Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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.

Workout Notes: Cox, Beauharnais, Stanzi

The Eagles didn’t bring in any offensive linemen for workouts today or Monday, a league source tells Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News (on Twitter). Plenty of teams are busy auditioning players, however. We did a roundup of workout news earlier today and we have a whole ‘nother batch right here..

  • Defensive back Derek Cox and linebacker Steve Beauharnais are among the busiest free agents in the NFL, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Cox tried out for the Saints while Beauharnais worked out for the Buccaneers, a source tells Yates.
  • The Lions worked out defensive backs Chance Casey, T.J. Heath, Aaron Hester, and Kendall James, and wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah, tweets Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.
  • The Giants worked out quarterback Ricky Stanzi, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The Giants also worked out safeties Bacarri RamboCorey Lynch and Jerron McMillian and wide receiver Juron Criner, according to Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger (on Twitter).
  • The Packers took a look at linebacker Nate Askew, running back Stephen Houston, running back Cameron White, and tackle Michael Philipp, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Guard Josh Walker was also part of today’s tryouts and he wound up getting signed to Green Bay’s practice squad.
  • Nose tackle Ryan Pickett tried out for the Texans, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. The veteran started 16 games for Green Bay last season.

Bucs Sign Louis Murphy, Waive Chris Owusu

The Bucs have re-signed wide receiver Louis Murphy and released wide receiver Chris Owusu, according to Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune (on Twitter). Murphy worked out for Tampa Bay yesterday.

Murphy was a fourth-round pick of the Raiders, where he enjoyed some success. Murphy is known for his blazing speed, but he’s never been able to put it all together at the NFL level. He also spent some time with the Giants and Panthers, before joining the Buccaneers in March. The Bucs cut the former University of Florida star roughly three weeks ago, so we hope he didn’t bother packing up his stuff.

Owusu, 24, has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Buccaneers, seeing action in 17 games, hauling in 16 catches for 158 receiving yards and a touchdown. In the season opener against the Panthers, he caught two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown, the first of his NFL career. He also had a 45 yard kickoff return in Week 2 against the Rams.

In addition to signing Murphy and dropping Owusu, the Bucs announced that they have cut defensive end Adrian Robinson, linebacker Ka’Lial Glaud, and safety Kimario McFadden from their practice squad.

Extra Points: Hall, Pryor, Ravens, Rambo

Now that his season is over prematurely, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall will focus on making his younger teammates better, writes Zac Boyer of The Washington Times. “I was just trying to coach them up — just trying to let them know, ‘Now is the time,’” Hall said. “It’s their time to go out there and make plays. We need them. We need them now more than ever.” Here’s tonight’s look around the NFL..

  • The Buccaneers worked out quarterback Terrelle Pryor but they did not sign him, tweets Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune. There may not be a match with Pryor, but he won’t be the last quarterback Tampa Bay looks at. Pryor was cut by the Seahawks in late August and even though the Rams showed some interest, nothing came of that. The Bucs also worked out wide receivers Juron Criner and Louis Murphy, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).
  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh says his club plans to bolster the tight end position, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Baltimore look out-of-house after losing Dennis Pitta for the season.
  • The Bears worked out three defensive backs on Saturday: Bacarri Rambo, former Seahawks safety Dion Bailey, and Bryan McCanntweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Rambo, a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft, was waived by the Redskins last week. He was expendable for Washington since Brandon Meriweather is back from his two-game suspension. Tight end Ryan Otten was also in the workout, Biggs tweets.
  • The Dolphins tried out tight ends Brandon Barden and Konrad Reuland, according to Howard Balzer of USA Today (on Twitter).

Minor Moves: Monday

We’ll keep tabs of today’s minor transactions from around the NFL right here, with the latest moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Dolphins have signed Marcus Thigpen to their practice squad, writes Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel. Thigpen spent one week on the Patriots’ practice squad beore being cut last week. Thigpen, a former CFL standout, contributed 1,910 kickoff return yards, 580 punt return yards, and scored three touchdowns for the Dolphins in the past two seasons.
  • The Redskins will sign center Tevita Stevens to their practice squad tomorrow, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones, who injured his wrist last night, has been placed on Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list with the designation to return, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). The designation means that Jones will be sidelined for at least the next eight weeks of game action.
  • In advance of tonight’s game against the Jets, the Bears have waived wide receiver Josh Bellamy and promoted linebacker Terrell Manning from their practice squad to the 53-man roster, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Linebacker Keith Smith has been cut by the Cowboys, the team officially announced today (via Twitter). For now, the club has an opening on its 53-man roster.
  • The Ravens are filling the 10th and final opening on their practice squad by re-adding defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’i, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • After being cut from the team’s active roster before this weekend’s contest against the Colts, safety Craig Loston has rejoined the Jaguars‘ practice squad, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
  • Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson is set to join the Vikings‘ practice squad, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). When the move becomes official, Minnesota will need to cut or promote someone off the practice squad to clear a spot for Bethel-Thompson.
  • The Buccaneers have removed Rashaan Melvin from their injured reserve list with a settlement, says Wilson (via Twitter).

Gerald McCoy, Bucs Move Closer To Extension

The Buccaneers and star defensive lineman Gerald McCoy are making progress towards an extension, writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. While McCoy will certainly demand a highly-lucrative contract, La Canfora points out that the Bucs rid themselves of expensive salaries during the offseason by parting ways with players like Donald Penn and Darrelle Revis, and even if they draft a signal-caller next May, they will not be committing a great deal of money to the quarterback position.

Furthermore, the team will have $30MM of available cap space next season, is projected to have about $58MM of room in 2016, and there are almost no players with hefty signing bonuses. As La Canfora writes, this means “their cap prorations on their best players are manageable and all are essentially on year-to-year deals and easily released without cash or cap ramifications.”

Joel Corry tweets that it would cost over $18MM for Tampa Bay to put the franchise tag on McCoy in 2015, so that is not exactly a tenable solution. Instead, all signs point to the Buccaneers striking a deal with the face of their franchise sometime during the season, which would be a bit of good news for a team desperately in need of some.

I detailed McCoy’s candidacy for an extension back in May, a post that details McCoy’s accomplishments to this point and projects what his next contract might look like.