Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor Moves: Wednesday

Here are the latest practice squad signings and cuts from around the league, as well as minor 53-man roster transactions, with any additional moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Texans signed cornerbacks Charles James, a Charleston Southern product, and Kendall James, a Maine product, to their practice squad, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Chargers pulled a reverse of Monday’s move, re-signing defensive tackle Chas Alecxih to the practice squad and releasing safety Adrian Phillips, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter).
  • The Bears have signed kick returner Teddy Williams off the Cardinals’ practice squad, the team announced today (via Twitter). Williams had been listed as a cornerback for Arizona, but the Bears call him a receiver — teams have tried him at both positions, but the 26-year-old’s primary asset is his speed. To make room for Williams, the Bears have cut linebacker Terrell Manning.
  • Meanwhile, the Cardinals replaced Williams on their practice squad with former fourth-round wideout Jalen Saunders, who was waived by the Jets this week, tweets Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com.

Earlier updates:

  • Running back Lache Seastrunk, who was drafted by the Redskins and spent time on the Panthers’ practice squad, has signed with the Titans‘ practice squad, the club announced today (Twitter link). Seastrunk will fill the 10th and final opening on the unit.
  • Wideout Kevin Cone and tight end Taylor Sloat have replaced linebacker Carlos Fields and tight end Ian Thompson on the Buccaneers‘ practice squad, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (Twitter link). With Mike Evans expected to be sidelined for at least a couple weeks, Cone could be considered for the 53-man roster at some point, particularly if any other Tampa Bay wideouts are injured this weekend.
  • As part of their practice squad shuffling, the Dolphins removed defensive end Gerald Rivers from the squad, tweets Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Falcons, Bucs

Steve Smith didn’t make many waves in the days leading up to Baltimore’s game against the Panthers this past weekend, but the veteran wideout had some things to say about his former team today. Appearing on WFNZ in Charlotte, Smith criticized Panthers GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Ron Rivera for the way they handled his release in Carolina, suggesting that it became “personal” for Gettleman, and accusing Rivera of hiding in his office rather than talking to Smith face-to-face when he was cut. The Ravens‘ No. 1 receiver also refuted Ian Rapoport’s report that indicated he had asked for his release from the Panthers, suggesting that he simply “wanted to play ball” in Carolina.

Here’s more from around the NFC South:

  • In addition to signing linebacker Horace Miller to their practice squad after working him out this week, the Panthers also took a look at linebacker Marshall McFadden, who was cut by the Raiders during the preseason, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Several of the players who tried out for the Falcons this week have been previously reported, but Wilson adds a couple of new names to that list (via Twitter). Linebackers Zac Diles and Moise Fokou also auditioned for the team, says Wilson.
  • Quarterback Ricky Stanzi, wideout Ryan Spadola, and defensive tackles George Uko and Zach Minter were among the group of players that worked out for the Buccaneers this week, says Wilson (via Twitter).

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Falcons, Hardy

Earlier today, we checked in on a few updates out of the NFC East. Now, let’s turn our attention to one of the conference’s other divisions and round up the latest news and rumors from around the NFC South….

  • With Mike Tolbert on IR-DTR, DeAngelo Williams unlikely to return in Week 5, and Jonathan Stewart also banged up, the Panthers intend to take a look at veteran free agents this week, as Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer details. “We’re going to have to look at some guys from the outside. And we’ll see,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “Without Jonathan available last week and potentially not available this week we need to have an insurance policy just in case so we’re going to have to take a look.”
  • Falcons offensive lineman Joe Hawley is undergoing an MRI today to determine the severity of his knee injury, but the team doesn’t feel as if it will be a season-ender, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Still, with Hawley expected to be sidelined for at least the near future, Atlanta will work out free agent lineman Uche Nwaneri this week, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), Greg Hardy is being advised to try to move his court date back and sit out the entire 2014 season rather than resolving his case in November and potentially returning for the home stretch. Cole explains that underperforming or risking injury in the final few weeks could diminish Hardy’s value significantly heading into free agency, though considering he’s likely facing a lengthy suspension once his domestic violence case is resolved, the Panthers defensive end figures to see his stock sliding either way.
  • Buccaneers rookie wideout Mike Evans is expected to be sidelined for two or three weeks with a groin strain, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap wonders (via Twitter) if the Saints will consider firing or demoting defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after how his unit has performed in September.

Sunday Roundup: Suh, Jets, Steve Smith

It has been fairly obvious for some time that Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh would be leaving Detroit at the end of the year, and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter confirms that the Lions are preparing to move on without him. However, Schefter adds another wrinkle, writing that Suh would love to play in New York, either for the Jets or Giants.

However, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com tweets that the Jets have too much money tied up in their defensive line to be a serious suitor, and Mike Florio of Pro Football talk adds that there is no indication that the Giants would want Suh. Citing Schefter, Florio does add that the Bears and Cowboys will definitely be interested.

Now for some more links from around the league:

  • In a full-length piece, Cimini writes that the Jets‘ most pressing contract concern might center around linebacker David Harris, the “glue” to head coach Rex Ryan‘s defensive unit. Although Muhammad Wilkerson‘s contract situation has received more attention, Harris will be a free agent at year’s end, whereas Wilkerson will still be under club control.
  • Steve Serby of the New York Post writes that the Jets‘ worst-case scenario–that Geno Smith would continue to struggle with his turnover problem, triggering calls for Michael Vick to take over–has come true. Given that Ryan is coaching for his job, another poor showing from Smith this week could lead to Vick’s promotion. Like Serby, Cimini believes that Smith’s job could be on the line today.
  • Not only are the Jets inconsistent on the field, they are also facing internal struggles. In a separate piece, Schefter writes that some members of the Jets front office are disenchanted with the way GM John Idzik has built his roster. Not only do they believe Idzik was not aggressive enough in pursuing upgrades at cornerback, an issue that has received a lot of publicity, but they also feel that Idzik should have used his ample salary cap space to further address the wide receiver, pass rusher, and return specialist positions.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that the Ryan Tannehill/Joe Philbin dilemma is not the only player/coach rift on the Dolphins.
  • Rich Tandler of ESPNWashington.com says to look for the Redskins to promote safety Philip Thomas from the practice squad to the active roster–assuming they do not go outside the organization for help–and that one of the tight ends currently on the practice squad, Ted Bolser and Je’Ron Hamm, could also be on the way up, depending on the status of Jordan Reed and Niles Paul.
  • Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune tweets that the Buccaneers have only two players remaining from their 2010 club: Gerald McCoy and Demar Dotson.
  • In a series of tweets, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes that the Panthers did not cut Steve Smith because they thought he could no longer perform at a high level. Instead, they worried that Smith would be “divisive” in the team’s young locker room. Smith refused to take a pay cut and ultimately asked for his release.

NFC South Links: Smith, Glennon, Hankins

One of the biggest free agent moves of the offseason was the release of Steve Smith by the Panthers, leading to Smith’s signing with the Ravens. In David Newton’s mailbag for ESPN, he discusses whether the team’s general manager David Gettleman regretted letting Smith go. While Newton notes that Gettleman rarely speaks to the media, it would be hard to imagine him being excited to face a Smith hungry for revenge this weekend.

Here are some more links from around the NFC South:

  • The Charlotte Observer put a page together where Panthers‘ fans could share their favorite Smith memories in anticipation of his first game against his former team.
  • Quarterback play alone cannot propel a Buccaneers‘ team that has been abysmal in all facets of the game through three weeks, but Mike Glennon will have a chance to stake his claim to the starting job, writes Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports Florida.
  • Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times imagines where the Buccaneers‘ franchise would be had they ever made the right choice in selecting a quarterback, citing Tom Brady and Joe Montana as players they had a chance to take. He also notes that the team had Doug Williams and Steve Young, who went on to win Super Bowls with the Redskins and 49ers, respectively.
  • Buccaneers‘ head coach Lovie Smith was expected to straighten out a franchise that ws run amok in recent years, but his plans have been torn apart, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. The plan stared to go awry with the implosion of free agent quarterback Josh McCown, who was eventually benched due to injury, although he showed little in his action to that point. The broken hand suffered by star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy only further weakened the 0-3 Buccaneers.
  • Saints‘ defensive tackle John Jenkins did not travel with the team to Dallas for their matchup with the Cowboys, reports Brett Martel of the Associated Press (via Twitter). He notes that his absence is not injury related, and that Jenkins was also a healthy scratch last week against the Vikings.

Poll: Which Team Will Stay Winless Longest?

On Wednesday, PFR readers voted the Bengals the most likely team to be the last unbeaten club standing in the NFL this season. The league’s three 3-0 squads haven’t necessarily looked dominant, and face tough schedules in the next few weeks, which could ensure that no team remains undefeated for long.

On the other hand, the league’s three 0-3 teams have struggled immensely in the early going. The Jaguars started off the season by jumping out to a 17-0 lead against the Eagles, but have since been outscored by an incredible 119-27 margin, including 34-0 in the second half of that game in Philadelphia. The Raiders have played tighter games, but also faced three opponents (Jets, Texans, Patriots) that have looked shaky in their other contests. As for the Buccaneers, they’re coming off a 56-14 defeat that was even worse than the final score suggests, after having dropped home games to Derek Anderson and Austin Davis in the season’s first two weeks.

At this point, all three winless clubs have turned to new quarterbacks, with the Jaguars (Blake Bortles) and Raiders (Derek Carr) giving their rookies a chance under center, while Mike Glennon prepares to take over for the injured Josh McCown in Tampa Bay. While there’s some optimism that these young signal-callers could help turn their respective teams’ seasons around, the jury’s still very much out on that.

Over the next few weeks, the Bucs will play in Pittsburgh and New Orleans before hosting the Ravens and then taking a Week 7 bye; the Jaguars alternate road and home games against the Chargers, Steelers, Titans, and Browns; and the Raiders play in London against the Dolphins before returning stateside for their bye and then home games against the Chargers and Cardinals.

What do you think? Which of these last-place teams will take the longest to win its first game? And are any of them in real danger of a winless season?

Bucs Promote Mike Kafka To Roster

The Buccaneers have signed quarterback Mike Kafka off their practice squad to their 53-man roster, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The team has cut guard Rishaw Johnson to clear a spot on the roster for the new addition, and has replaced Kafka on the practice squad with offensive lineman Josh Allen.

The move to promote Kafka to the active roster had been anticipated, given the health of Josh McCown. While McCown was holding out hope of playing this week against the Steelers, a sprained thumb was expected to keep him sidelined, allowing Mike Glennon to get his first start of the season. Kafka will act as the No. 2 option behind Glennon, assuming McCown is ruled out.

Although he drew some interest from the Cowboys back in February, Kafka was signed by the Bucs and spent most of the year with the club before becoming a roster casualty during the cutdown to 53 players. After he cleared waivers though, Tampa Bay quickly re-added him to its practice squad, making him the de facto No. 3 signal-caller for the team despite the fact that he wasn’t on the active roster.

NFC South Notes: Bucs, Falcons, Saints

The NFC South has been one of football’s less predictable divisions so far, with the Saints – everyone’s preseason pick to win the division – sitting at 1-2, while the popular postseason sleeper Buccaneers look like the NFL’s worst team at 0-3. All four teams, including the 2-1 Panthers and Falcons, are on the road this week, as Carolina and Atlanta try to continue their winning ways in Baltimore and Minnesota respectively. Meanwhile, the Bucs will try to get in the win column in Pittsburgh, while the Saints will look to halt the Cowboys’ winning streak in Dallas.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC South:

  • With offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford away from the team indefinitely for health reasons, don’t expect the Buccaneers to hire an offensive consultant to work with Marcus Arroyo, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. According to Marvez, “it’s Arroyo’s show” in Tampa Bay.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) adds defensive backs Roc Carmichael and Tommie Campbell to the list of players to work out for the Buccaneers this week.
  • Reid Fragel was the offensive lineman to ultimately sign with the Falcons‘ practice squad this week, but the club also took a look at tackles Kevin Murphy and Martin Wallace, according to Wilson (via Twitter).
  • The Saints also auditioned a handful of players this week, and Wilson provides several new names (via Twitter). The team signed offensive lineman Alex Parsons to its practice squad, but also tried out linemen Lemuel Jeanpierre and Eric Olsen, as well as cornerback Brandon Ghee.

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

Here’s the latest practice squad news from around the NFL..

  • The Jaguars have re-signed two players to their practice squad in receiver Kerry Taylor and tight end Marcel Jensen, reports John Oehser of the O-Zone (via Twitter). The team has waived tight end Michael Egnew and linebacker Marcus Whitfield to make room for the new additions.
  • The Cardinals have re-signed punter Drew Butler to the practice squad, reports Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (via Twitter). They have released defensive tackle Christian Tupou to make room for Butler.
  • The Jets are continuing to upgrade their cornerback position, signing LeQuan Lewis to the 53-man roster from their practice squad, reports Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). Another cornerback, Marcus Williams, took Lewis’ spot on the practice squad, reports Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter).

Earlier Updates:

  • The 49ers re-signed tight end Asante Cleveland to the practice squad, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Barrows (on Twitter).
  • The Saints signed center Alex Parsons to their practice squad and released guard Antoine McClain to make room, according to Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Advocate (on Twitter).
  • The Giants announced that they have added former Raiders wide receiver Juron Criner to their practice squad, according to Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter). To make room, they have released fellow wide receiver L’Damian Washington.
  • The Buccaneers have filled their practice squad openings by adding fullback/tight end Ian Thompson, linebacker Shayne Skov, and defensive end T.J. Fatinkun, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). Skov was expected to sign with Tampa Bay following a successful workout.
  • The Titans announced on Twitter that they have added quarterback Brad Sorensen to their practice squad and released cornerback Ri’Shard Anderson to make room.

Extra Points: Pitta, Ravens, 49ers, Tedford

To the surprise of some, Redskins lineman Chris Baker won’t be suspended for his hit on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on Sunday, writes Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “Baker didn’t do anything wrong with that hit,” NFL’s executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said. “When you look at the rule, he didn’t do anything illegal. People can say it’s a cheap shot and you can talk about whether it might fall under unsportsmanlike conduct. But when you know the rule and you look at the play, he didn’t hit him in the head. He didn’t hit him in the neck. We looked at it. I looked at it very closely. He’s not going to be fined for that.” Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Dennis Pitta‘s hip surgery was “successful,” a Ravens source tells Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The tight end’s season is over after his unfortunate injury on Sunday.
  • Multiple teams called to set up tryouts when Deonte Thompson cleared waivers but he was already in the process of re-signing with the Ravens, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Former 49ers linebacker Shayne Skov was in Tampa today where the Buccaneers are eying him for their practice squad, tweets Matt Barrows of CSNBayArea.com.
  • Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford is taking an indefinite leave due to his medical situation, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Tedford underwent a coronary angioplasty prior to the season and had two stents placed in an artery near his heart.