Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rumors & News

Buccaneers Waive QB Sean Renfree

Following the signing of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Buccaneers waived fellow signal-caller Sean Renfree, the club announced.Sean Renfree (Vertical)

[RELATED: Bucs Didn’t Consider Colin Kaepernick]

Renfree, 27, never attempted a pass for Tampa Bay, as he’d just signed a futures contract with the club earlier this year. A former seventh-round pick, Renfree spent the first three seasons of his career elsewhere in the NFC South, acting as a backup in Atlanta. His only NFL action came in 2015, when he completed three of seven passes for 11 yards and one interception.

After being waived by the Falcons last September, Renfree spent ample time on the workout circuit, auditioning for the Panthers, Saints, Broncos, Giants, and Bills. He also worked out for the Patriots in early September after Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett suffered injuries.

Fitzpatrick will enter the 2017 campaign as the Buccaneers’ clear backup behind starter Jameis Winston. Tampa Bay also has Ryan Griffin in tow, but none of his $1.797MM base salary is guaranteed, so the club could conceivably part ways with Griffin if it chooses to go forward with only two quarterbacks on the roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Roberto Aguayo Prepared For Competition

  • We heard several months ago that the Buccaneers could be preparing to move on from Roberto Aguayo, and as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk (citing PewterReport.com) writes, Aguayo is ready for his competition with newly-signed Nick Folk. Said Aguayo, “It is motivation. When I was in college there would be walk-on kids come in and I didn’t know who they were or if they were good or whatever. But whoever they were, it was always a competition for me. Just seeing someone else out there trying to compete. I like it.”

Bucs OC To Jackson: "We Need You To Be A Great Player"

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson signed a three-year, $33.5MM deal ($20MM guaranteed) with the Buccaneers earlier this offseason, and the organization is counting on the veteran to live up to this contract. With Jackson coming off the fifth 1,000-yard campaign of his career, offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken is expecting the 30-year-old to perform like a top receiver.

The Buccaneers could end up having one of the best receving corps in the NFL, as Jameis Winston will be throwing to a group that includes Jackson, Mike EvansAdam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

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Latest On Ryan Fitzpatrick's Contract

Bucs Didn’t Consider Colin Kaepernick

On Friday, the Buccaneers signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and the deal drew eye rolls from those who believe that the unemployed Colin Kaepernick is more deserving of a roster spot. Not only did the Bucs choose Fitzpatrick over Kaepernick, but it turns out that they did not consider Kaepernick for the No. 2 quarterback job at all, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT. Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick threw for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2016 while Fitzpatrick tossed 12 TDs against 17 picks. Even the advanced metrics preferred Kaepernick as he earned a 61.6 overall score from Pro Football Focus, besting Fitzpatrick’s less atrocious 42.1 posting. Neither player set the world on fire last year, but by almost any measure, Kaepernick had the better year and his offense was by no means better than Fitzpatrick’s.

However, there are plenty of reasons why the Buccaneers probably went with Fitzpatrick without first mulling Kaepernick, and none of them pertain to Kaepernick’s social positions. Fitzpatrick was an above-average starter as recently as 2015 and he had two under-the-radar quality seasons before that with the Titans and Texans, respectively. Kaepernick, meanwhile, is now two years removed from being a respectable starter. There’s also the matter of playing styles to consider. Fitzpatrick is a pro-style quarterback who can fit the offense designed for Jameis Winston if he’s called upon. Kaepernick, however, would be better suited for a playbook with more designed runs and an offensive line that’s accustomed to the blocking schemes needed for a mobile QB.

The Bucs didn’t think about signing Kaepernick, but as we learned earlier this week, the Seahawks are taking a hard look at him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Sign QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

One of the best quarterbacks left on the board is now spoken for. The Buccaneers have agreed to terms with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. It’s a one-year, $3MM deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Ryan Fitzpatrick (vertical)

The Buccaneers lost their Jameis Winston backup this offseason when Mike Glennon signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Bears. Fitzpatrick, who had a surprisingly strong 2015 season with the Jets, now becomes Tampa Bay’s new insurance policy under center.

While ’15 was a banner year for the bearded signal caller, 2016 was definitely a season to forget. Things got so bad in New York last year that the veteran found himself considering retirement after the season.

“Last year was the most difficult year for me,” Fitzpatrick said. “Not physically, just kind of mentally and emotionally. I had to take a step back and think about it. Is this something I still want to do? Football is something so ingrained in me, something I love doing and definitely something I want to do. I still want to compete and I still think I can contribute whether I am in a starting role or whatever capacity.”

Fitzpatrick, 35 in November, had a shaky grip on his starting job last year as he threw for 12 touchdowns against 17 interceptions. The year prior, however, Fitzpatrick threw for 31 touchdowns. If given the opportunity to get on the field, Fitzpatrick will try to channel the magic of his ’15 campaign. If he looks like the ’16 version of himself, then this might be his last stop in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dirk Koetter: Doug Martin's Future "Yet To Be Determined"

  • Suspended running back Doug Martin doesn’t seem like a sure bet to play a down for the Buccaneers in 2017, as head coach Dirk Koetter told ESPN’s Wendi Nix on Thursday (via JoeBucsFan.com) that it’s “yet to be determined” what will happen at the end of his three-game ban. That jibes with a February report from FanRag’s Roy Cummings, who relayed that the Bucs will “play the Martin situation out.” Tampa Bay can afford to take its time with Martin, whose $7MM salary for next season is no longer guaranteed on account of his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. It could help his cause, though, that the Buccaneers didn’t use a high draft pick on a runner, waiting until the fifth round to grab Jeremy McNichols, and haven’t added any notable veterans to their backfield this offseason.

Bucs DE Jacquies Smith Signs RFA Tender

Buccaneers defensive end Jacquies Smith has signed his restricted free agent tender, the club announced today.Jacquies Smith (Vertical)

Because Smith was tendered at the original round level, he’s scheduled to earn a non-guaranteed $1,797MM base salary for the 2017 season. Smith met with the 49ers earlier this offseason, and because he originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent, Tampa Bay wouldn’t have received any draft pick compensation had Smith signed with San Francisco (or any other club). However, the Buccaneers would have had the right to match any offer sheet Smith received.

Instead, Smith will head back to Tampa Bay and become part of a defensive end rotation that includes Robert Ayers, William Gholston, Noah Spence, and others. Smith, 27, registered 13.5 sacks between the 2014 and 2015 campaigns, but suffered a torn ACL in the 2016 season opener. But Smith is now reportedly well on his way to a full recovery, and should be able to contribute early in the upcoming season.

With Smith now under contract, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus is now the only restricted free agent yet to sign his tender.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Doug Martin Still In Bucs' Plans

We heard last month that the Buccaneers may retain RB Doug Martin, and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times explains why Martin remains relevant to the Bucs. For one, Tampa Bay did not select a running back in the draft that could make an instant impact, so Martin is still the most talented back on the roster. But the Bucs do have enough talent at the position to get away with a running back-by-committee until Martin returns from suspension in October, so they can afford to be patient. Plus, Martin has something to prove, and he has shown that, when motivated, he can be highly productive. The team has expressed a great deal of optimism about Martin’s prospects since the draft, so it is looking more likely than ever that he will play out the 2017 campaign with the Bucs.