Buccaneers Rumors

Buccaneers Hire Two Female Coaches

  • The Buccaneers are making a historic move. Tampa Bay is hiring Maral Javadifar and Lori Locust as the first full-time female assistant coaches in franchise history, the team announced in a release. Locust will be an assistant defensive line coach, while Javadifar will be an assistant strength and conditioning coach. The Bucs are now the first team in NFL history to have two women as full-time coaches. New Bucs coach Bruce Arians has emphasized the need for greater diversity on NFL coaching staffs, and is now practicing what he preaches. Arians had said he would do something like this, so it isn’t surprising.

Contract Details: Ingram, Suggs, Kendricks

Here are the latest details from some agreed-upon contracts during the second wave of free agency. All links courtesy of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, unless otherwise noted.

Bucs Meeting With S Clayton Geathers

Clayton Geathers is going through his second free agent meeting of the week, traveling from Dallas to Tampa. The Buccaneers met with the UFA safety on Tuesday, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Limited by injuries during his four-year career with the Colts, Geathers was a starter for most of his time in Indianapolis. While the Colts expressed interest in re-signing the former fourth-round pick, he is being allowed to test the second-wave market.

Geathers played 853 snaps for the Colts last season, his most significant work sample. Injuries limited the Central Florida product to 14 total games between the 2016-17 seasons. Pro Football Focus graded Geathers as the No. 51 safety last season. Geathers, 26, has yet to record an NFL interception.

The Colts have re-signed multiple 2018 starters — cornerback Pierre Desir, defensive lineman Margus Hunt and guard Mark Glowinski — but each of those players was brought in by the Chris Ballard regime. Ryan Grigson drafted Geathers, perhaps impacting the team’s decision to let him test free agency.

Tampa Bay is coming off another poor coverage season, ranking 26th in pass defense — a year after a last-place showing. The Bucs have already signed former Packers safety Kentrell Brice, potentially impacting their decision to add Geathers. Recent draftees Justin Evans and Jordan Whitehead comprise Tampa Bay’s top safeties presently.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Sign Kentrell Brice

The Buccaneers have signed former Packers safety Kentrell Brice to a one-year deal. Brice visited the Texans and Colts last week, but the Bucs ultimately won out.

The safety started a career-high 10 games last season (in 14 appearances) and compiled 50 tackles, one sack, and two passes defended. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus wasn’t too fond of his performance, ranking him in the bottom-six among 93 eligible safeties.

Brice, a former undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, spent his entire three-year career with Green Bay up until today. He’s not a splashy add, but the Bucs plan to make more significant additions in the draft. The Bucs own the No. 5 pick in the draft and own all of their original choices through the first five rounds.

Buccaneers To Sign OL Earl Watford

The Buccaneers have agreed to sign offensive lineman Earl Watford, according to Adam Green (Twitter link). It’s a one-year deal, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com.

Watford, who spent the 2013-17 seasons with the Cardinals, will now reunite with a bevy of ex-Arizona coaches — including head coach Bruce Arians and run game coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin — in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers’ offensive line is already set in stone, so Watford, who can play both tackle and guard, will settle in as a top reserve.

The 28-year-old Watford has historically served in a backup role, although he did start 11 games in 2016. All told, the James Madison product has appeared in 55 games and made 22 starts since entering the league as a fourth-round pick. Watford spent the 2018 campaign in Cleveland on a minimum salary deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers To Sign Shaq Barrett

The Buccaneers have agreed to sign Shaquil Barrett, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. It’s a one-year deal for the Bucs and the former Broncos linebacker.

Barrett drew some interest on the open market and met with the Bengals on Thursday. Ultimately, he wound up in a warmer climate. The UDFA success story, though, did not land a long-term deal. He agreed to a one-year, $5MM Bucs contract, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The Broncos discussed a new deal with Barrett, but he aimed for more playing time this offseason. At the end of last season, Barrett publicly declared he wanted to be a full-time starter in 2019.

“I want to start. I want to be a guy somewhere. I don’t want to just be a role player,” Barrett said. “I can’t do it. … Reserve role is done for me, unless that’s the only role I got after this year. But that’s not what I’m looking for going into free agency,” Barrett said at the time.

Barrett put himself on the map with 5.5 sacks in 2015. He hasn’t been able to replicate that production since, mostly due to lack of playing time, but the Broncos thought highly enough of him to put a second round tender on him last offseason.

While Barrett’s sack numbers are not eye-popping, he was one of the better run defenders at his position during his Denver years. He became a more reliable cog than former first-round pick Shane Ray, and this continued in the duo’s contract years — Barrett being the Broncos’ top off-the-bench option and Ray ending his season as a healthy scratch.

This move crystallizes the Broncos’ need for edge help off the bench, with the team’s run of depth at this position ending with this signing, the Bucs have a proven defender that could perhaps push for a starting role in Todd Bowles‘ 3-4 defense. Jason Pierre-Paul remains on the Bucs’ roster but has never functioned as a 3-4 outside linebacker, a role in which Barrett has played exclusively. Tampa Bay also released Vinny Curry earlier this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Re-Sign Rakeem Nunez-Roches

Rakeem Nunez-Roches is returning to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers announced that they’ve re-signed the defensive tackle to a one-year deal.

The 25-year-old was waived by the Colts prior to the 2018 season, and the lineman eventually caught on with the Bucs in October. Nunez-Roches proceeded to play in three games for Tampa Bay, compiling a pair of tackles. He’s only a year removed from a 2017 campaign where he started 11 of his 16 games with the Chiefs.

It will be tough for Nunez-Roches to supplant either Gerald McCoy or Vita Vea in the starting lineup, but he should be able to compete with Beau Allen and Stevie Tu’ikolovatu for snaps.

Nunez-Roches is the eighth player to re-sign with the Bucs over the past few days. We learned earlier today that the team was re-signing cornerback De’Vante Harris.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

De’Vante Harris Re-Signs With Bucs

De’Vante Harris is returning to the Buccaneers on a one-year deal, the team announced. The cornerback was previously non-tendered by the organization, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The 25-year-old was picked up by Tampa Bay last offseason after being waived by the Saints. He started the season on the injured reserve and was later waived by the Bucs, but the team re-signed him a month later. Harris proceeded to play in 10 games for Tampa Bay, compiling nine tackles and three passes defended. The former Texas A&M product has 31 career games under his belt.

He’ll be rejoining a crowded cornerbacks depth chart in Tampa Bay. If Harris has any hope of playing a significant role, he’ll have to somehow jump at least one of Vernon Hargreaves, Carlton Davis, Ryan Smith and David Rivers III.

Three Teams Interested In DB Kentrell Brice

It sounds like three teams have interest in defensive back Kentrell Brice. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports (via Twitter) that the former Packers safety is set to meet with the Colts today. This comes after the 24-year-old visited with the Texans yesterday. Demovsky notes that the Buccaneers also have interest in the free agent.

The Packers decided to non-tender Brice earlier this week after the team added defensive back Adrian Amos. Brice, a former undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, had spent his entire three-year career with Green Bay, including a career-season in 2018.

The safety ultimately finished last season having started a career-high 10 games (in 14 appearances), compiling 50 tackles, one sack, two passes defended. Pro Football Focus wasn’t as fond of his performance last season, ranking him in the bottom-six among 93 eligible safeties.

Contract Details: McCourty, Williams, Lewis

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed contracts: