Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Sign Larry English

The Buccaneers have signed free agent edge defender Larry English, tweets Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com. According to Smith, the team has waived-injured former Michigan defensive tackle Jibreel Black, who had just been added to the roster last month, in order to clear room for the newcomer.

English, a former first-rounder who was drafted with the 16th overall pick in 2009, appeared in 52 games for the Chargers during his five years with the team, struggling with injuries in recent years and never establishing himself as a consistent performer. He started five of nine games for San Diego in 2013, recording 2.5 sacks, before a pectoral injury sidelined him for the season.

With Dwight Freeney starting at one outside linebacker spot in San Diego, a healthy Melvin Ingram ready to reclaim his position on the other side, and players like Jarret Johnson and second-round pick Jeremiah Attaochu also in the mix, there wasn’t a defined role for English with the Chargers, so the team cut him last month. After his release, English drew some interest from the Cowboys, but ultimately lands in Tampa Bay, where he’ll try to break camp with the Bucs as a defensive end.

Extra Points: Cardinals, Smith, Kasa, 49ers

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is very excited about the addition of two backup wide receivers, writes Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic. Ted Ginn Jr., signed in free agency, and John Brown, drafted in the third round, have made Arizona faster. “It opens up everything,” Palmer said. “It opens up the running game. You don’t want to leave a guy one-on-one in press coverage against Ted; it’s a tough matchup for any corner. So it takes an extra guy out of the box in some situations. It helps the running game.” More from around the league..

  • Some may be wondering how much Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has left in the tank, but Andy Benoit of MMQB believes that he was the best offseason signing in the NFL. Smith, he argues, still has the speed, stop/start acceleration and body control to consistently beat man coverage. The 35-year-old is 19th all-time in NFL history in receiving yards (12,197) and 25th in receptions (836).
  • Bad news for Raiders tight end Nick Kasa as the preliminary reports are indicating that he has torn his ACL, tweets Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. If that’s the case, he’ll be done for the year and a source told Bair that he is in fact done for 2014.
  • Former University of South Florida linebacker Aaron Lynch could wind up being the surprise pick of the 49ers‘ draft, writes Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Lynch had a number of red flags in the eyes of NFL scouts, but he has tremendous speed and is working hard to learn the position after playing defensive end in college.
  • Packers GM Ted Thompson has been at this for a while, but he’s still critical of himself when he makes mistakes, writes Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel. “We got through that annually when we’re gearing up for a new draft with post-draft analysis. You look at that. You don’t beat yourself up too much. It’s not an exact science,” said the GM.
  • William Powell‘s two-year deal with the Texans is a split contract worth $1.08MM with minimum base salaries and no guaranteed money, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Powell last appeared in the NFL with the Cardinals in 2012, rushing for 216 yards off of 59 carries.
  • Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is a big, big fan of quarterback Josh McCown. In fact, Lovie likes him so much that he’s tried to sign him three times over the years and was successful twice, tweets Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. He was rebuffed once because McCown refused to renege on his UFL commitment.
  • Poor salary cap management and planning by the Lions front office has all but eliminated the possibility of signing Ndamukong Suh to a contract extension that makes sense for the team, writes Jason Fitzgerald for The Sporting News. The best option at this point, he says, is for the Lions to strongly consider trading Suh to the highest bidder before the preseason concludes.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves from around the NFL, with the latest transactions added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Dolphins signed tight end Evan Wilson, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald (on Twitter).
  • Less than two weeks after signing tight end Raymond Webber, the Dolphins have waived him, a source tells ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link).
  • Tight end Dorin Dickerson has been removed from the Titans‘ injured reserve list with an injury settlement, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • With the open spot on their 90-man roster, the Buccaneers have signed former Toledo defensive end T.J. Fatinikun, who participated in the club’s minicamp in June, tweets Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com.

Earlier updates:

  • The Steelers placed veteran punter Adam Podlesh on their reserve/did not report list, tweets Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Podlesh isn’t in attendance at Pittsburgh’s camp after his wife underwent a complicated – but successful – delivery of their child. He can be reinstated when he reports, but for now the Steelers are also free to sign someone else to take his roster spot.
  • Offensive lineman Stephen Goodin has signed with the Cowboys, taking the roster spot of guard Andre Cureton, reports Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter links). Goodin, a former Giant, was waived earlier in the offseason by New York with an injury settlement.
  • The Jets have swapped one defender for another, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who tweets that the club signed defensive back LeQuan Lewis and cut linebacker Tim Fugger. Per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), Lewis, who ran a 4.36 40-yard dash during his tryout, received a two-year contract from the Jets.

NFC Links: Saints, Bucs, Cardinals, Vikings, Packers

The Saints’ 2014 roster isn’t likely to match or exceed the total of eight undrafted free agents who earned spots on the roster or practice squad a year ago, but the team prides itself on finding hidden gems, as GM Mickey Loomis tells Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune.

“Our college scouting staff takes a lot of pride in finding guys that no one’s heard about, or small college guys, and finding a trait that each one has that transfers to the NFL,” Loomis said. “It’s also a great credit to our coaching staff being willing to look at player and not worry about how we acquired them but just go by what we see and going by what their potential is to fit within our scheme offensively and defensively. We’ve had a lot of success with undrafted free agents, and I think that’s going to continue.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC…

  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the Buccaneers have real interest in 49ers guard Alex Boone if the price is right (via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com). However, another source told Rapoport that there’s been no “real” conversations between the two sides.
  • The Buccaneers could use some help on the offensive line, and coach Lovie Smith was asked if the team would consider Richie Incognito. “[A]ll players are looked at and [if] we think they could fit we bring them in,” he told the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud (via Twitter). 
  • Rookie wide receiver John Brown continues to make a “buzz” at Cardinals camp, tweets CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora. Considering the team’s depth at the position, La Canfora suggests that the team could carry six wideouts on their final roster.
  • ESPN’s Ben Goessling tweets that Vikings tight end Chase Ford is getting close to a return and may not need to start the season on the PUP list.
  • Packers running back Rajion Neal caught the eyes of coaches after he ran for 39 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown, on five carries in the team’s preseason opener. Unfortunately, the undrafted rookie suffered a knee injury in the third quarter, and he understands that he has to get healthy quickly if he hopes to make the squad. “I’ve got to play; there ain’t no way around it,” Neal told ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky. “Being in the position I’m in, I can’t afford it.”

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Cole’s Latest: Boone, Gordon, Los Angeles

Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole sat down with Yahoo Sports’ Adam Lefkoe to discuss some of the more intriguing NFL storylines heading into the second week of preseason. Let’s take a look at some of the key notes:

  • If the 49ers/Alex Boone saga continues to drag out, Cole believes the team will “eventually” be offered a third-rounder for the offensive lineman. Cole adds that the two sides are not communicating and that there’s been no discussion regarding a new contract.
  • So what teams would be interested in offering this supposed third-rounder? Cole has heard that the Buccaneers and Giants would certainly be suitors for the 27-year-old, along with a “truckload” of teams that currently need help on the offensive line.
  • Cole believes that the NFL “would like to find a way” for Browns wideout Josh Gordon to play next season. He first cites Ray Rice‘s suspension, saying a more severe punishment for Gordon would just be additional bad press for the league. He also discusses Ricky Williams‘ first positive test for marijuana and the subsequent lack of discipline.
  • Cole hears that Raiders owner Mark Davis is “circulating a proposal” to raise funds to buy land in either Inglewood or Los Angeles. He adds that the team has specifically been looking at the former Hollywood Park location, a spot that Al Davis eyed about 20 years ago.

NFC Notes: Hester, Felton, Bailey, Cards

Longtime Bear Devin Hester would have liked to continue – and eventually end – his career in Chicago, but when he became a free agent earlier this year, the team didn’t have much interest in re-signing him, as he tells Patrick Finley of the Chicago Tribune.

“It’s not like I had a choice to sign with them again,” Hester said. “They didn’t even call me to let me know they were willing to bring me back. I didn’t hear from them at all. It made it a lot easier for me to say, ‘OK,’ and then go look for another team.”

When he hit the open market, Hester considered the Cardinals and Lovie Smith’s Buccaneers, but ultimately landed with the Falcons. Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Like Hester, wide receiver Stevie Johnson expected to eventually finish his career with the team he started with, but the Bills opted to trade him to the 49ers in May. Johnson spoke to Don Banks of SI.com about his offseason and about playing for the team he grew up rooting for in San Francisco.
  • With new offensive coordinator Norv Turner now leading the offense in Minnesota, the Vikings aren’t expected to utilize a fullback as often, meaning Jerome Felton‘s roster spot could be in jeopardy just two years after he made the Pro Bowl. Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has the details, including quotes from the veteran fullback, who expressed confidence in his place on the team’s 53-man roster.
  • Veteran cornerback Champ Bailey appears to have suffered some sort of injury in training camp, but the Saints haven’t indicated whether or not it’s serious, writes Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, who wonders if the team will strongly consider cutting ties with Bailey.
  • Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com rounds up a few notable comments from Cardinals GM Steve Keim‘s latest appearance on 98.7 FM in Arizona.

Minor Moves: Sunday

We’ll round up Sunday’s minor transactions from around the NFL in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Vikings have signed TE Kory Sperry, the team announced on Twitter. VikingUpdate.com (Twitter link) was the first to report that Sperry was on the Minnesota practice field. Sperry, entering his sixth season, has spent time with the Dolphins, Chargers, and, most recently, the Cardinals.
  • The following players have been removed from their respective team’s injured reserve list with an injury settlement, per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter): FS Dion Bailey (Seahawks), LB Jeremy Grable (Buccaneers), and WR David Gettis (Buccaneers).

Earlier Updates

  • The Buccaneers have waived safety Mark Joyce, tweets Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com.
  • The Seahawks have re-signed DB Trey Wolfe and have waived LB Mike Taylor (Twitter links).
  • In addition to releasing Watson, the Patriots have also released tight end Justin Jones, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Volin adds that New England has signed TE Ben Hartsock. ESPN Insider Field Yates tweets that the team has also waived running back Stephen Houston and has signed tight ends Steve Maneri and Terrence Miller.
  • Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets that the Bills have signed CB Sam Miller and have waived CB Michael Carter.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that the Patriots have released tight end Asa Watson. In a separate tweet, Volin notes that the Pats are clearly unhappy with their tight end depth and it appears as though they will be bringing in some “new blood” behind Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui.

Sunday Roundup: Manziel, Marciano, Chiefs

As teams try to improve upon their performances from the first week of preseason games, let’s take a look at some links from around the league:

Buccaneers Notes: McCown, Dotson, Bowers

The Buccaneers’ offense was dreadful in their first preseason game on Friday, particularly Josh McCown and the offensive line, writes Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times. Although McCown has already been named the starter, he gave no reassurances that he could handle the job. The offensive line was just as disappointing, and has fans and pundits in the Tampa area worried about the unit this season.

Here are some other notes from the team’s first week of the preseason:

  • Right tackle Demar Dotson acknowledged the offensive line’s struggles on Friday, according to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune (via Twitter). “In the first preseason game, you expect some mistakes,” said Dotson. “You can’t look at it & panic.”
  • Head coach Lovie Smith responded to the poor play of his offensive line by saying that he is always looking for outside help if it improves the team, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The team was rumored to be interested in 49ers’ guard Alex Boone, should he become available. However, Smith did say he thought they had the offensive line in place that could do the job this season.
  • On a positive note, star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy spoke about the versatility of Da’Quan Bowers, according to Kaufman (via Twitter). “He’s playing inside, he’s playing outside,” said McCoy. “And he’s making plays at both positions.”

Teams Interested In Alex Boone

Amidst Pro Bowl guard Alex Boone‘s holdout, as he seeks a new contract from the 49ers, other NFL teams have expressed interest in possibly trading for the fifth-year pro, reports Bill Williamson of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 agrees with Williamson’s assessment, noting that guards are in demand right now across the league (via Twitter). Garafolo mentions that even Richie Incognito is beginning to generate some interest, despite becoming a pariah of the league following the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal that led to his suspension and eventual expulsion from the Dolphins last season.

One team Williamson has picked out as a logical suitor is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who parted ways with Carl Nicks earlier this offseason. Boone could slide into Nicks’ position and steady the offensive line.

He could also be a fit for the Giants, writes Williamson. Boone has the ability to play guard or tackle, providing versatility along the offensive line. Of course, they 49ers are still likely to try to retain him, as his replacement, Joe Looney, has struggled thus far during the preseason. The team reached out to Boone at the end of July with hopes of coming to a resolution.