Kendell Beckwith

Bucs’ Beckwith Will Not Play This Season

Linebacker Kendell Beckwith will not be able to play this season, coach Dirk Koetter announced (Twitter link via Greg Auman of The Athletic). Beckwith suffered a broken ankle in a car accident in the spring and he did not recover as quickly as the team hoped. 

The former LSU star could have provided depth in the wake of injuries to Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David, but they’ll have to get by without him. This week, the Bucs will be forced to move him from the non-football injury (NFI) list to another reserve list.

Last year, the Bucs used Beckwith at all three linebacker spots as he appeared in all 16 games with eleven starts. The 23-year-old had 73 total tackles on the year, including a 14-tackle game against the Patriots in the first month of the season. Beckwith wasn’t originally ticketed for a starting role, but he wound up playing on 847 snaps as a rookie after being selected in the third round of the draft.

With David out for the year, the Bucs are moving forward with Devante Bond, Adarius Taylor, and David as their starters. But, if David continues to miss time, Riley Bullough will run with the first-string unit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers LB Kendell Beckwith Returns To Practice

Buccaneers linebacker Kendell Beckwith, currently on the non-football injury list, returned to practice on Wednesday, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

Beckwith was injured in an April car accident, suffering a fractured ankle that required surgery. He missed the entirety of Tampa Bay’s offseason program and the first eight weeks of the regular season, but he’s now healthy enough to begin practicing. The Buccaneers now have a three-week window during which they must decide whether to activate Beckwith or keep him on the NFI list for the remainder of the season.

“It’s really remarkable,” head coach Dirk Koetter said. “Off-season accident and when he had that surgery, they were saying this was going to be a tough injury to come back from. He’s worked his tail off. He’s had a couple setbacks along the way. They finally cleared him. I know he was excited to be out there today and we’ll have to see how he responds. If it’s positive, they’ll add more reps to his plate and as soon as he feels like he’s ready and the doctors feel like he’s ready, he could possibly return.”

The Buccaneers can use all the linebacker help they can get, as they lost both Kwon Alexander and Jack Cichy to season-ending injuries in Week 7. On Sunday, Tampa Bay deployed Adarius Taylor as its primary ‘backer opposite Lavonte David, with Devante Bond, Cameron Lynch, and Riley Bullough in reserve.

Last year, the Bucs used Beckwith at all three linebacker spots as he appeared in all 16 games with eleven starts. The 23-year-old had 73 total tackles on the year, including a 14-tackle game against the Patriots in the first month of the season. Beckwith wasn’t originally ticketed for a starting role, but he wound up playing on 847 snaps as a rookie after being selected in the third round of the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Move Roster To 53

The Buccaneers have made the following transactions as they move to 53 players:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Released:

Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on NFI:

Placed on suspended list:

NFC Notes: 49ers, Barwin, Beckwith, Saints

Despite Jimmy Garoppolo entering his 49ers training camp, he’s not expected to receive an abnormal workload this preseason. Even though Kyle Shanahan has cited the time it takes for quarterbacks to become sufficiently assimilated in his system, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required) backup C.J. Beathard is likely to receive most of the reps during preseason games. The 49ers figure to have an ulterior motive by doing this, with Barrows writing San Francisco will want to trade Beathard for draft compensation at some point before his rookie contract expires. They will be intent on showcasing the 2017 third-rounder as much as possible as a result. The Iowa product completed 54.9 percent of his passes, with four TDs and six INTs, as a rookie before Garoppolo supplanted him as the Niners’ starter.

It’s camp-reporting week. Here’s the NFC’s latest:

  • Connor Barwin will be counted on to be one of Olivier Vernon‘s sidekicks this season, but his Giants agreement is not merely a one-year pact. Barwin agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This will be Barwin’s fourth NFL team, with the Giants following the Texans, Eagles and Rams. A Pro Bowler with the 2014 Eagles, Barwin’s done his best work in 3-4 defenses — which the Giants will now use. Both of Barwin’s double-digit sack seasons (2011 and 2014) came in this set.
  • Chris Thompson said Monday he will avoid the Redskins‘ PUP list. Washington’s passing-down back broke one of his fibulas in November but has worked his way back. He’s expected to remain the Redskins’ receiving back. “I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Thompson said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via PFT). “I will start practicing with the guys from Day 1 but just taking it slowly. The focus is to really be ready by that first regular-season game.”
  • Kendell Beckwith will not, however, avoid the Buccaneers‘ PUP (Twitter link, via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The young linebacker fractured an ankle in a car accident in April and underwent surgery. The immediate timetable tabbed Beckwith as unclear for Week 1, while a summer update indicated he might be ready in time for camp. Beckwith won’t meet that goal, it appears, but it’s not certain if he’s going to miss all of Tampa Bay’s camp.
  • Despite being a newcomer and coming off an ACL tear, Cameron Meredith looks like the frontrunner to claim the Saints‘ No. 2 wide receiver job, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com notes. Playing with quarterbacks who aren’t in Drew Brees‘ stratosphere, Meredith caught 66 passes for 888 yards and four TDs in 2016. Third-round rookie Tre’Quan Smith may also be a threat to diminish Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman‘s playing time as well, per Katzenstein, though it’s hard to envision Ginn (53 receptions, 787 receiving yards last season) being squeezed out of a significant role. He’s owed $4.5MM this season.

Extra Points: Packers, Cobb, Matthews, Buccaneers, Beckwith, Jets, McGuire

Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews are two of the longest tenured members of the Packers, but their time in Green Bay could be coming to an end. There’s been a drop in production for both in recent years and both are heading into the final year of their contracts. Both have non-guaranteed salaries for 2018, and could be cap-casualties this summer.

When asked which big names could be on the chopping block this summer, Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap.com listed both Cobb and Matthews (Twitter link). Cobb has been held to less than 700 receiving yards in back to back seasons and was recently spotted in a walking boot. If the Packers do decide to move on from either player, it would be the end of a very successful era for the fan favorites.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

South Rumors: Jaguars, Hooker, Texans

The Jaguars would have an interesting setup for Lamar Jackson, employing a recently extended starting quarterback but a long-scrutinized player whose long-term future with the team remains in doubt. Tom Coughlin said Friday the Louisville prospect was an “outstanding young man” and an “extremely talented athlete.” But Dave Caldwell said the team that pulls the trigger on Jackson would have to be ready to adjust its offense to accommodate the dual-threat talent.

He’s a rare athlete,” Caldwell said, via Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union. “As a quarterback, he’s a good player. He won a lot of games at that position. [Drafting him] depends what your scheme is, what you want to do and how you want to play and how he fits. I can’t say he’s the prototypical pocket passer, but you can win games with a guy like him.”

Jacksonville holds the draft’s No. 29 overall pick and has not conducted a workout with Jackson, who may now be a full-fledged top-20 prospect.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions:

  • Caldwell did not give an indication on which way he was leaning with regards to picking up Dante Fowler‘s fifth-year option. The Jacksonville GM said the team had not made a decision. Earlier today, Fowler’s price became clear. It will cost the Jaguars a massive sum ($14.2MM) to keep Fowler on their books for 2019 on his rookie contract.
  • On the subject of AFC South pass rushers, Brian Gaine is optimistic the Texans will extend Jadeveon Clowney this offseason. But Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports no deal is particularly close at this point. Clowney, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack figure to see the others members of this trio’s deals affect theirs, and Von Miller may become the fourth-highest-paid defender by the time this offseason is over.
  • Gaine does not plan to deviate from Rick Smith‘s philosophy of setting the offseason as the window for extension agreements. John McClane of the Houston Chronicle notes the first-year Houston GM wants to finalize re-ups before the regular season. Clowney and Benardrick McKinney‘s proceedings will put this approach to the test this year.
  • Malik Hooker joined his Colts teammates for the start of their offseason program earlier this month but said (via Matt Taylor of Colts.com) he’s “not 100 percent by any means” as he recovers from a severe knee injury. Colts.com’s Andrew Walker writes training camp isn’t a certainty for the 2017 first-rounder, who went down in late October of last year with a torn ACL and MCL.
  • Former Broncos and Bears linebacker Lamin Barrow was driving the car at the time of the accident that ended with Buccaneers ‘backer Kendell Beckwith fracturing an ankle, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Barrow and Beckwith were LSU teammates. The crash occurred at around 1 a.m., April 12. The vehicle veered off a road and crashed into a gate, per Laine. Although authorities said Barrow did not show signs of impairment, he was given a citation for driving with a suspended license.

Bucs’ Kendell Beckwith Injured In Car Crash

Buccaneers strongside linebacker Kendell Beckwith was involved in a car accident last week in Louisiana, Bucs GM Jason Licht told reporters (Twitter link via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com). Beckwith suffered a fractured ankle in the crash and had to undergo surgery. He will miss a significant portion of the offseason as a result and it’s not clear whether he’ll be ready to go in Week 1.

We’re very fortunate that it wasn’t life-threatening,” Licht said (via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times). “He’ll be out of OTAs and in training camp, we’ll have a better idea of how far along he is.

Beckwith, a third round pick in the 2017 draft, fell to the Bucs after suffering a torn ACL. It’s presently unknown whether his broken ankle is on the same leg.

Last year, the Bucs used Beckwith at all three linebacker spots as he appeared in all 16 games with eleven starts. The 23-year-old had 73 total tackles on the year, including a huge 14-tackle game against the Patriots in the first month of the season. Beckwith wasn’t originally ticketed for a starting role, but he wound up playing on 847 snaps as a rookie.

Beckwith’s injury could prompt the Bucs to take a closer look at linebackers in the later rounds of next week’s draft. The team may also lean more heavily on linebacker Adarius Glanton, though he is recovering from an injury of his own after breaking a leg in December (a side note – Glanton recently took on his father’s surname, so he will take the field as Adarius Taylor in the fall).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/23/17

Today’s draft pick signings:

  • The Jets announced that they’ve signed second-round safety Marcus Maye and fifth-round linebacker Dylan Donahue. Maye, a Florida alum, was the second safety New York drafted last month, joining sixth overall selection Jamal Adams. With Marcus Gilchrist having been released, and Calvin Pryor in danger of being traded or cut, Maye and Adams could be Gang Green’s starters come Week 1. Donahue, meanwhile, will likely begin his NFL career on special teams as he transitions from Division II West Georgia.
  • The Seahawks have signed third-round wide receiver Amara Darboh, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Darboh, the penultimate pick of Day 3, put up 57 receptions for 862 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior season at Michigan. At 6’2″, 214 pounds, Darboh will give Seattle some size on a wide receiver depth chart that includes smaller pass-catchers such as Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.
  • The Buccaneers have agreed to terms with third-round linebacker Kendell Beckwith, fifth-round running back Jeremy McNichols, and seventh-round defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, the club announced today. Tampa Bay traded up in the draft to acquire both Beckwith and Tu’ikolovatu. Of the trio, Beckwith seemingly has the best chance for playing time early in his career, as he can take over at strong-side ‘backer for Daryl Smith. McNichols, meanwhile, could earn a role pending Doug Martin‘s eventual martin, although the Boise State product is recovering from surgery.

Extra Points: Trubisky, Dolphins, 49ers, Bucs

The Bears played it close to the vest before making their Mitch Trubisky trade from No. 3 to No. 2, one that headlined the draft and one that may have the team’s power structure at odds. Chicago’s brass tried to throw teams off the scent early in the process by sending an armada of personnel to Deshaun Watson‘s pro day while orchestrating a secret dinner meeting with Trubisky, per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. The Bears also “begged” Trubisky’s camp not to leak news of that summit, and that part of the operation succeeded. Ryan Pace followed Dave Caldwell‘s secretive playbook when he made the Blake Bortles pick few expected.

Here’s more from around the league as rookie minicamp sessions are upon us.

  • Charles Harris experienced a similar type of draft misdirection. The Dolphins cancelled a pre-draft visit with the Missouri product without providing a reason for the change of plans. “I was like, ‘Man, that’s messed up,” Harris said, via James Walker of ESPN.com. Miami was linked to edge defenders coming into the draft despite re-signing Cameron Wake and Andre Branch, and Harris fell to the Fins at No. 22 to validate their pre-draft plot. The Dolphins met with Harris at the Combine but didn’t prompt him for a post-Combine workout before the cancellation tactic. “It’s just there are some players that we purposely try and stay away from once we are comfortable with the player, his character and what type of kid we are getting,” Dolphins GM Chris Grier said, via Walker. “We just do not feel the need to spend any more time with them.”
  • John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan were split on one of the 49ers’ eventual draft picks, and the coach won out. Lynch had Utah running back Joe Williams off his draft board, but Shanahan convinced the new GM to give the go-ahead for a fourth-round selection, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Shanahan, who was tied to the 49ers midway through the GM hunt and thus received an opportunity for additional control, helped sway Lynch to trade a fifth-round pick to move up in the fourth round and select Williams. The Utes runner’s questionable off-the-field past had Lynch skeptical, but Shanahan saw some promise in the back who ran the Combine’s second-fastest 40 time at 4.41 seconds. With Carlos Hyde entering a contract year, Williams could be a key component of the 49ers’ future.
  • Both Kendell Beckwith and Buccaneers management expect the linebacker to be ready to return by training camp, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Beckwith tore his ACL late during his senior season at LSU last fall. Stroud expects Beckwith to be a possible early-season starter on the strong side, with the writer believing primary 2016 starter Daryl SmithPFR’s No. 4 UFA off-ball linebacker — is closing in on retirement rather than returning for a 14th NFL season.
  • Bucs running back Jeremy McNichols underwent surgery shortly after the Combine to repair a torn labrum, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Laine reports McNichols’ timeline hovers at around four months, noting the Boise State-developed back hopes to be ready for camp. McNichols arrived via fifth-round pick for a Bucs team that has questions about Doug Martin‘s future. The team still employs Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber on the roster. McNichols caught 103 passes at Boise State in three seasons, but Jason Licht views him as a possible three-down back as opposed to a passing-game specialist.

Buccaneers Acquire 107th Pick From Jets

The Buccaneers have acquired the final selection of the draft’s second day, No. 107 overall, from the Jets. Tampa Bay gave up the 125th and 204th picks to land the 107th choice, and has taken LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwith.

The 252-pound Beckwith broke out in earnest in 2014, when he accumulated 77 tackles – 7.5 for loss – and two sacks. He then combined for 175 tackles, 16 of which were for loss, and 4.5 sacks over his final two seasons at LSU. Unfortunately, Beckwith tore his ACL late last season, which could further limit a player who already had speed issues before the injury, notes Pro Football Focus.

Assuming he’s healthy, Beckwith should serve as much-needed middle linebacker depth for the Buccaneers as a rookie. The club entered the draft in need of bodies behind starter Kwon Alexander.