Tag:Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 5:44 pm

Fassel reaches out to Barber about playing in UFL

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Earlier this week, Tiki Barber announced that he'd like to play for the Buccaneers or the Steelers.

Not surprising: Barber wants to play for winning franchises. Even less surprising: Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh appear to have no interest in a 36-year-old running back with a ton of baggage who last played an NFL down in 2006.

But now, after a rough patch that included losing his $2 million-a-year gig with NBC and leaving his wife and kids for a 20-something former NBC intern (all while no one -- coaches, players, his brother -- came to Barber's defense), things seem to be looking up. Sort of.

Jim Fassel, the former Giants coach who's now the general manager and coach of the UFL's Las Vegas Locos, has reached out to Barber about joining his team.

"Tiki always kept himself in great shape," Fassel told USA Today recently. "There will definitely be an adjustment period for him to get in the flow of things and getting his body used to being hit again."

Tiki Time

Realistically, Barber's best shot to play professional football again will come in the UFL. And if we're to believe his agent when he says that money isn't the main issue, then the UFL makes even more sense.

As for what kind of compensation we're talking about, Wikipedia states that "In 2010, players earned $6,250 per game, for a total of $50,000 in the regular season; participants in the 2010 UFL Championship Game were paid a total of $10,000 each, with an additional $10,000 going to each player on the winning team. Starting quarterbacks earned a $200,000 salary."

That's pocket change for NFL players, but $50,000 was the median household income in the U.S. for 2009. And even if Barber does need the money, there aren't many jobs out there that will pay him more than that; the odds that he gets another television gig anytime soon are long, as are the chances he makes an NFL roster.

"If [NFL teams] don't have as much time [to practice because of the lockout], starting players are going to get most of the reps," Fassel said. "There is not going to be a lot of time for guys who need to prove themselves."

If Barber needs added incentive to play for an old coach in a new league, Fassel led the Locos to back-to-back championships in the first two years of the five-team league.

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 4:44 pm

Hot Routes 7.6.11: MJD losing carries already?

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Albert Breer of the NFL Network is sitting on the side of the street in New York (like, literally) waiting on lockout-related news. Here's his latest update.
  • SB Nation Atlanta reports that Sean Weatherspoon is going above and beyond what he needs to do during the lockout, getting together with Missouri teammates to workout. I have an unholy amount of love for 'Spoon and I'm hoping it doesn't manifest itself in an ill-advised DPOY pick this preseason.
Posted on: July 6, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 4:11 pm

Tiki's narrowed his list to Bucs, Steelers

Posted by Will Brinson

Ever since depression chased running back Tiki Barber into the NFL spotlight again, he's managed to stay in the news cycle, largely in part to the unholy amount of interviews he's given in recent weeks.

But thus far, he's only dropped clues about what team he'll be gracing with his presence when the 2011 season fires up.

Until now, anyway; in his latest chat, this time with Tom Pedulla of USA Today, Tiki offered up his preference to play for either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We're not looking to turn this into an auction," Tiki's agent Mark Lepselter said. "There are only a handful of coaches he would want to play for." There's just a couple of problems with this setup. First, Tiki is old, and that makes him the type of guy who won't be involved in an auction.

Tiki Time

Second, if he's narrowed down his list of choices to just two, he may find himself disappointed. That's because in order for his choices to matter, the Bucs and the Steelers have to also want Tiki.

Mike Freeman put it well in the Daily Shoutout today: "I don't think the Steelers and Bucs give a damn about Barber."

I'd agree. And I also think there are two pretty good pieces of evidence on hand as to why they don't care about Barber.

For the Steelers, Ryan Wilson's in-house breakdown of why Tiki to Pittsburgh doesn't make sense will suffice. (If you don't feel like reading: Barber's a bad fit, Mike Tomlin doesn't want the drama and Tiki's old.)

For Tampa, the biggest piece of evidence is something that's lacked: Ronde Barber's support.

This is, after all, Tiki's twin we're talking about, and he's yet to come out in support of his brother's return and/or the possibility of Tiki coming to Tampa Bay, even though he's found time to praise Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

So, yes, ironically enough, silence is the most damning evidence available for Tiki Barber.

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 8:58 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 9:05 pm

Gerald McCoy is buddies with Goodell

Smith and GoodellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

After NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke with the incoming rookie class at the NFLPA symposium in Bradenton, Fla., earlier this week, the two decided to catch a little Buccaneers player-led workout action.

And somebody was REALLY happy to see Goodell.

That would be rookie DT Gerald McCoy, who hugged Goodell at the NFL draft and then bear-hugged him again during the practice.

"I don't know how my teammates feel about me right now," McCoy joked to the St. Petersburg Times. "I was his friend before the lockout. I'm not going to not be his friend because of the lockout. … But he was with Smith, so that's a good sign. I'm optimistic about that. When I saw him, I gave him a hug and everybody was like, 'Really?' I don't care. They'll get over it."

Maybe they won’t get over it as quick as McCoy would like, especially after the report by CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman about the stalled negotiations from today -- after all, McCoy was fraternizing with the so-called enemy.

Other than McCoy, it seemed like players kept their distance from Goodell while Smith spent some time with Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman and a few others.

But Buccaneers C Jeff Faine had one hope for Goodell -- that he saw something special while at practice.

"Hopefully what this shows to the owners is there's more to football than money," Faine said. "We're out here on our own dime, out here getting better and hopefully putting on a good product out there for our fans."

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:04 pm

Freeman needs 'like a week' to get Bucs ready

Posted by Will Brinson

There's no common belief about how the lockout is affecting the preparation of NFL players -- some folks think it's going to result in a sloppy season, and others have said it'll end up producing the best football ever.

One thing is certain, though: NFL teams need some time to get ready. Well, everyone but the Buccaneers apparently -- Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman says he needs less than a fortnight to get his offense primed for the year.

“Yeah I mean I just need like a week to get us ready," Freeman said on WDAE in Tampa, via Sports Radio Interviews. It’s just a matter of staying focused cause with this lockout there’s no coach over your shoulder every day at practice coaching you. That’s a big advantage especially for young guys, but I mean you gotta hand it to Mark Dominik the type of guys he brings on this team are good, high character guys.

"They are professionals and their approach and take to the game. It allows us to get through this thing just like any other team and any other veteran team.”

Quick aside: I want some NFL player and/or sports star to start using "fortnight" randomly when doing interviews. (Freeman obviously didn't.) I feel as if that would draw a lot of "viral attention." Or something.

Anyway, so Freeman believes the Bucs can be ready in "like a week" … and I gotta say, I'm not so sure about that.

He's definitely spot-on by giving Mark Dominik praise for building a roster, because the Bucs' GM has done a killer job of flipping this team around in a short amount of time.

But reinventing a roster in a short stretch is vastly different from prepping for an entire NFL season in just a week, and it's hard to fathom that a young team like the Bucs could repeat their success from 2010 without ample preparation.

But then again, not many people saw last year coming in the first place, either.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 1:26 pm

Bucs sweetheart deal continues to insult

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In this economy, isn’t it the height of hubris to expect taxpayers to fund almost $19 million worth of improvements for a stadium that’s not even 15 years old? Especially in Florida where the real estate market is still terrible and teachers are being laid off and the governor is turning down federal transportation money?

Of course it is. But in the case of the Buccaneers and Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay organization doesn’t have to ask. It’s automatic.

As the St. Petersburg Times points out, the Buccaneers will receive $7.7 million for a new high def scoreboard and the rest will be in the form of new carpeting and icemakers to upgrade the luxury suites.

Brutal? I think so. Insulting? Um, yeah.

As Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune writes, “It's a testament to (the Glazers’) self-control that they kept from bursting out laughing when they signed the fleece – I mean the lease, the lease! This is such a sweetheart deal you'd think it was negotiated by Cupid. You just don't see deals like this anymore. I guess there's a reason for that.”

Of course, the voters have nobody to blame but themselves. They’re the ones, after all, who voted yes on a referendum in 1996 that would create a new taxpayer-funded stadium that would keep the organization in town for sure.

The Buccaneers don’t have to pay for construction costs, but they get to keep the money from anything that happens inside the stadium. No matter how much these fans love the team, it’s a crappy deal for the taxpayers.

So, what can change? In this case, nothing, because the Glazer family simply got a very nice deal from the city’s voters.

But there are lessons to be learned here – which the people in Minnesota seem to have gleaned. Namely, don’t give team owners who are threatening to leave your city whatever they want for stadiums. Because, in the end (and the taxpayers in Cincinnati can attest to this, as well), it’s going to cost you a whole bunch of money.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 10:40 pm

Bucs partner with Walgreens after furloughs

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I’ll leave the snarkiness to JoeBucsFan.com, but here’s the news of the day if you’re a Buccaneers fan or you happen to work for the squad.

Despite the fact that the organization just sent its employees on a week-long unpaid vacation, the team announced it has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship package with Walgreens.

“Having a renowned brand like Walgreens join our sponsorship family is tremendous,” said Bryan Glazer, Buccaneers Co-Chairman, in a release on the team’s website. “The Buccaneers take great pride in aligning ourselves with top brands.  Not only is Walgreens an industry leader, but more importantly they are leaders in communities and neighborhoods across the country. It is a thrill to have them on board, and we look forward to activating their programs with our fans.”

In response, Pro Football Talk had a pretty good idea to counter the, well, lame timing of this announcement: How ‘bout sending some of that money Walgreens will pay the Buccaneers to the employees who, through no fault of their own, just lost a week of pay.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 10:20 pm

A Barber finally defends Eli Manning

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It took nearly four years, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning finally got a vote of confidence from a Barber twin. Okay, it wasn't former teammate Tiki -- it was his brother. But it still counts.

Speaking as a panelist on NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2011," Ronde, who still plays for the Buccaneers, had this to say about Manning:

"Eli is definitely a franchise quarterback. I mean he is the Giants' franchise, much like his brother is in Indianapolis. Their offense is gonna go around the way he plays."

Ronde then added why Manning might have gotten short shrift from the fellow players who voted on the top 100. "Eli just has this element of inconsistency, and you feel like he's not gonna have the game that you need to when they need to have it. And I think players see that. ... Sometimes his body language doesn't project how good Eli is, and people get down on him. Players see just the same as the media sees -- he gets down on himself, team gets down on him -- and just I think that's the reason why the players kept him out of this list."

Historically, Manning did struggle with consistency. But he has completed more than 60 percent of his passes every season since 2008. That said, perception often plays a role in what amounts to a glorified popularity contest. If players remember Manning when he was short-hopping receivers, it will -- consciously or not -- affect their vote.

Looking at the bigger picture, this story is as much about Manning as it is about the Barbers. Tiki, now 36, retired from football in 2006, still at the top of his game, to pursue television. He left the NFL with his dignity intact, although things began to unravel shortly after he blasted Manning while working for NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast. NBC eventually dropped Tiki, who was also in the news for dumping his then eight-months-pregnant wife (with twins!) for an NBC intern. Most fans had forgotten about Tiki altogether until he recently announced that he was returning to the NFL because he missed the competition, which we took as a euphemism for "I could use the dough."

Meanwhile, Ronde (who, by virtue of being Tiki's twin, is also 36) has played in every game from 1998 to 2010, many of them at a Pro Bowl level, and all while managing to keep his name out of the news for non-football-related foolishness. There's something to be said for that, and something Tiki could certainly learn. (And as long as Ronde's holding meetings, he should invite Aqib Talib, too.)

If you're curious about the other quarterbacks to make the Top 100, here you go (via USA Today's The Huddle blog):

Donovan McNabb (No. 100), Joe Flacco (No. 90), Josh Freeman (N0. 86), Tony Romo (No. 72), Matt Ryan (No. 52) and Ben Roethlisberger (No. 41) already revealed. The final six figure to be Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com