Buccaneers Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/16/18

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Practice Squad Updates: 10/16/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: OL Jake Eldrenkamp, WR Blake Jackson

Green Bay Packers

  • Cut: WR DeAngelo Yancey

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Workout Updates: 10/16/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. Links to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise noted.

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/15/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

  • Signed: RB Mark Thompson, LB Alvin Jones, OL Randin Crecelius
  • Cut: DB Kai Nacua, WR Andre Levrone

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

  • Signed: DB Ronald Zamort

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OL Ruben Holcomb

Tennessee Titans

More Bucs Extension Targets Surface

  • Ali Marpet became the latest Buccaneers starter to sign a lucrative extension, joining Mike Evans and Cameron Brate in doing so this year. More re-ups could be on track. Kwon Alexander and the Bucs are still talking an extension, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. While Stroud writes it’s uncertain if the Bucs want to pay Alexander like a top-tier linebacker — they have Lavonte David on the books at $10MM per year — he’s on the radar. As is fourth-year left tackle Donovan Smith, who’s in a contract year. Despite rarely being viewed as a productive player by Pro Football Focus, Smith is well thought of among Bucs brass, per Stroud. Adam Humphries is another player the Bucs would like to retain, though they have a crowded receiver room. Chris Godwin‘s emerged as Tampa Bay’s No. 3 man and may be Evans’ top complement if DeSean Jackson ($10MM non-guaranteed salary in 2019) isn’t back next year. Humphries’ contract expires after this season.

Buccaneers Fire DC Mike Smith

The Buccaneers have fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Linebackers coach Mark Duffner will serve as Tampa Bay’s interim DC, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Smith’s firing shouldn’t come as a total surprise, as the Buccaneers have fielded one of the NFL’s worst defenses this season. Tampa Bay ranks dead last in points allowed per game (34.6) and 31st in yards per game, and has allowed a whopping 82 points over its past two contests, both of which were losses. The Buccaneers are now on pace to give up the most points in NFL history, per Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Advanced metrics aren’t a fan of Smith’s Buccaneers defense, either, as the club ranks last in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA, which measures overall efficiency. Tampa Bay also ranks poorly in pace stats, as the team is 31st in both yards allowed per drive and points allowed per drive. All of Football Outsiders’ metrics were calculated before the Buccaneers gave up 34 points to the Falcons on Sunday.

The Buccaneers attempted to revamp their defense over the offseason, especially along the defensive line, where they acquired Jason Pierre-Paul via trade, signed Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, and drafted Vita Vea in the first round. However, Tampa Bay ranks just 27th in adjusted sack rate. That’s an untenable lack of pressure, especially given the Buccaneers’ problems in the secondary, where starters Chris Conte and Vernon Hargreaves are on injured reserve.

Smith, 59, was hired as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator prior to the 2016 campaign, and the Buccaneers made him the NFL’s highest-paid DC, per Rapoport (Twitter link). While the Bucs’ defense finished a respectable 13th in defensive DVOA in 2016, the unit fell to 32nd in 2017 before its struggles continued into this season. Smith, of course, was the Falcons’ head coach from 2008-14, compiling a 66-46 record during that time.

Duffner, meanwhile, offers a wealth of coaching experience, both at the collegiate and pro level. He’s been with the Buccaneers since 2016, and has previously held linebacker coach positions with the Bengals, Packers, Jaguars, and Dolphins. Duffner served as defensive coordinator (in addition to his positional duties) in 2001-02.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers To Closely Evaluate Jameis Winston, Still Unsure Of Long-Term Future

  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) reports that Jameis Winston‘s job with the Buccaneers is pretty secure for the time being, but the rest of the season will be critical in determining Winston’s long-term future with the club. He is under club control through 2019 under the fifth-year option, but that option would cost the Bucs $20.9MM and is guaranteed for injury only, so if Winston performs poorly but remains healthy, Tampa Bay could conceivably cut ties after the 2018 season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/13/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

  • Released via injury settlement: FB Dan Vitale

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/18

Today’s minor moves will be posted here:

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Waived: WR J.J. Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

  • Waived off injured reserve: OT Cole Gardner

Ali Marpet Cash Flow Details

The 1-4 Falcons could face the Buccaneers without running back Devonta Freeman, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Freeman, who missed three games with an MCL sprain, is actually dealing with a new injury, as Rapoport indicates it’s a bone bruise that’s threatening to keep Freeman out of Sunday’s action. While Freeman didn’t practice today, he did work on the side, although his status for Week 6 is “in doubt, per Rapoport. Without Freeman, Atlanta would deploy a Tevin Coleman/Ito Smith combination that was used in Weeks 2-5.

  • Under the terms of his five-year extension with the Buccaneers, guard Ali Marpet will earn $12.365MM through one year, $23.25MM through two years, and $33.5MM through three years, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Among left guards, Marpet’s $11MM annual average now ranks third, behind only Andrew Norwell and Kelechi Osemele, while his $27.125MM in guarantees ranks second. Marpet, who has started 44 games during his time in the NFL, has displayed exceptional versatility, as he’s played both guard spots and center in his career.