Buccaneers Rumors

Bucs Sign Second-Round QB Kyle Trask

A potential Tom Brady successor is officially under contract. The Buccaneers have inked second-round pick Kyle Trask to his rookie deal, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.

It’s a four-year pact worth $5.535MM with a signing bonus of $1.385MM for the Florida product. The move comes right as the Bucs are starting their mandatory minicamp. It’s a welcome development for the most recent 64th pick, as he’ll need to focus on all the practice time he can get as a backup quarterback not likely to see the regular season field anytime soon.

Trask had an unusual path to the pros, as he didn’t start a game in high school after his freshman year while backing up eventual Houston and Miami star D’Eriq King. Trask was recruited by Florida nonetheless, and became the starter in his junior year in 2019 after an injury to Feleipe Franks.

Trask thrived under Dan Mullen, and became a Heisman contender in 2020. He set numerous records for the Gators, throwing for 43 touchdowns in 12 games.

In the early draft process there was some buzz he could sneak into the first-round, but he ultimately almost slipped to the third until Tampa nabbed him with the last pick of the second. The Buccaneers also have Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin on the roster behind Brady, who are likely competing for one backup spot next to Trask.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Extend GM Jason Licht, HC Bruce Arians

The Super Bowl architects are staying put. The Buccaneers have agreed to extend the contract of GM Jason Licht (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Meanwhile, they’ve also revised Bruce Arians‘ contract to give the head coach a pay bump. 

Licht took over as the Buccaneers’ GM in 2014. The club went 27-53 in his first five years at the helm, but that didn’t stop the club from inking him to a five-year re-up just before the 2019 season. Today, they’re happy they stuck with him. Licht spearheaded the recruitment of Tom Brady, replacing the interception-prone Jameis Winston with a future Hall of Famer. And, together with Brady, Licht brought in a slew of stars, including Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. For the reigning champs, the decision to extend Licht was a no-brainer.

Arians still has several years to go on the original deal he inked in 2019. And, all along, he’s said that he’ll honor the contract and coach until he’s truly had his fill.

Oh yeah, that’s the plan. I don’t have any plans on retiring,” Arians said of finishing out his contract during an appearance on the Pewter Report Podcast. “It’s just, when do I not want to go back to work? When I’m not excited about going back to work then I’m cheating somebody. I’m cheating the Glazer family, I’m cheating my players. Right now I can’t wait to get back to work.”

Arians is the third-oldest head coach in the NFL, after only Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. A three-time cancer survivor, Arians has already cemented one of the best comeback stories in NFL coaching history.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Antonio Brown’s New Buccaneers Deal

It took a little longer than expected, but Antonio Brown has finally re-signed with the Buccaneers. Now, courtesy of ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link) we have the details on the deal.

As previously reported, Brown can make up to $6.25MM in 2021. He received a $2MM signing bonus plus $1.1MM in base salary, which effectively guarantees $3.1MM. Beyond that, he can make a total of $900K in per-game bonuses, plus incentives.

Brown can collect an additional $334K for each of the following plateaus: 50 catches, 70 catches, 600 receiving yards, 800 receiving yards, five touchdowns, and seven touchdowns. Plus, if he reaches 45% playing time and is active for a (second) Super Bowl victory, he’ll see another $250K.

Often times, NFL incentives are hard to reach. Sometimes, they’re formally designated as such (NLTBE — Not Likely To Be Earned). In this case, it’s not hard to imagine AB maxing out his contract. In eight regular season games last year, Brown notched 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Extrapolated for a full 16-game slate, that’s 90 catches, 966 yards, and eight touchdowns. If Brown can do that in 2021, he’ll hit every milestone and then some.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/25/21

We’ll keep tabs on today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Waived: Kamaal Seymour

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: TE Cam Sutton

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Re-Sign Antonio Brown

It’s officially official. On Tuesday, Antonio Brown formally signed his brand new contract with the Buccaneers, per a club announcement. 

[RELATED: Julian Edelman On Bucs Rumors]

In late April, Brown agreed to a new one-year deal with the defending champs. However, the deal was still pending a physical following a recent knee procedure. Head coach Bruce Arians termed the operation as “getting his knee cleaned out” — in other words, a minor surgery. Still, it’s not clear why Brown waited until the spring to get it done.

We wanted AB back,” Arians said. “He was a model citizen the whole time he’s been here. We wanted him back and he’s never had surgery in his life. It’s just a matter of physical done. I wanted him back the whole time.”

Assuming the terms have not changed, Brown will have the chance to earn up to $6.25MM with $3.1MM fully guaranteed and a $2MM signing bonus. The remaining half could be achieved via incentives.

In eight regular season games last year, Brown notched 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. In theory, that’s 90 catches, 966 yards, and eight touchdowns when extrapolated for a full season. If Brown can do that in 2021, the Bucs will be over the moon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WR Julian Edelman Quiets Buccaneers Connection

Despite Julian Edelman announcing his retirement last month, rumors will continue to persist about a potential reunion with Tom Brady. This theory has always seemed unlikely, but it certainly isn’t impossible. After all, Brady managed to coax Rob Gronkowski out of retirement to join Tampa Bay, and he also recruited Antonio Brown despite the team already having Chris Godwin and Mike Evans on the roster.

So, would anyone really be shocked if Edelman ultimately joined the Buccaneers? Probably not. However, the long-time Patriots receiver did his best to quiet the rumblings during a recent appearance on the Michael Irvin Podcast, stating that he’s a “one-team guy.”

“My knees breaking down, I’m not gonna sit here, you know, I got everything I wanted,” Edelman explained (via NFL.com’s Nick Shook). “I got three rings, played in a magical dynasty, with an unbelievable franchise coach, best quarterback of all time, like, yo, I’m not a greedy guy. I played to win, I played to compete, I don’t need anything else to prove. I’m good with what I did, I left it all out on the field.”

Edelman was limited to only six games this past season as he dealt with a knee injury, so a potential return would obviously hang on the wideout’s health. Plus, as the 34-year-old noted, there’s not much more he can do to add to his resume; Edelman won three rings and a Super Bowl MVP, and he ranks second all-time in receiving yards and receptions. Assuming his career has come to an end, the former seventh-round pick finished his career with 36 regular-season touchdowns, all via Brady. The future Hall of Famer quarterback has tossed 581 touchdowns during his career, with Edelman ranking third among Brady’s all-time touchdown connections (behind Gronkowski and Randy Moss).

Considering those accolades, will Edelman eventually find him in the Hall of Fame? That’s not a concern to the retired receiver, who noted he’s focused on his new gig as a member of Inside the NFL.

“I’m not here to make a case, man,” Edelman said. “I didn’t play the game to be in the Hall. … It’s an honor to even be mentioned. You know and if something happens, something happens, you know I’m not gonna be worrying about that, I’mma be worrying about my new job here on Inside the NFL.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bruce Arians Plans To Honor 5-Year Deal

Three months after the Buccaneers’ second Super Bowl parade, Bruce Arians is not backing off the pledge he made at that time. The third-year Bucs HC not only wants to pilot a Bucs title defense but coach the team beyond 2021.

In 2019, Arians said he would retire if the Bucs won a Super Bowl. Now, the 68-year-old leader wants to finish out the five-year contract the Bucs gave him and could potentially coach beyond 2023.

Oh yeah, that’s the plan. I don’t have any plans on retiring,” Arians said of finishing out his contract during an appearance on the Pewter Report Podcast. “It’s just, when do I not want to go back to work? When I’m not excited about going back to work then I’m cheating somebody. I’m cheating the Glazer family, I’m cheating my players. Right now I can’t wait to get back to work.”

[RELATED: Bucs GM: Tom Brady Can Play Until He’s 50]

Tampa Bay deviated from its usual approach to contract structures this offseason, doing so in order to keep its Super Bowl squad together. The maneuvering involved a Tom Brady extension, which is packed with void years that stand to affect future Bucs payrolls. The Bucs are firmly in win-now mode, but Arians also dispelled the notion he would walk away when Brady does. Brady is signed through 2022.

I don’t know when that’s going to happen,” Arians said of his own retirement, “but no, I’m not tied to any players. … I could get extremely excited about having another young quarterback and going to war with one,” Arians said. “I’ll be honest with you. I’d be excited to take Blaine Gabbert to war because I love Blaine Gabbert. I think he is the most underrated player in the NFL. So yeah, when its not fun, then it will be time.”

Arians is the third-oldest head coach in the NFL, after Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, but he did retire after the 2017 season. A three-time cancer survivor, Arians spent 2018 in the broadcast booth. But he has made his comeback one of the best in NFL coaching history, ending a lengthy Bucs playoff drought and giving the franchise its second championship, and wants to continue this chapter beyond 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/19/21

The Colts have now officially signed every member of their draft class. We’ll keep track of all the new draftees signing their rookie deals today here:

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Antonio Brown Has Knee Surgery, Bucs Not Concerned

There was some brief concern earlier this morning when it was reported that Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown hadn’t actually signed his contract yet. Head coach Bruce Arians said Brown still needed to pass his physical, and it appeared for a second his return to Tampa could be in some doubt.

That doesn’t appear to be the case. The oft-embattled wideout did in fact have knee surgery on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Rapsheet says the procedure was a success, and that it was just “a clean-out after some issues last season.” Fortunately for the friend of Tom Brady, it’ll apparently only be “a few weeks of recovery, then he’ll be ready to go.”

Bucs GM Jason Licht also confirmed that it’s no big deal. “No, not concerned. The plan all along is to have him come in — I think he is coming in Monday to sign,” Licht told Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com.

Brown attracts drama like a magnet, but it doesn’t seem like this is going to be a lingering issue. He might be more concerned about the new lawsuit he just got hit with a few days ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown’s Bucs Deal Still Pending Physical

The Buccaneers may have agreed to terms with Antonio Brown, but it’s not a done deal just yet. Brown’s contract is still pending a physical following a recent knee procedure, head coach Bruce Arians says. 

He has to pass the physical,” Arians said (via Pewter Report). “Hopefully we’ll have a scope on Tuesday, he’s getting his knee cleaned out, and everything will work out fine. It’s just a matter of a physical.”

In late April, Brown reportedly agreed to a new one-year deal with the defending champs. Assuming the deal holds up, Brown can earn up to $6.25MM with $3.1MM fully guaranteed and a $2MM signing bonus. The remaining half of the $6.25MM could be achieved via incentives.

Brown was dealing with knee issues throughout the playoffs but, for one reason or another, he held off on the surgery. The Bucs may be scratching their heads about Brown’s chosen timetable, but Arians still seems enthusiastic about another go ’round with Brown.

We wanted AB back,” Arians said. “He was a model citizen the whole time he’s been here. We wanted him back and he’s never had surgery in his life. It’s just a matter of physical done. I wanted him back the whole time.”

In eight regular season games last year, Brown notched 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, 20 of those 45 grabs came in the final three weeks of the regular season, a sign that AB could have some monster games in store this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.