Buccaneers Rumors

Darrelle Revis Retires From NFL

Darrelle Revis announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday. This was the expected move after an offseason in which Revis’ name has hardly been mentioned. 

For the past eleven years, it has truly been an honor to showcase one of my greatest gifts to the world. Today, I am closing a chapter in my life that I once creamed of as a kid and I am officially retiring from the National Football League,” Revis said in a press release. “The game of football has opened doors for me I once thought were nearly impossible to get through. My passion to play the game at an elite level brought fun and excitement to the term “shutdown corner,” which was nearly on the verge of extinction. Covering some of the toughest assignments in league history was a challenge every Sunday, but also an honor within this game we all love. I would like to thank my coaches, teammates, and mentors who have made a significant impact in my life and helped to create amazing memories that my family and I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m excited as to what lies ahead as I pursue new ventures in different industries. Long live Revis Island.”

Revis, 33, was one of the league’s very best cornerbacks during his first stint with the Jets. After six seasons, four Pro Bowl nods, and three First-Team All-Pro selections, Revis was traded to the Buccaneers in 2013.

Revis was released after one season with Tampa Bay, which led him to the Patriots. Much to the chagrin of Jets fans, Revis had a stellar season and helped the Pats capture a Super Bowl win over the Seahawks.

The Jets attempted to rewrite history by signing Revis in the 2015 offseason, but the five-year, $70MM deal ($39MM guaranteed) given to him turned out to be one of the franchise’s biggest blunders in recent memory. The deal was supposed to allow Revis to retire as a Jet, but the team had no choice but to jettison him after two seasons.

Then, last year, the Chiefs signed Revis in November with the hope that he could help bolster their secondary. Unfortunately, Revis was nowhere near his 2014 form and some questioned his work ethic. After an offseason with no real chatter, Revis is calling it quits.

Revis’ second act with the Jets was a disappointment, but he will be remembered as one of the best cornerbacks of his time. The receivers who went to “Revis Island” from 2007-2014 were largely nullified, which is why Revis is a surefire bet for the Hall of Fame.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Could Be Candidates To Land Bridgewater

  • The Buccaneers trading for Teddy Bridgewater at some point makes sense, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Stroud notes that unless Ryan Griffin develops into something worth keeping, the Bucs could potentially have no backup quarterbacks in 2019, and possibly no quarterbacks under contract at all if the team cuts ties with Jameis Winston. The Jets will likely make Bridgewater available in a trade if he shows he’s healthy this preseason, and the Bucs could be a darkhorse candidate to land him.

Bucs Knew Of Winston Suspension

  • Jameis Winston‘s suspension may have caught a lot of people by surprise, but it didn’t shock the Buccaneers, according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Stroud writes that the Bucs had been bracing for the suspension for quite some time, and re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick back in March knowing they might need him to start some games.

Bucs' Koetter, Licht On Hot Seat?

  • Both Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter and GM Jason Licht are on the hot seat this year, ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett opines. The Bucs were the only NFC South team to miss the playoffs last year and that was a disappointment considering their abundance of young talent. The Bucs did manage to win nine games in an injury-plagued 2016 season, but patience could quickly wear out if the team falters this year. Of course, Jameis Winston‘s three-game suspension to start the year won’t help matters.

This Date In Transactions History: John Lynch

John Lynch has had an enviable career in professional sports. He was selected in the first round of the 1992 Major League Baseball draft by the expansion Florida Marlins, and he threw the first pitch in Marlins’ organizational history as a member of one of the team’s minor league affiliates, the Erie Sailors. His Sailors jersey resides in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a result, but he was later selected in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers, and he is probably pretty happy that he ultimately chose to pursue football.

Lynch spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career with Tampa Bay, and during that time, he established himself as an elite safety. He became one of the most feared tacklers in the league, and he was heralded for his leadership both on and off the field. His playmaking statistics leave a little to be desired, as he tallied just 26 interceptions and 13 sacks in his 15-year career (although he did not become a full-time player until 1996, his fourth year in the league). That could be one of the reasons why he is still on the outside looking in at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but his play went beyond raw stats. He was always someone that opposing offenses had to plan around, and his work earned him nine Pro Bowl bids and two First Team All-Pro selections. He was also a key figure in the Bucs’ only championship, helping the team capture Super Bowl XXXVII.

Tampa Bay released the two-sport Stanford athlete following the 2003 campaign, and he was snapped up by the Broncos. Despite switching from strong safety to free safety, Lynch maintained a high level of play with his new club, as he was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons in Mile High. He served as Denver’s defensive captain during the 2006-07 seasons, and on this day in 2007, he and the Broncos agreed to terms on a renegotiated contract that would keep him with the team for one more year.

He considered hanging up the cleats after the 2007 campaign, but Broncos owner Pat Bowlen convinced him to come back for one last hurrah. Even at age 36, though, Lynch expected to be on the field for every snap, and it became clear during the 2008 training camp that he would not be used in sub-packages. He ultimately left the team and was signed by the Patriots, though he never played a regular-season game for New England, which released him just a few weeks later.

Lynch formally announced his retirement in November 2008, and he subsequently enjoyed a successful stint as a color commentator for Fox. He was surprisingly named GM of the 49ers in January 2017, and while the jury is obviously still out on his tenure as an NFL executive, the early returns are promising.

Taking over a club in the midst of a full-scale rebuild, Lynch managed to acquire the team’s quarterback of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo last October in exchange for a second-round draft pick. This offseason, he (briefly) made Garoppolo the highest-paid player in NFL history, even though the East Illinois product has played a grand total of seven games in his professional career. Lynch’s fate with the 49ers will, of course, be tied to Garoppolo’s, but he has done as well as could be expected thus far. Indeed, San Francisco is being mentioned as a fringe playoff contender, no mean feat considering the roster that Lynch inherited. And while the playoffs may still be out of reach in 2018, one more good offseason of work could get the 49ers back to postseason play.

This date 11 years ago therefore marked the beginning of the end of Lynch’s on-field career, but his involvement with the league after retiring as a player has been pretty notable in its own right. He is a member of the Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor and the Broncos’ Ring of Hame, and he remains a viable candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And while it’s certainly too early to engage in these types of discussions, maybe he’ll one day get into Canton as an executive even if he doesn’t make it as a player.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Ligament Damage For Kendell Beckwith

  • Buccaneers linebacker and 2017 third round pick Kendell Beckwith was in a car accident back in April that broke his ankle, but there was “optimism” within the organization that there is no “significant” ligament damage, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). It appears Beckwith, who started 11 games for the Bucs in 2017, could be ready for training camp.

Poll: Which Rookie RB Will Rush For Most Yards In 2018?

In selecting their third first-round running back of this century, the Giants continued to show how they regard this position despite its marginalization over the past several years. Saquon Barkley is the odds-on favorite to win offensive rookie of the year.

However, the running back position produces annual mid- or late-round surprises — from Devonta Freeman to Jordan Howard to Kareem Hunt — that end up providing immense value to certain teams. The Giants obviously have an incredibly gifted ball-carrier set to take handoffs from Eli Manning, but which of Barkley’s peers is in the best position to challenge him (and the quarterback contingent) for the OROY honor?

The other two first-round RBs look to be less equipped for a strong challenge due to circumstances.

Sony Michel‘s prospects of being an immediate ground producer may have been better on a different team. While the Patriots boast one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, Bill Belichick notoriously finds myriad usages for his backs and involves nearly all of them. Although, Dion Lewis‘ departure after a 180-carry season opens the door for someone to take over as New England’s primary back. And Michel averaged 7.9 yards per carry on 156 totes at Georgia last season. Rashaad Penny looks to be behind Chris Carson to start the season, and the surprise first-rounder may be given time to develop for a Seattle team that’s struggled on the ground for a few years now.

After Round 1, however, it becomes a bit more interesting. The Buccaneers did not possess a formidable depth chart at running back prior to investing their second-round pick in USC’s Ronald Jones. In 2017, Jones rushed for 1,550 yards and scored 20 total touchdowns. He could well be an early-season starter, with the likes of Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber in his path toward a first-string role. Chosen just before Jones, Nick Chubb will have to contend with Carlos Hyde in Cleveland this season for the revamped Browns. Chubb, though, notched three 1,000-yard seasons in the nation’s toughest conference.

Kerryon Johnson looks to be set to start in a committee in Detroit, but the Lions have been desperate for a surefire ground producer for years now. And they view Johnson as a three-down backLeGarrette Blount and Ameer Abdullah reside in the Motor City carries picture, but neither would impede Johnson from a major role if he proves ready from the outset. Derrius Guice could have a quicker path to playing time in Washington. Considered by some the second-best back in this draft, the LSU product fell largely because of character concerns. However, Guice averaged 7.6 yards per carry in 2016 on nearly 200 attempts and is expected to push for the Redskins’ starting job from the start.

Also expected to challenge for an early role: the Broncos’ Royce Freeman. The Oregon-developed talent posted three 1,300-plus-yard seasons with the Ducks, amassing a staggering 947 college carries. With the Broncos having moved on from four-year starter C.J. Anderson, only Devontae Booker (299 rushing yards last season) resides in the third-rounder’s path. Is he a threat to be the 2018 version of Hunt?

As for Barkley, he has the most obvious route to a full-time gig. Despite Jonathan Stewart now being in the Big Apple, the Penn State dynamo will factor in from the start of the Giants’ season. And the three-down back totaled at least 2,300 yards from scrimmage in back-to-back years for the Nittany Lions. The Giants have questions up front, having lost Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, but they added multiple UFAs — spearheaded by Nate Solder — and chose likely Day 1 starter Will Hernandez in Round 2.

So, will Barkley’s situation be too much for the rest of this class to overcome, a la Ezekiel Elliott? Or will one of the later-round picks emerge in Hunt fashion? Is there a Day 3 dark horse in this year’s class in the mold of Freeman or Howard? Take PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Who Needs To Step Up For Bucs?

Dirk Koetter Leads List Of Hot Seat Coaches

How The Buccaneers Could Extend Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston‘s upcoming three-game suspension presents an interesting contractual quagmire for the Buccaneers, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Tampa Bay has already exercised Winston’s $20MM+ option for 2019, but that figure is guaranteed for injury only. Instead of hoping Winston doesn’t get injured over the next several months (and therefore lock himself into his 2019 salary), the Buccaneers could approach their quarterback regarding an extension, albeit one that would erase his 2019 guarantee. In such a scenario, Tampa would tack on a few years to Winston’s deal in exchange for him giving up next season’s guarantee, using the threat of release as leverage. While the idea makes sense for a purely financial perspective, it could be public relations nightmare to extend Winston’s contract now, when he’s fresh off the sexual assault incident that led to his ban.