Buccaneers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/1/20

Teams continue to move their rosters toward 80 players, which will be the maximum by the time full practices begin. Here are the latest minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon:

Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys

  • Waived: LS Joe Fortunato
  • Waived/injured: LB Azur Kamara

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: LS Rex Sunahara

New York Giants

  • Claimed off waivers (from Browns): WR Tony Brown

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/31/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Waived: DB Jeff Hector

Cincinnati Bengals 

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers To Sign LeSean McCoy

The Buccaneers are making a big move at running back. They will bring in LeSean McCoy, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. That works out to $1.05MM for a 12th-year player.

Bruce Arians confirmed the team was interested in Devonta Freeman earlier this offseason but said the ex-Falcon’s price tag was too high. The Bucs went in a different direction, signing the former All-Pro to work with Ronald Jones and third-round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn. With the pandemic nixing the onsite work and the preseason, it makes sense for the Bucs to bring in a veteran Jones complement while Vaughn develops.

McCoy said recently he had spoken to multiple teams and wanted to land with a contender. Considering the Bucs’ new profile after their Tom Brady signing, they certainly qualify. One of the other teams McCoy spoke with was indeed the Eagles, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The Eagles were interested in a reunion, but given McCoy’s league-minimum Bucs pact, it is unclear if an offer came.

Although the Chiefs made McCoy a healthy scratch in Super Bowl LIV, he showed flashes during the regular season. Shady averaged 4.6 yards per carry, bouncing back from a 3.2-YPC season in an undermanned Bills offense in 2018, and scored five touchdowns during his one-year Andy Reid reunion.

After collecting his first Super Bowl ring, the six-time Pro Bowler will join another team with Super Bowl aspirations. The Bucs have now added future Hall of Famers Brady and Rob Gronkowski to their offense, and McCoy will have a chance to work on his Canton credentials in Tampa.

The former Eagles and Bills standout wants to become the league’s 17th 12,000-yard rusher. Sitting on 11,071, the 32-year-old runner will likely need at least two seasons to get there. Every retired back who has eclipsed 12,000 is in the Hall of Fame. Rushers who ended their careers between 11,000 and 12,000 — Fred Taylor, Steven Jackson and Corey Dillon — have not been inducted, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/20

Here are Thursday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon.

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Waived: DL Domenique Davis

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

  • Claimed off waivers (from Dolphins): CB Ryan Lewis

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/28/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon. With teams having until August 16 to cut their rosters from 90 to 80 players, many are doing so before on-field camp work begins.

Carolina Panthers

  • Claimed off waivers (from Patriots): LB Kyahva Tezino
  • Waived: OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Waived/NFI: WR Zimari Manning

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

15 NFL Players Land On NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Dolphins, Browns, Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Jaguars, Chiefs, Cowboys and Buccaneers have placed players on the newly created reserve/COVID-19 list. Here’s the full rundown, per the league’s transactions wire:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The reserve/COVID-19 designation is for players who have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in quarantine for potential exposure. In turn, these players are removed from the roster and allowed to return after three weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers, Tristan Wirfs Agree To Deal

Tampa Bay agreed to terms with its projected right tackle starter Wednesday. Tristan Wirfs is now in the fold for the Buccaneers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The fully guaranteed deal tethers Wirfs to the Bucs through 2023, with the fifth-year option covering 2024.

The Bucs traded up one spot, from No. 14 to No. 13, with the 49ers to nab the Iowa blocker. Wirfs was viewed as one of this draft’s top four tackles. He ended up going fourth out of that group, but he is in position to play a key role for the highest-profile Bucs team in at least 17 years.

Wirfs primarily played right tackle for the Hawkeyes, which will make this an easier transition compared to some of his first-round tackle brethren. He blazed to a 4.85-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, doing so despite weighing 320 pounds. Wirfs also set Combine O-line records for the vertical (36.5 inches) and broad jumps (10 feet, 1 inch).

The Bucs opted not to re-sign longtime right tackle starter Demar Dotson, who remains in free agency. Dotson was the Bucs’ primary right tackle for the past eight seasons, but Wirfs is now on track to join left tackle Donovan Smith in Tampa Bay’s starting lineup.

Here is the Bucs’ 2020 draft class:

1-13: Tristan Wirfs, T (Iowa): Signed
2-45: Antoine Winfield Jr., S (Minnesota)
3-76: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB (Vanderbilt)
5-161: Tyler Johnson, WR (Minnesota): Signed
6-194: Khalil Davis, DT (Nebraska): Signed
7-241: Chapelle Russell, OLB (Temple)
7-245: Raymond Calais, RB (Louisiana): Signed

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 7/22/20

Here are the latest draft pick signings. With rookies set to report to teams’ training camps this week, teams are busy on this front.

  • The Vikings were the busiest team in the draft, making 15 picks this year. They have been active signing them Wednesday. Beyond first-rounder Justin Jefferson, Minnesota has agreed to terms with second-round tackle Ezra Cleveland, fourth-round linebacker Troy Dye, fourth-round defensive tackle James Lynch and seventh-round offensive lineman Kyle Hinton. Cleveland, rumored as a possible late-first-round selection, will be groomed to become a near-future starter for the Vikings.
  • The Broncos began signing some of their picks, most notably getting third-rounders Michael Ojemudia and McTelvin Agim under contract. A cornerback, Ojemudia is set to compete for a starting job opposite A.J. Bouye; Agim profiles as D-line depth behind established starters this season. Denver also signed fourth-round tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, a Mizzou alum set to rejoin his former quarterback (Drew Lock) in the Mile High City. The Broncos also reached an agreement with seventh-round outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka.
  • Despite having T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree under contract, the Steelers used a third-round pick on outside linebacker Alex Highsmith. The Charlotte alum agreed to terms on his four-year rookie deal. Highsmith recorded 15 sacks at the mid-major program last season.
  • Packers third-round pick Josiah Deguara also agreed on his four-year rookie contract. Green Bay eschewed its wide receiver need throughout the draft, using Day 2 to add a running back (A.J. Dillon) and Deguara, who profiles as a tight end/fullback. The Cincinnati product surpassed 900 yards between his final two college seasons, totaling 12 touchdown grabs in that span.
  • Tennessee third-round running back Darrynton Evans signed his rookie deal as well. Evans looks set to replace Dion Lewis as the TitansDerrick Henry change-of-pace back. The Appalachian State alum rushed for 1,480 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He added five receiving TDs.
  • The Giants used first- and third-round picks on tackles. The latter selection, UConn’s Matt Peart, agreed to the terms of his rookie deal Wednesday. Peart profiles as a developmental lineman, working behind expected starters Nate Solder and Andrew Thomas. He stands to join Cameron Fleming as depth for Big Blue.
  • Washington has agreed to terms with third-round running back/wideout Antonio Gibson, fourth-round receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden and fifth-round center Keith Ismael. Gibson and Gandy-Golden figure to be key parts of a Washington offense that is limited, beyond Terry McLaurin, in the passing game. Gibson totaled 1,104 yards from scrimmage at Memphis last season, while Gandy-Golden caught 20 touchdown passes in two years at Liberty.
  • Fourth-round Cowboys pick Reggie Robinson agreed to terms as well. The Tulsa cornerback joins a Cowboys team that lost Byron Jones in free agency. Dallas was active in an effort to replace the Pro Bowler, drafting Trevon Diggs in Round 2 and signing Daryl Worley.
  • Sixth-round Chargers safety Alohi Gilman, a Notre Dame alum, signed his Chargers contract Wednesday. Gillman joins a deep Bolts safety corps.
  • The Buccaneers drafted two running backs this year. On Wednesday, they agreed to terms with the second of those picks — seventh-rounder Raymond Calais. In addition to his work as a running back at Louisiana, Calais was a four-year kick returner for the Rajin’ Cajuns.

Michael Bennett Retires From NFL

Michael Bennett is calling it a career. After eleven years in the NFL, the longtime Seahawks defensive end announced his retirement on Instagram

Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth — the opportunity to reimagine my purpose,” Bennett wrote. “I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life.”

Bennett, 34, went undrafted in 2009 after an up-and-down tenure at Texas A&M. His first deal technically came with the Seahawks, but he didn’t make the final cut, so he moved on to the Buccaneers. In 2013, he returned to Seattle as a free agent, and that’s where he really came into his own. The ’13 Seahawks won the Super Bowl and boasted the league’s best D, thanks in large part to Bennett. With the Seahawks, Bennett went on to rack up three straight Pro Bowl appearances and 39 total sacks across five seasons.

Bennett spent time with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Patriots across the last two seasons and was still solidly productive – he had 15.5 sacks between 2018 and 2019. Still, Bennett was mulling retirement even before the pandemic, and quarantining with the family reminded him of everything he had missed off of the field. With that, Bennett is walking away from the game with 359 tackles, 69.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, and a Super Bowl ring.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs To Sign Rookies Tyler Johnson, Khalil Davis

The Buccaneers are chipping away at their rookie class. Sixth-round defensive tackle Khalil Davis has agreed to terms, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (on Twitter). Meanwhile, fifth-round wide receiver Tyler Johnson has formally inked his deal, per an announcement from his agency (via Twitter).

The Bucs sent several scouts to the 2020 Outback Bowl between Minnesota and Auburn. At that game, they watched Johnson turn in the best game of his collegiate career – 12 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Clearly, that left an impression. With the No. 161 overall pick, they snagged Johnson to help round out their WR group. This summer, he’ll look to carve out his spot on the depth chart behind stars Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Davis, meanwhile, figures to support starting nose tackle Vita Vea. Even though he was a late pick, the Bucs are high on Davis’ skillset – at 308 pounds, he managed to run the 40-yard-dash at 4.75 seconds, good for sixth among all defensive linemen at the combine.

Here’s the full rundown of the Bucs’ class, via PFR’s 2020 NFL Draft tracker:

1-13: Tristan Wirfs, T (Iowa)
2-45: Antoine Winfield Jr., S (Minnesota)
3-76: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB (Vanderbilt)
5-161: Tyler Johnson, WR (Minnesota): Signed
6-194: Khalil Davis, DT (Nebraska): Signed
7-241: Chapelle Russell, OLB (Temple)
7-245: Raymond Calais, RB (LSU)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.