Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rumors & News

Buccaneers Activate RB Doug Martin

The Buccaneers have activated running back Doug Martin from suspension, the club announced today. In a related move, Tampa Bay waived tight end Alan Cross.Doug Martin (vertical)

Martin, 28, was handed a four-game PED suspension near the tail end of the 2016 season, so he was able to serve one game of that ban last year. Because the Buccaneers’ Week 1 game was postponed due to weather concerns, Martin is just now finishing up his stay on the suspended list. The ban voided the remaining guarantees on Martin’s contract, and Tampa Bay hasn’t promised that Martin will reclaim his starting job when he returns.

But the Buccaneers’ rushing offense has faltered enough through three games that it’s difficult to imagine Martin not taking the bulk of the carries immediately. Jacquizz Rodgers, Peyton Barber, and Charles Sims have handled the ball for Tampa Bay so far, but the club ranks just 22nd in rushing DVOA and is averaging only 3.8 yards per carry.

Through five NFL seasons, Martin has posted only two campaigns that can be considered successful — 2012 and 2015, when he topped 1,400 yards rushing and scored 17 combined touchdowns. The rest of his pro years have been lackluster, as Martin wasn’t able to top even 500 yards in either 2013, 2014, or 2016. He’s signed through 2020, but the Buccaneers can get out of Martin’s contract at any time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/27/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • LSs Andrew East and Anthony Kukwa (link)

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/26/17

Tuesday’s workout updates (links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle or ESPN’s Adam Caplan):

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Waiver Priority Now Based On 2017 Record

We’re coming up on Week 4 of the NFL season and that means that waiver claim priority will be based on the current league standings instead of last year’s. Of course, waiver priority is based on the inverted NFL standings, which have built in tiebreakers to sort out the many logjams that naturally occur.

Throughout the offseason and the first three weeks of the regular season, the Browns enjoyed top priority thanks to their 1-15 finish last year. Now, we have a brand new pecking order. Here is a full rundown of the current waiver claim priority, which will change from week to week (Twitter links via Field Yates of ESPN.com):

T-1. Bengals

T-1. Browns

T-1. 49ers

4. Giants

5. Chargers

6. Colts

T-7. Texans

T-7. Seahawks

9. Cardinals

10. Jets

11. Saints

12. Bears

13. Dolphins

14. Buccaneers

15. Ravens

T-16. Panthers

T-16. Cowboys

T-16. Rams

T-16. Steelers

T-20. Broncos

T-20. Lions

T-20. Packers

23. Vikings

T-24. Bills

T-24. Jaguars

T-24. Patriots

T-24. Raiders

T-24. Eagles

T-24. Titans

30. Redskins

31. Chiefs

32. Falcons

 

Bucs LB Lavonte David Has Ankle Sprain

Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David does not have a high-ankle sprain as originally reported, as in fact only dealing with a medial left ankle sprain which will render him week-to-week, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Head coach Dirk Koetter hinted at as much when speaking to reporters earlier today, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times writes.Lavonte David (vertical)

“I think you’re jumping the gun on Lavonte,” Koetter said. “It’s not as bad as it looked, number one. It looked bad. X-rays were negative. Knock on wood, it’s not as bad as it looked or previously reported.”

If he’s forced to miss time, the 27-year-old David will undoubtedly be missed. Through three games, David was ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 linebacker in the NFL. Though it comes from a small sample size, his 88.1 score is exceptional and nearly as strong as his career-high 93.5 score in 2013. The 2013 season marked his sole first-team All Pro selection.

Last year, David had a perfect attendance record as he tallied 87 tackles, 5.0 sacks, and four forced fumbles. He also had an interception, the tenth of his career.

A hamstring injury also kept starting linebacker Kwon Alexander out of action on Sunday. If Alexander cannot go on Sunday, the Bucs could be a bit thin in the front seven when they face the Giants.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs, WR Mike Evans Discussing Extension

The Buccaneers and wide receiver Mike Evans have engaged in preliminary extension negotiations, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.Mike Evans (Vertical)

Evans and Tampa Bay are “very early” in the discussion process, cautions La Canfora, and that comes as no surprise given that the Buccaneers have Evans under team control for some time. In what was surely a simple decision, the Bucs exercised Evans’ 2018 fifth-year option at a cost of $13.258MM, and the club could also utilize the franchise tag to retain Evans in 2019.

The franchise tender will likely only be on the table for one season, per La Canfora, as Tampa Bay will need to use the tag as leverage in talks with quarterback Jameis Winston following the 2019 campaign. Extending both Evans and Winston shouldn’t be a financial problem for the Buccaneers, however, as the team ranks in the top-10 in projected available cap space in each of the next three years.

Evans, 24, has lived up to his draft status since being chosen with the seventh overall pick in 2014. He’s topped 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three NFL seasons, and posted his best overall campaign in 2016, when he put up 96 receptions for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lavonte David Suffers High Ankle Sprain

The Buccaneers could be without Lavonte David for the near future. The cornerstone defender suffered what’s believed to be a high ankle sprain in Tampa Bay’s loss to the Vikings on Sunday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

David will undergo an MRI Monday morning, which will lead to a clearer timetable. But given the nature of this injury, it’s likely the stalwart outside linebacker misses some time.

Should David miss games because of this malady, they will mark his first absences since the 2014 season. David missed two games that year. During his other four NFL seasons, the former second-round pick suited up for all 16 Bucs contests. A hamstring injury sidelined David in 2014.

A former first-team All-Pro, David made seven tackles in Tampa Bay’s Week 3 defeat. A cart transported the sixth-year defender to the locker room. Worries about a knee injury swirled after the seminal sequence, but it appears David’s dodged a season-ending setback.

The Bucs were already playing without fellow standout ‘backer Kwon Alexander. Rookie Kendell Beckwith started in the middle for Alexander, who missed the Vikings matchup with a hamstring injury. So, Tampa’s defensive second level is reeling at the moment.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s workout updates:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: S Jameill Showers
  • Released: G Nate Theaker

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson Jr.
  • Released: WR Fred Brown

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Practice Squad Updates: 9/14/17

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: K Harrison Butker
  • Cut: DT Eric Crume

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers