Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC Notes: Bowers, 49ers, Giants, Davis

Former Buccaneers second round defensive end Da’Quan Bowers could be on the hot seat, writes Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. Bowers has been sidelined by a groin injury and missed another practice on Wednesday.

I think every day you don’t practice you’re hurting your chances,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We’ve seen enough to like Da’Quan a lot, but all the reps that he’s not getting, someone else is getting. The best way to beat your competition sometimes is just to stay on the field. You can’t get Wally Pipped.”

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com explains why the 49ers are pushing to get a new deal done with Michael Crabtree. Maiocco writes that the team is feeling extra pressure to get a deal done, in part, because of Colin Kaepernick’s willingness to take less in guaranteed money in order to give the organization more cap space this season to get contracts done with teammates.
  • The Giants are definitely on the lookout for offensive line reinforcements, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, who suggests (via Twitter) that the team is unsure whether right guard Brandon Mosley is a starter and will be keeping a close eye on the waiver wire when roster cutdowns begin.
  • Falcons wideout Drew Davis, who underwent foot surgery earlier this summer, will begin the season on the team’s PUP list, head coach Mike Smith tells ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure.
  • Matt Cassel says he has no ill will toward the Chiefs organization or fans, and is looking forward to returning to Kansas City for the first time this week when the Vikings play the Chiefs, as Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune details.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Chiefs Acquire Kelcie McCray From Bucs

The Buccaneers and Chiefs have completed a trade, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, who tweets that safety Kelcie McCray will go to Kansas City in the deal, in exchange for guard Rishaw Johnson. Since it’s a one-for-one swap, no corresponding roster moves will be required on either side.

McCray, who turns 26 next month, has spent time with the Dolphins and Bucs, and was a part-time player in Tampa Bay last season, logging 104 snaps on defense as well as recording six tackles on special teams. He’ll look to earn a roster spot and playing for a Chiefs team whose secondary lost several key pieces this offseason, including Kendrick Lewis, Brandon Flowers, and Dunta Robinson.

As for Johnson, he’ll head to a Buccaneers team seeking some interior line depth after parting ways with veteran guard Carl Nicks. The 25-year-old saw his first extensive regular-season action in Week 17 last year, playing at right guard for Kansas City while the team rested its starters.

Buccaneers Claim Edawn Coughman

The Buccaneers have claimed offensive tackle Edawn Coughman off waivers, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Coughman was waived by the Bills, after spending last season on the team’s practice squad.

Coughman went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft., and spent time in the CFL, appearing in nine games with the Toronto Argonauts, according to Stroud (via Twitter).

He was cut from the Argonauts in 2012, when he made the move back to the NFL. He played for the Cowboys and Seahawks, before being signed to the Bills’ practice squad last season, according to Stroud (via Twitter).

Minor Moves: Wednesday

We’ll keep tabs on Wednesday’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 Bills have placed linebacker Stevenson Sylvester on injured reserve with a torn patella tendon, ending his season, tweets ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak. Because Sylvester had four years of NFL experience, he didn’t have to pass through waivers before being put on the team’s IR list.
  • The Raiders have waived-injured safety Jeremy Deering, replacing him on the roster with kicker Kevin Goessling, according to Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • After reporting earlier today that Eric Kettani worked out for the Jaguars, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post now says the team is signing the fullback, so his audition must have gone well. Kettani was cut by the Chiefs earlier this year. Wilson adds in a tweet that tight end Fendi Onobun, who will miss the season with a torn quad, has been waived-injured.
  • The Broncos have waived-injured defensive end Greg Latta, according to Wilson (via Twitter). The Purdue product was one of more than a dozen undrafted free agents signed by Denver immediately following the draft.
  • The Buccaneers have reduced their receiving corps by one, cutting ex-Titan Lavelle Hawkins today, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
  • On the heels of acquiring Kenjon Barner from the Panthers, the Eagles have cut rookie running back David Fluellen, the team announced today (Twitter link). A roster move wasn’t necessary to make room for Barner, so Philadelphia now has one opening on its roster.
  • Punter Blake Clingan has been cut by the Redskins, a source tells Tom Schad of the Washington Times (Twitter link). That leaves Robert Malone as the only punter on the club’s roster.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves from around the NFL, with additional transactions added to the top of the list throughout the afternoon and evening:

  • The Colts added guard Andre Cureton, an undrafted free agent who was let go by the Cowboys last week, per Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). He takes the roster spot of kicker Cody Parkey, who was waived.
  • Chargers defensive end Damik Scafe has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season, reports Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter).
  • Linebacker Dom DeCicco has cleared waivers and reverted back to the Vikings’ injured reserve, tweets Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
  • Receiver Shaq Evans, one of the Jets’ three fourth-round picks, has been placed on injured reserve, and will miss his rookie year after suffering a shoulder injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Players with no NFL experience have to pass through waivers before being placed on IR at this point, so it’s unclear if the Jets will actually make this move official until September.

Earlier updates:

  • Defensive lineman Jibreel Black (Buccaneers) and quarterback Pat Devlin (Dolphins) have been removed from their respective teams’ injured reserve lists with injury settlements, according to ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, respectively (Twitter links).
  • Nothing is official yet, but ex-Bears receiver and returner Eric Weems, who was just cut this weekend, is set to sign with the Titans, reports Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Weems had been released by Chicago when the team signed Santonio Holmes.
  • Although linebacker Jason Phillips was said to be recovered from the ACL injury that sidelined him for the 2013 season, he was cut by the Eagles today, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Philadelphia’s first transaction since June, the move was made because the special teams ace wasn’t going to make the team and the Eagles wanted to give him a chance to catch on elsewhere, tweets Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Tight end Colt Lyerla, who suffered a knee injury during training camp, has been waived-injured by the Packers, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Per Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin (Twitter link), Green Bay intends to place Lyerla on injured reserve for the season if he clears waivers.
  • It appears the Bills may be getting an early start on next week’s roster cutdowns. The team has opened a couple roster spots by waiving offensive lineman Edawn Coughman and wide receiver Kevin Elliott, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak (Twitter links). No corresponding signings to fill the two openings have been announced yet.

Extra Points: Manziel, Onobun, Wright

Let’s round up some links from around the league on this Monday evening, wherein the players and the officials in the Browns-Redskins preseason tilt have conspired to transform the Twitterverse into an alternately bemused and enraged cacophony:

  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com offers his first entry in what will be a three-part series examining how Super Bowl champions work within the confines of the salary cap to build a winner. Part I examines the percentage of the cap that different champions spent on their highest-priced player. Interestingly enough, the teams who invested most heavily in one player had the most success in the three-year period immediately following their Super Bowl victory.
  • The Ravens might need some out-of-house reinforcements depending on the severity of Jimmy Smith‘s chest injury and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun looks at some of the names out there on the open market. Some of the more recognizable names are Asante Samuel, Chris Houston, Corey Webster, Dunta Robinson, and Quentin Jammer. However, as we learned yesterday, there is a reason most of those players are still on the market. GM Ozzie Newsome has never been one to make moves out of desperation, and if the injuries to Smith, Lardarius Webb, and/or Asa Jackson are more dire than initially thought, the Ravens are probably more likely to trade for a corner or sign someone who will be released in the coming weeks.
  • Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is less-than-thrilled with tight end Tim Wright‘s play and Pat Yasinkas of ESPN.com writes that he needs to show improvement quickly if he doesn’t want his spot on the roster to be in danger. “He hasn’t played as well as Tim should be playing,” Smith said. “He’s dropped some balls. If you watched practice, he’s dropped balls. But he’s a big part of what we want to do with the two-receiver, two-tight-end set. Tim hasn’t blocked as well inside. Once you’re that H-back and you don’t block, now they say you’re just another receiver and teams start going nickel. If they do that at least you have to be a good pass catcher. Tim’s a good player. He just hasn’t played as well as he needs to lately.”
  • Jaguars tight end Fendi Onobun has been diagnoses with a torn quad and will require surgery, which means he’s done for the year, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
  • Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes that Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus did not take part in team drills on Monday, and the Bills used a combination of Landon Cohen, Corbin Bryant, and Stefan Charles in his stead. Although Buffalo could keep all three of those players as depth behind Dareus and Kyle Williams, they could choose to keep just two and release the third.
  • If the Cowboys tabbed Johnny Manziel, as a newly-released book says owner Jerry Jones nearly made happen, the Browns‘ rookie quarterback would be Teddy Bridgewater, tweets Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.
  • In Jim Dent’s new book “Manziel Mania,” the author wrote that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wrote Johnny Manziel’s name on the draft card for the No. 16 pick only to have his son, Stephen Jones, literally yank the card out of his hand. As great as that story is, it’s simply untrue, a source tells Sean Lester of the Dallas Morning News. As Lester notes, given that the actual draft card is delivered in New York and Jerry and Stephen Jones supervised the draft from the team’s Valley Ranch war room, it seems unlikely the episode occurred as Dent described.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

King’s Latest: CBs, Bortles, Fairley, 49ers

Those defensive penalties that have plagued preseason games for the last two weeks won’t be going away once the regular season gets underway, according to vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. Blandino tells Peter King of TheMMQB.com that defensive holding and illegal contact penalties will continue to be a point of emphasis throughout the year, and that he expects coaches and teams to adjust their style of play over the next few weeks. In the second weekend of the 2014 preseason, there have been nearly nine more penalties per game than an average 2013 regular season contest, which is a number that will hurt the game if it extends into the regular season, writes King.

Here’s more from this week’s MMQB:

  • King predicts that we’ll hear of several teams desperate for cornerbacks in the next week or so. “We’re going to get one,” a personnel man for one team said. “But we may have to pay a higher price than we want, or a higher price than the player deserves.” King identifies the Jets, Ravens, Lions, Colts, Vikings, and Buccaneers as teams that may be on the lookout for another corner.
  • While Chad Henne may open the regular season under center for the Jaguars, the team has always planned to transition Blake Bortles into the starting role when he’s ready, regardless of how well or how poorly Henne is playing, says King. Based on how Bortles has looked so far in the preseason, that transition could end up happening sooner rather than later.
  • According to King, Nick Fairley is now behind C.J. Mosley on the Lions‘ depth chart. So far, it doesn’t seem as Detroit’s decision to decline Fairley’s 2015 option as a motivational tactic has paid off for the defensive tackle or the team.
  • One scout suggests the 49ers should be worried about the backup quarterback situation, and King writes that Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke may be thinking about elevating Josh Johnson to No. 2 on the depth chart after another poor performance by Blaine Gabbert.
  • King praises the Bears‘ signing of wide receiver Santonio Holmes, writing that he has “no idea” why so many people view Holmes as a toxic locker-room presence — in King’s view, the veteran wideout has been “mildly disruptive,” but he’s hardly a cancer.

South Notes: Titans, Martin, Sims, Pasztor

Let’s check in on a few items from around the NFL’s two South divisions….

  • The Titans inquired last week about the possibility of bringing free agent defensive lineman Vaughn Martin in for a workout, but nothing has materialized on that front yet, says Terry McCormick of 247 Sports. Martin, a former fourth-round pick who has played for the Chargers and Dolphins, inked a minimum salary deal with the Lions near the start of the free agent period, but was cut by the team in June.
  • Buccaneers running back Charles Sims will undergo ankle surgery and is expected to be sidelined for 12-14 weeks, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (Twitter link). That timetable means the rookie rusher could return at some point this season, so we’ll have to wait and see what the Bucs decide to do with him. The club could either keep him on the active roster, place him on injured reserve (ending his season), or make him the one IR player with the designation to return.
  • Third-year offensive lineman Austin Pasztor, who was projected to start at right tackle for the Jaguars this season, has suffered a broken hand and will have surgery to repair the fracture. According to ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco, the exact timetable for Pasztor’s return isn’t yet known, but he’ll be back at some point this season — Jags coach Gus Bradley confirmed that the 23-year-old will be re-evaluated in a month. Until then, Jacksonville will have to fill his shoes at right tackle, either with an internal option or an outside addition.

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.