Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Practice Squad Updates: Wednesday

We’ll keep tabs on today’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the league right here:

  • After waiting for him to clear waivers, the Ravens have officially signed tight end Phillip Supernaw back to their practice squad, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • The Seahawks have signed defensive end Ryan Robinson to their taxi squad and are now back to the maximum 10 players, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).
  • Having lost tackle Nick Becton off their practice squad when he signed with the Saints, the Giants have filled his spot by adding safety Kyle Sebetic, who was in camp with the team this summer.

Earlier updates:

  • The Patriots have re-signed wideout Jonathan Krause to their taxi squad, dropping defensive lineman Kona Schwenke from the unit to clear a spot, the team announced today in a press release.
  • Running back Michael Hill has been released from the Packers‘ practice squad, replaced by guard Jordan McCray, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Heading into today with one open spot on their practice squad, the Buccaneers created another opening by cutting defensive end George Uko, then filled those spots by signing defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo and cornerback Quinton Pointer, tweets Scott Smith of Buccaners.com.
  • The Steelers have added safety Jordan Dangerfield to their practice squad, releasing defensive end Ethan Hemer, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Pittsburgh safeties Troy Polamalu and Shamarko Thomas are both dealing with injuries, so Dangerfield could be a candidate for promotion this weekend depending on the status of those players.
  • Defensive tackle Loni Fangupo has joined the Chiefs‘ practice squad, according to his representatives at ARN Sports (Twitter link).

Bucs, Texans Name New Starting QBs

The Buccaneers and Texans have tabbed new starting quarterbacks heading into Week 10, according to multiple reports. Bucs signal-caller Mike Glennon announced yesterday that he has been informed Josh McCown will re-assume the starting job in Tampa Bay (Twitter link), while Houston head coach Bill O’Brien announced today that Ryan Mallett will replace Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Texans’ starter.

While PFR typically doesn’t focus too heavily on lineup changes, these two moves could have long-lasting roster implications, depending on how the new starters fare on the field. In Tampa Bay, new head coach Lovie Smith referred to Glennon earlier this year as the team’s quarterback of the future, despite the fact that the club signed McCown this past offseason expecting the ex-Bear to start. When McCown struggled early on, and then went down with a hand injury, it looked as if Glennon might take the reins for the rest of the season, in what has become a rebuilding year for the Bucs. Now it appears that won’t be the case.

As for the Texans, while Fitzpatrick was tabbed the starter coming into the season, the team also acquired Mallett via trade prior earlier this year, and selected Tom Savage in the draft. Mallett was viewed as a candidate to get a shot at some point, and if he has a strong second half, it could have a huge impact on his future earnings — the former Patriot is eligible for free agency at season’s end, so it’s possible he parlays a strong finish into a more lucrative contract than he would have otherwise received. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, signed a two-year pact with Houston, but the Texans could get out of that deal next season with just $625K on their 2015 cap, rather than committing to a $3.25MM base salary.

While it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Glennon get another shot for the Bucs before the end of the season, the Texans seem committed to seeing what Mallett can do down the stretch, once the club returns from its Week 10 bye.

Workout Notes: Bengals, Saints, Lions, Bucs

As teams around the league assess themselves during the early part of the week, we’ll learn about the latest tryouts as clubs try to remake the back ends of their rosters. We’ll keep track of today’s audition notes here:

Earlier updates:

  • The Bengals worked out tight end Michael Egnew, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link). Egnew, a third-round pick in 2012, has spent time with the Dolphins, Lions, and Jaguars. Cincinnati also brought in defensive back Josh Victorian, who was dropped from the Lions’ practice squad in early October, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).
  • With fullback Austin Johnson nursing a knee injury, the Saints auditioned fellow FBs Michael Zordich and Ray Agnew, per Caplan (on Twitter). New Orleans also tried out ex-Washington safety Bacarri Rambo, who started three games last season, tweets Caplan. Wilson passes along a few more names (on Twitter), noting that the club brought in defensive backs Malcolm Bronson, Stan McKay, and Brandon Taylor, and running back Toben Opurum.
  • The Lions worked out cornerbacks Trevin Wade and Robert Steeples, says Wilson (Twitter link). The duo worked out for the Panthers a few weeks ago.
  • The Buccaneers auditioned linebacker Jeremy Grable, per Wilson (via Twitter). Grable was on Tampa Bay’s roster over the summer.
  • Offensive lineman Maurice Hurt is one of 15 players whom Washington is trying out today, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (on Twitter). We should learn the names of the other participants shortly.

Minor Moves: Monday

As teams deal with Week 9 injuries and look ahead to Week 10, we can expect to see several clubs tweak the backs of their 53-man rosters and their practice squads. Here are Monday’s latest minor transactions:

  • The Dolphins have placed safety Michael Thomas on injured reserve after he suffered a significant chest injury in Sunday’s game, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). To take his place on the roster, Miami signed fellow S Jordan Kovacs off the Eagles’ practice squad, per Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). The Fins will also add tight end Jake Stoneburner to its taxi squad, tweets Salguero.
  • Two Buccaneers players, defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and fullback Jorvorskie Lane, have been reinstated from the suspended list, according to Howard Balzer (Twitter link).
  • The Buccaneers have waived defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo, reports Caplan (on Twitter). The 2012 undrafted free agent played in one game this season for Tampa Bay.
  • Because return man Trindon Holliday was waived/injured, and has now cleared waivers, he has reverted to the Buccaneers’ injured reserve list, according to Wilson (on Twitter).
  • More Bucs news, as the club has made several changes to its practice squad. Tampa added linebacker Denicos Allen and tight end Ted Bolser to its taxi squad, while cutting fullback Lonnie Pryor and linebacker Mister Alexander, says Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (via Twitter).
  • To make room for Square (referenced below), the Chargers have cut safety Adrian Phillips, who was just signed on Saturday, per Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Bengals announced several changes to its practice squad, tweets Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. We learned earlier today that linebacker Khairi Fortt was lost to the Jaguars, but the team also cut tight end Kevin Greene. To replace them, Cincinnati signed tight end Jake Murphy and linebacker Justin Jackson.
  • The Cardinals have re-signed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston, who was let go on Saturday, to their taxi squad, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (on Twitter).
  • The Jets have made an addition to their PS, bringing in receiver Chris Owusu, per Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Owusu caught 13 balls for the Buccaneers last season.

Earlier updates:

  • Defensive end Damion Square, who was cut by the Chiefs on Saturday, has been claimed off waivers by the division-rival Chargers, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). San Diego doesn’t have an open roster spot, so the team will need to make a corresponding move for the transaction to become official.
  • The Bills have filled their lone open roster spot by claiming safety Jerome Couplin off waivers from the Lions, per Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • The Lions have made a few changes to their practice squad, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com, who tweets that the team has added tight end Jordan Thompson, cornerback Trevin Wade, and defensive tackle Roy Philon, releasing tight end Ifeanyi Momah.
  • After working them out earlier, the Vikings have signed quarterback Pat Devlin and tight end Rashaun Allen to their taxi squad, according to Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (via Twitter). To make space on the unit, the team moved quarterback Chandler Harnish to the practice squad IR list and cut tight end Ryan Otten.
  • Fullback Michael Zordich has signed with the Saints‘ practice squad, according to his agency, Tier 1 Sports Management (Twitter link).
  • The Buccaneers are set to sign tackle Matt Patchan to their practice squad, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Eagles Tried To Trade For Vincent Jackson

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said last Monday that his club wasn’t looking to make any deals in advance of Tuesday’s trade deadine, but it appears he wasn’t being entirely truthful. Per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports (Twitter link), Philadelphia tried to acquire Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson, but Tampa Bay wasn’t interested in making a deal. There’s no word on what type of compensation was offered to the Buccaneers.

We heard rumors all last week that the Bucs were looking to dump players, and that Jackson was one of those who was available. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Tampa Bay was looking for “real value” in exchange for Jackson, and might have been hoping for at least a second-round pick in exchange for the 31-year-old. Presumably, the Eagles were unwilling to part with such a valuable pick for Jackson. The Patriots, Seahawks, and Chiefs were also mentioned as suitors for Jackson, but it sounds like Philadelphia was closest to acquiring him.

The Eagles would have taken on the remainder of Jackson’ $10MM salary for 2014, but otherwise wouldn’t have been responsible for any guarantees. His 2015-16 base salaries of about $9.77MM aren’t guaranteed, and his signing bonus would’ve stay on Tampa’s books. Jackson is in the midst of a down season, as he’s caught just 26 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns. Still, it would have been interesting to see how he would’ve been used in Kelly’s dynamic offense, especially being paired with Jeremy Maclin.

Tampa Bay will keep Jackson for at least the remainder of this season, and he will count roughly $2.43MM against the cap through 2016 in the form of a prorated signing bonus. PFR’s Luke Adams examined Jackson as one of several rumored trade candidates who stayed put, and noted that the veteran is a candidate to be released or restructured during the offseason. The Bucs, of course, did end up making two deals on Tuesday, trading Mark Barron to the Rams, and Jonathan Casillas to the Patriots.

Buccaneers Activate Charles Sims

5:26pm: The Bucs have officially announced Sims’ activation, also confirming that wideout Marcus Thigpen and defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo have been promoted from their practice squad to the active roster (Twitter link via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com).

11:47am: We heard whispers yesterday indicating that the Buccaneers could activate rookie running back Charles Sims from the IR in advance of this weekend’s matchup against the Browns. That was confirmed this morning, as Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Bucs will activate Sims today will the intention of playing him this weekend. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that the move is “procedural,” adding that there’s no guarantee Sims will play against Cleveland. No corresponding roster move has been announced.

Sims was drafted by the Bucs in the third round following a dominant senior season with West Virginia, where he rushed for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns. He spent his first three years of college playing for the Houston Cougars, compiling 37 touchdowns and averaged about 800 yards a season.

Kevin Patra of NFL.com notes that Sims was estimated to miss 12 to 14 weeks following ankle surgery in August, indicating that the rookie was ahead of schedule about at least two weeks. Patra adds that the team will likely lean on Bobby Rainey this weekend as the team eases Sims in.

Buccaneers Cut Trindon Holliday

SATURDAY, 5:28pm: The Bucs have officially announced Holliday’s release, per Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (Twitter link). The move ensures that Tampa Bay will head into Sunday’s contest against the Browns with 52 players on its roster.

FRIDAY, 1:51pm: The Buccaneers will waive receiver and kick returner Trindon Holliday with an injured designation, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Assuming Holliday clears waivers, he’ll revert to the team’s injured reserve list.

Holliday, 28, signed with the Bucs just 10 days ago, and handled kick and punt return duties for the team on Sunday against Minnesota. However, he injured his hamstring during practice this week, and had been ruled out for Tampa Bay’s Week 9 contest against the Browns.

This will be the second time this season that Holliday is waived and placed on injured reserve with a hamstring issue — the Giants made that same move in August. Holliday, who is known for his explosiveness on special teams, returned 81 punts for 752 yards and two touchdowns during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The ex-Bronco also averaged a healthy 27.1 yards per kick return in those seasons and took two of those to the house as well.

Having traded away two players earlier this week, the Bucs already had multiple openings on their roster, so waiving Holliday will allow the team to make one additional move. I’d expect Tampa Bay to promote a player or two from its practice squad tomorrow, and perhaps activate running back Charles Sims too.

Minor Moves: Friday

As teams prepare to set their rosters for the weekend, the backs of 53-man rosters and practice squads will be tweaked. We’ll cover those minor transactions from around the NFL for Friday right here, with the latest updates added to the top of the list:

  • Wideout Marcus Thigpen will slide into one of several open spots on the Buccaneers‘ 53-man roster, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), who hears from a source that Thigpen is being promoted from the club’s practice squad.
  • After cutting him from the active roster earlier in the week, the Panthers have re-signed running back Darrin Reaves to their practice squad, cutting running back Tauren Poole from the unit, according to the team (Twitter link). Carolina also signed former UNC linebacker Kevin Reddick to fill out the squad.

Earlier updates:

  • The Patriots have re-added linebacker Deontae Skinner to their practice squad after he cleared waivers, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Skinner, an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State, had been on the active roster, but was cut to make room for new signee Alan Branch. Wideout Jonathan Krause has been released from the practice squad to make room for Skinner.

NFC Notes: Vikes, McDonald, Sims, Schwartz

As we wait to see whether or not Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be available this weekend for a showdown between two of the NFC’s top teams – Dallas and Arizona – let’s check out a few Friday afternoon items from across the conference….

  • Since Vikings practice squad Chandler Harnish was injured in practice this week, the team has been on the lookout for a replacement. According to head coach Mike Zimmer, three signal-callers worked out for the club today, though he didn’t identify the players by name, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links).
  • Tracey Kaplan of the San Jose Mercury News was among those reporting that Santa Clara County prosecutors are leaning against charging 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald with domestic violence. However, while the District Attorney’s office may be leaning that way, the DA announced today that no decision has been made yet, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
  • Players who went on the IR list with the designation to return prior to Week 1 are eligible to be activated for this weekend’s contests, and while Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets that Buccaneers running back Charles Sims figures to come off IR tomorrow, Giants guard Geoff Schwartz won’t be activated for at least one more week, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Caplan adds (via Twitter) that the Bucs appear likely to promote defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo from their practice squad as well.
  • While it doesn’t appear likely to happen, head coach Ron Rivera believes Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy should be reinstated by the NFL if his trial is postponed until after the season, as ESPN.com’s David Newton details.
  • Given the multiple ACL injuries suffered by quarterback Sam Bradford and tackle Jake Long, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders whether the Rams will be able to count on either player for the 2015 season.

Buccaneers Notes: McCoy, Smith, Barron

The Buccaneers signed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a big money extension earlier this week, with initial numbers reported to be $98MM over seven years, with $51MM guaranteed. While more information trickled out about the details of the contract, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has more information on the specifics, which he released in a series of tweets. He reports that $20.3MM of that total will be earned in 2014, and the rest of the money is paid out on a pay-as-you-go system. It only becomes guaranteed in the event of injury.

La Canfora gives out how much money will be owed going forward. “McCoy will make $11.5M in 2015 ($5m base/$6.5 roster bons). $12.5M in 2016 ($6M/$6.5M). $13.75M in 2017 (all base salaries), $12.75M 2018, $13M in 2019.” He also notes that McCoy will have base salaries of $10MM in 2020 and 2021, with an additional $2.5MM in roster bonuses.

Overall, after the contract guarantees kick in on the third day of the 2015 league year, the contract becomes a three year, $44.3MM deal at its minimum.

Here are some other notes from around the Buccaneers:

  • Head coach Lovie Smith does not believe the team is bereft of talent after deadline deals saw a few key players move to new teams, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times“The move we made gave us the best chance to win right now. … Yeah, we picked up draft picks on both of those players — moved up on one and picked up (picks) on the other,” said Smith. “But no, it’s not about the future. Yeah, it’s always about the future, but it’s about our current roster. As I said, you don’t trade players unless you feel pretty good about the other players you have.” Smith also noted that moving on from former first-round pick Mark Barron will give Major Wright and Bradley McDougald a chance to shine. Smith said Wright has been playing as well as any safety on the roster, and praised McDougald’s future as a star on the defense. He also mentioned his desire not to have any player who was one-dimensional, saying he wanted his safeties to be able to play both the pass and the run.
  • Speaking of Barron, the Rams should be very happy with the player they acquired, writes Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He considers the trade the first move of the 2015 offseason, and believes that the Rams will correctly use him as an in-the-box safety to strengthen the run defense. He writes that in 2012 Barron was the ninth ranked safety against the run in the box by Pro Football Focus.
  • With the exit of Barron, the Buccaneers are left with only three first round picks on the roster, the others being McCoy, this year’s pick Mike Evans, and Adrian Clayborn (who is on the IR), according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. (However, Doug Martin was also drafted in the first round, with the team trading back into the first round to grab him in 2012.) Guard Logan Mankins, defensive end Larry English, and cornerback Mike Jenkins are also first-rounders, although they were acquired via trade and free agency. Altogether, the first rounders have played 1,699 snaps, third worst in the NFL after the Jaguars and Raiders. Those three teams are a combined 2-20 this season.
  • The Buccaneers also made a big splash in free agency this offseason, but those investments have not paid dividends, writes Yasinskas. Anthony Collins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Josh McCown, and Michael Johnson have all disappointed, while Alterraun Verner and Clinton McDonald have merely been solid.