end Noah Spence, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The only Tampa Bay pick that has yet to sign his rookie deal is perhaps the most controversial pick of the draft — second-round kicker Roberto Aguayo.