Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rumors & News

QB Rumors: RGIII, Glennon, Kaepernick

Major in-season NFL trades aren’t all that common, and deals involving quarterbacks are particularly rare, since it’s not easy to plug in new signal-callers to an offense halfway through the season. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few QBs around the league who are in the news today, with this afternoon’s trade deadline looming. Let’s round up the latest….

  • Washington hasn’t received any trade inquiries so far on Robert Griffin III, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Any team that acquired RGIII would have to take on his $16MM+ option for 2016, which is guaranteed for injury, so it seems unlikely that any club would want to take that risk.
  • The Buccaneers aren’t fielding calls from other teams wanting to acquire Mike Glennon, tweets Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. According to Stroud, Bucs GM Jason Licht isn’t willing to move Jameis Winston‘s backup for a mid-round pick. Glennon remains under contract with Tampa Bay through the 2016 season, so if the Bucs keep him through this year, they could still consider a deal in the offseason.
  • Examining the Colin Kaepernick situation in San Francisco, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report says he heard from a 49ers player on Monday who said that Kaepernick had “pretty much lost” the locker room recently. Still, Freeman places some of the blame for Kaepernick’s regression on San Francisco’s management and coaching staff, arguing that the signal-caller “could have been much better served.”
  • With their top two quarterbacks injured, the Jets are exploring a possible trade or free agent signing, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com wonders if the team might consider trading for Kaepernick. As Cimini observes, GM Mike Maccagnan isn’t afraid of high-profile moves, but there are a handful of roadblocks that would have to be overcome for such a deal to be consummated by 3:00pm CT today.

Update On IR-DTR Players

We’re now through eight weeks of the NFL season, which means we’re approaching the year’s halfway point. It also means that players who were placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return prior to the regular season are eligible to be activated and play in their respective teams’ next games.

Players placed on IR with the designation to return are eligible to begin practicing after six weeks, and can return to game action after eight weeks, so there are some IR-DTR players who have begun practicing already, and some of them could be activated for Week 9. Not every player will be healthy enough to return immediately now that they’ve become eligible to do so, but we should see at least a handful of the 10 players who have been on IR-DTR all year be activated to 53-man rosters in the coming days.

Here’s a breakdown of the 10 IR-DTR players eligible to be activated for Week 9:

  • Jay Ajayi, RB (Dolphins): Ajayi recently said that he’s back to full health, though the Dolphins may have a decision to make in their backfield if they decide to activate the rookie runner.
  • Alex Carter, CB (Lions): Carter is on track to begin practicing after the Lions’ Week 9 bye, and likely won’t be activated right away.
  • David Cobb, RB (Titans): Cobb is expected to be activated this week, and at least one Titans beat reporter believes the rookie is capable of earning a high percentage of the team’s carries.
  • Demar Dotson, T (Buccaneers): When he began practicing, Dotson admitted his injured knee wasn’t where he wanted it to be, but it sounds like he’s made enough progress to be activated this week.
  • Charles Gaines, CB (Browns): Gaines returned to practice when he was eligible to do so, and sounds like he’s eager to get back on Cleveland’s roster. If the Browns want him active for Week 9, they’ll have to make a move soon, since the team plays on Thursday this week.
  • Dee Milliner, CB (Jets): Head coach Todd Bowles said last week that he believes Milliner will be ready to play as soon as he becomes eligible, though he cautioned that the team will need to find room on the active roster.
  • Maurkice Pouncey, C (Steelers): There has been some speculation that Pouncey could be sidelined for the entire season, but head coach Mike Tomlin still expects his veteran center back this year. That likely won’t happen for a few more weeks though, since the initial diagnosis put Pouncey on track to be out until at least Week 12.
  • Bryan Stork, C (Patriots): The Patriots’ offensive line has been hit hard by injuries this season, so having to decide between Stork and David Andrews at center will be a welcome problem for the team. Stork appears on track to return in Week 9.
  • John Sullivan, C (Vikings): After suffering a setback and undergoing another surgical procedure, Sullivan won’t be back anytime soon, and may not play at all this season.
  • Brent Urban, DE (Ravens): Asked two weeks ago about Urban, head coach John Harbaugh said that the defensive end wasn’t practicing, adding that his recovery would probably take “a few more weeks.”

While these 10 players are the only ones on IR-DTR eligible to return in Week 9, there are 12 more who will gain eligibility in the coming weeks. The full list can be found right here.

Among those 12 other IR-DTR players, the most notable name is Tony Romo, who can’t play until Week 11. The Cowboys quarterback is eligible to begin practicing this week, but Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link) hears that won’t happen quite yet. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Romo is still on track to return to the field when he’s eligible for game action, but it makes sense to keep getting Matt Cassel first-team practice reps in the meantime.

Extra Points: Jets-Pats, Browns, Hardy, Winston

It was reported Friday that NFL officials swept the Jets’ locker room and questioned three Patriots employees during their matchup last Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The report stated that the sweep came via request by the Jets, who were concerned that the stadium’s operations and radio frequencies weren’t up to par. Though the Jets subsequently denied having any involvement, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the league informed the Pats that “a team” did ask for it to happen. New England believes the Jets are that team, Florio reports, which should add to an already heated rivalry.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Browns owner Jimmy Haslam stressed patience over the summer regarding his club’s rebuild, but the team is 2-5 and matters could worsen with several playoff-caliber opponents on the schedule over the final nine games of the season. A marked regression from last year’s 7-9 finish might force Haslam to consider making changes, writes Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Those changes could begin in the front office and cost second-year general manager Ray Farmer his job.
  • While the Cowboys have expressed a desire to give defensive end Greg Hardy a contract extension, the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw doesn’t think a new deal would make sense for either side right now. The Cowboys would be taking a substantial risk in signing Hardy just two games into his career with them, as they aren’t yet aware of whether he’s capable of staying out of trouble off the field. In Hardy’s case, he’ll have plenty of offseason suitors if he can behave himself until then. That would obviously up the 27-year-old’s asking price.
  • Since playing arguably the worst game of his young career in an Oct. 4 loss to Carolina, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has turned in back-to-back terrific performances, connecting on 34 of 48 passes for 500-plus yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is impressed with the progression of Winston, the No. 1 pick in last spring’s draft, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “Jameis is growing fast,” Koetter said.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/28/15

With Week 8’s slate of games around the corner, NFL teams are getting their rosters ready for their upcoming contests. Here are Wednesday’s minor transactions from around the league:

  • The Texans cut Mike McFarland from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Wilson tweets.
  • A day after being cut by the Colts, safety and special-teamer Dewey McDonald has been claimed off waivers by the Patriots, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, adding that New England will need to open a roster spot to make it official.

Earlier updates:

  • The Ravens have placed rookie receiver Darren Waller on injured reserve, ending his season, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Offensive tackle De’Ondre Wesley has been promoted to the active roster to give the team some depth, as Eugene Monroe battles a shoulder injury.
  • The Jets have also made a move to provide insurance for a banged-up offensive lineman, elevating Wesley Johnson to their active roster, according to the team (Twitter link). Veteran center Nick Mangold suffered a neck injury against the Patriots, though he may not have to miss much – if any – time.
  • As expected, the Buccaneers – who will be without Louis Murphy for the rest of the season and Vincent Jackson in the short term – have promoted wide receiver Adam Humphries from their practice squad, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
  • The Jaguars have signed linebacker Hayes Pullard from off the Browns’ practice squad, waiving linebacker James-Michael Johnson to clear a space on their roster, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com (Twitter link).
  • Having been cut from the 53-man roster on Saturday, wide receiver T.J. Graham re-signed with the Saints today, per Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune. Graham takes the roster spot that opened up when New Orleans waived cornerback Sammy Seamster.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/28/15

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC Notes: Ratliff, V-Jax, Boldin, Lions

When the Bears released veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff last week, details began to trickle out about an eruption from Ratliff that led to the move — and led to the Bears temporarily increasing the security at their team facility. Although that incident led to Ratliff’s release, it wasn’t his first such outburst, as Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report details.

According to Freeman, in the last week of the 2014 season, Ratliff showed up at a Bears practice and behaved “belligerently” toward players and coaches, leading to him being asked to leave practice multiple times. The incident sounds awfully similar to what happened at Halas Hall last week, but in 2014, head coach Marc Trestman not only didn’t discipline Ratliff — he named the defensive lineman a team captain for the coming week.

Per Freeman, the decision to reward Ratliff for the outburst may have cost Trestman the locker room, and it wasn’t long until the head coach was replaced. Under new coach John Fox, the Bears didn’t tolerate a similar display from Ratliff this season.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from across the NFC….

  • Encouraging Ratliff’s so-called “passion” last year didn’t work out well for Trestman — will taking a similar approach to Greg Hardy play out any better for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones? David Fleming of ESPN is skeptical, calling Jones’ support of Hardy the latest sign of dysfunction in Dallas.
  • Vincent Jackson‘s knee injury is expected to sideline him for multiple weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). However, Rapoport adds that the injury won’t be a season-ender for the Buccaneers receiver.
  • With the 49ers rapidly falling out of contention, and next Tuesday’s trade deadline looming, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if San Francisco would consider trading Anquan Boldin, and whether or not Boldin would welcome a trade to a contender. I wouldn’t expect the Niners to make a move involving the veteran wideout, but if they do, the Panthers would be one destination that makes some sense, as Florio observes.
  • While general manager Martin Mayhew has been aggressive in the past, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (video link) doesn’t expect the Lions to acquire any veterans before this year’s trade deadline. If Mayhew and the Lions make any deals, they’ll probably be for draft picks, says Rothstein.

NFC South Notes: Panthers, S. Smith, Martin

Here’s tonight’s look at the NFC South:

  • As much as Panthers fans would love to see it happen, there’s no way that Steve Smith is coming back to Carolina via trade, David Newton of ESPN.com writes. The Panthers opted to release Smith back in March of 2014 and Newton notes that nothing has really changes since then. GM Dave Gettleman was concerned that the aging wide receiver couldn’t maintain his productivity over the course of the season and last year he was proven right as Smith slowed down towards the end. Smith was also cut because he was sometimes a disruptive and divisive force in the locker room. Not only do the Panthers clearly have some issues with Smith, but they’re also sitting at 6-0 even without a true No. 1 wide receiver.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap looked at some of the top unrestricted free agents this season at the running back position, including Buccaneers back Doug Martin. Martin has surprised many with his play thus far in 2015, averaging 90+ yards per game and putting himself on pace to crack 1,400 yards on the year. Martin will have to convince teams that his resurgence is not the byproduct of playing in a contract year and while that could be tough, Fitzgerald could see him entering free agency with stronger credentials than C.J. Spiller and Mark Ingram, tailbacks who signed for ~$4MM/year. All in all, Fitzgerald projects that Martin coudl sign for $20-22MM over a four year period.
  • The Bucs may be promoting wide receiver Adam Humphries to the active roster to replace the injured Louis Murphy, according to Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune (on Twitter).
  • Practice Squad Updates: 10/27/15

    Today’s practice squad moves from around the NFL:

    Atlanta Falcons

    Carolina Panthers

    Minnesota Vikings

    New Orleans Saints

    Oakland Raiders

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    St. Louis Rams

    • Signed: DE Gerald Rivers, LB/DE Zack Hodges (Twitter link via Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch)

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Tennessee Titans

    Louis Murphy Has Torn ACL, Out For Year

    TUESDAY, 3:23pm: The Buccaneers have officially placed Murphy on IR, ending his season, the team announced in a press release. No corresponding move was announced, so the Bucs figure to fill the roster opening later this week.

    MONDAY, 2:40pm: Murphy has confirmed to ESPN’s Josina Anderson (Twitter link) that he has a torn ACL, calling it a “minor setback for a major comeback.”

    2:24pm: The Buccaneers fear that wide receiver Louis Murphy has suffered a torn ACL, which would sideline him for the remainder of the 2015 season, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The club has yet to officially make an announcement on Murphy, but it sounds like it could just be a matter of time until an MRI confirms the team’s initial diagnosis.

    Murphy, 28, has bounced around from team to team over the course of his seven-year NFL career, spending time with the Raiders, Panthers, and Giants before catching on with the Buccaneers last season. After catching 31 balls for 380 yards and two touchdowns in 2014, Murphy had totaled 10 receptions for 198 yards in six games this season.

    Assuming Murphy is done for the year, the Bucs will likely need to make a roster move to replace him, since the team only has four other active wide receivers. An outside free agent is a possibility, but the club is currently carrying three receivers – Rannell Hall, Adam Humphries, and Evan Spencer – on its practice squad, so one of those players could receive a promotion.

    Workout Notes: Giants, Dolphins, Chiefs

    The Giants are working out a handful of kickers today, including Kyle Brindza, Zach Hocker, Corey Acosta, and Tom Obarski, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Josh Brown has been a little inconsistent on kickoffs, putting one out of bounds on Sunday, but it’s hard to imagine the team making a change, considering he’s perfect on field goals and has missed just one extra point. As Jordan Raanan of NJ.com tweets, the Giants are likely just kicking the tires on free agents.

    Let’s round up a few more workout updates from around the NFL…

    • Defensive linemen Jerel Worthy, Derrick Lott, Glenn Foster, and Davon Coleman worked out for the Dolphins today, says Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link). Worthy and Foster are the most notable names of the group, having each logged a full season’s worth of regular season contests with the Packers and Saints, respectively.
    • Lott was also among the players who tried out recently for the Chiefs, per Wilson (Twitter links). Running back Gus Johnson, defensive end Lawrence Okoye, and linebacker Alex Singleton also got a look from Kansas City.
    • According to Wilson (via Twitter), before signing wideout Corey Washington to the practice squad, Washington also worked out receiver Marcus Lucas and tight end Connor Hamlett.
    • Offensive lineman Ben Gottschalk, who spent time in the summer on the Niners’ roster, auditioned for the Buccaneers today, tweets Wilson.
    • Former USC outside linebacker J.R. Tavai had a tryout with the Packers today, according to Wilson (via Twitter). Tavai signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent in May, but was cut by the team prior to the regular season.
    • The Cardinals auditioned cornerback Keith Lewis, who was cut by the Jets back in August, tweets Wilson.
    • On the heels of Jason Myers missing his third PAT of the season, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley noted that Myers’ kickoffs were also a little short, and mentioned the possibility of bringing in kickers for workouts, per Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com. According to Bradley, GM Dave Caldwell will make that call.