Tag:Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

So ... many ... choices ... (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, the Colts released Peyton Manning, a sentence that still seems weird to write.

Also on Wednesday, the Manning-to-Team-X rumor mill got chugging along nicely. It's believed that as many as a dozen NFL teams (12!) have been in contact with Manning's camp, or Manning's agent Tom Condon. However, CBSSports.com's NFL Insider Mike Freeman reported Thursday morning that some folks believe Manning's already narrowed his list. Freeman points to the Dolphins, Redskins and ... Broncos as the short list.

Peyton's Free Agency

But for the sake of really figuring out who's in play, let's break down the teams that could've/should've/might've contacted Manning on Wednesday. Follow the parenthesis for the full count.

49ers (X) general manager Trent Baalke told everyone that the 49ers are not interested in Manning. That doesn't technically preclude any contact on their part, but it does point to a low interest level.

Despite the presence of Tebowmania, the Broncos (1) are absolutely interested in Manning. See: Freeman's report, as well as a report from Mike Klis of The Denver Post Wednesday, in which Klis says the Broncos will check in with Manning but believes they will likely stick with Tebow. That's probably more as a result of striking out on Manning, but as Freeman notes, maybe they're in play after all.  

The Dolphins (2) are quite obviously interested. Our buddy Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post believes the Dolphins are in the pole position to land Manning. And there's good reason to think Volin is right, the least of which is that he's in South Beach right now. (Well, we assume he's still there.) Adding to the pressure of Miami, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat Twitter account are all recruiting/harassing Peyton.

Speaking of the AFC East, the Jets (3) are another divisional team purportedly in hot pursuit of Manning. Or purportedly "split" about whether or not they want to chase Manning. They do. They know it. The problem? They just don't think they can actually get him, so they're trying to play it cool.

The most obvious suitor? The Washington Redskins (4), who essentially feel like they're already drunk-dialing Condon to talk about Manning. What? That counts as an "aggressive" pursuit of a free agent.

Or maybe the Seahawks (5) are the most aggressive team ... only they're going about it quietly. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported they'd be the first team on the phone with Peyton Wednesday, and Peter King and Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated both believe John Schneider and Pete Carroll would be in hot pursuit of Manning. It's interesting, as Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner notes, because Schneider said at the combine that he wasn't interested in "passing camp" quarterbacks.

Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN named a couple additional teams as well. Most notably, he cited the Chiefs (6) as a suitor for Manning. They make a lot of sense. Schefter also listed the Titans (7) as a team that contacted Manning, but that goes contrary to what they said they'd do. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean also reports that the Titans have not (6) had contact with Manning.

That's six teams, which is a lot. And yes, I'm ignoring the Titans. I'm also ignoring the Texans, who were already ruled out by King. So who are the other six teams?

The Cardinals (7) are a team that we haven't mentioned yet, but they're still my favorite to land Manning. They have a limited window to land Manning because of the Kevin Kolb roster bonus due on March 17, and they can't be too public about their pursuit of Manning (well, Darnell Dockett can). But maybe they don't have to be public about anything: Manning has reportedly put out his own "feelers" to talk with the Cards. It probably has nothing to do with Larry Fitzgerald.

Then there's a slew of cruddy teams that we should add off the bat: the Browns (8), the Bills (9) and the Jaguars (10) are all teams with quarterbacks. But they're also teams with quarterbacks who are not Peyton Manning. And if the respective GMs of those clubs didn't at least call and say "Hey, would he be interested in playing in our city for our team?" then they should be jailed for negligence.

So we need a pair of sleepers now. Let's rule out the rest of the AFC; for one reason or another, everyone has a quarterback. Let's also rule out the NFC East. We've already included the NFC West, sans the Rams. Only one team from the NFC South and the NFC North needs a quarterback.

So only two teams remain: the Vikings (11) and the Buccaneers (12). OK, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman are both recent first-round picks, but this is Peyton Manning we're talking about. They'd be nuts not to at least inquire through backchannels if there was any possible interest.

If you think I missed someone, leave em in the comments. Or argue why your team deserves Manning.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:32 am
Edited on: March 5, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Kickers Prater, Scobee get tagged; Barth too?

It's kicker franchise tag day in the NFL! (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

For many teams in 2011, kickers were the most important players on the roster. Or, at least, the most important free-agent-to-be anyway. The Buccaneers, Jaguars and Broncos all qualify as teams with valuable kickers, and they've reportedly decided to franchise Connor Barth, Josh Scobee and Matt Prater, respectively.

Latest NFL News, Notes

Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reports that Scobee will get the tag. Mike Klis of The Denver Post reports that Prater will get hit with the tag. And Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times notes that Barth will be the fifth kicker to get the tag.

The Jaguars have since confirmed that Scobee will receive the tag. But he's not happy about it.

"Josh is obviously disappointed in the choice to use the franchise tender," Scobee's agent Ken Harris told Ganguli. "While we have no plans of signing the tender at this point, we'll see if the long-term contract Josh deserves can eventually be reached."

The first two, naturally, were Mike Nugent of the Bengals and Phil Dawson of the Browns. (You would know this if you'd already bookmarked our franchise-tag tracker.)

Dawson was tagged last year, so he'll make $3.8 million in 2012. The rest of the kickers stand to make about $2.6 million in 2012 as guys who were tagged and receive a one-year, guaranteed contract from their respective teams.

And Prater is official now as well, with John Elway announcing the news on Twitter. (Where else, right?)

"Placing the franchise tag on Matt Prater ensures that he'll be a Bronco in 2012," Elway tweeted. "Matt's a very talented kicker & important part of our team. This gives us the ability to continue working on a long-term agreement."

Barth could be the fifth kicker tagged, but he has not yet been given that designation. There have only been reports that he could be tagged by the 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Scobee was outstanding in 2011, hitting on 92 percent of his field goals, including five of six from 50 yards or more. Barth hit two of three from 50 yards or more and also hit 92.9 percent of all his field goals. Prater only hit 76 percent of his field goals, but knocked down three of four from 50 or more yards, including a pair against the Bears that helped launch Tebowmania into the stratosphere.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:02 am
 

Aqib Talib will get another chance with Bucs

TalibBy Josh Katzowitz

After a nasty offseason following the 2010 season -- an offseason in which he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was indicted on that charge before blaming his mother -- the Buccaneers welcomed Aqib Talib back to the team for 2011.

Considering Talib hasn’t shown the ability to stay out of trouble during his career, it was a surprise that he wasn’t suspended for the alleged incident that occurred in Garland, Tx. It wasn’t, however, surprising that Talib played well for the Buccaneers, because, simply put, he’s a talented cornerback -- probably one of the 10-best in the league.

And most likely because of that talent, new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has decided Talib will start with a clean slate.

"I had a great meeting with him and we just kind of talked about life for a little bit,'' Schiano said, via the Tampa Bay Times. "I know there’s been some things in the past. But at the end of the day, the legal stuff that’s going on right now, hopefully that will get resolved. He tells me it will.

"Then from there, we’re just going to go. Every guy on this football team will know our expectations. There won’t be any, ‘Well, I thoughts.’ I think most of the time, frustration comes out as the result of unfulfilled expectations, my frustration and theirs. So if you make the expectations clear, then discipline really isn’t discipline, it’s a choice. You knew if you did this, everything is cool and if you don’t, there’s going to be consequences. That, to me, is not that complicated. But you have to make sure you’re very, very clear on what it is your expectations are.”

Talib is lucky to be in this position, considering former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris basically talked general manager Mark Dominik out of releasing Talib before last season began.

But with a new regime, Talib will get yet another chance. Of course, he still has to worry about the actual trial, which is set to begin in March. Talib told Schiano that he’s confident he’ll get a positive outcome from the trial.

For now, Schiano apparently is inclined to believe him. And inclined to believe that the risk of employing Talib will be less than the reward that could come.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:01 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Quarterback rankings

The 2012 free-agent quarterback class is an, um, diverse group. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling lists of the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the quarterbacks.

Though the list of free-agent quarterbacks for 2012 isn't necessarily the greatest crop of players in NFL history, it does have the potential to be one of the most intriguing in years, because of one man: Peyton Manning. Manning's saga is well-documented at this point; the back-and-forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay dominated the freaking Super Bowl.

Releasing him into the wild seems like a mere matter of timing. So we're going to take that assumption and add Manning to our lists of free agents. We're also including the Saints Drew Brees and 49ers Alex Smith on this list, since both are technically unrestricted free agents, until they receive the franchise tag from their respective teams. There's a better likelihood of Jimmy Clausen unseating Cam Newton than there is Brees not returning to New Orleans, but maybe someone in the Saints office will forget to fax in the franchise-tag paperwork.


Brees offseason could be interesting.  (Getty Images)

1. Drew Brees

Breakdown: The biggest problem for the Saints isn't that Brees might leave. He's not going to unless something really ridiculous happens. The biggest problem for the Saints is that if they're forced to use the franchise tag on Brees, they could end up losing Carl Nicks and Marques Colston. That won't make Brees any happier when it gets down to brass-tack negotiating.
Potential Landing Spots: Saints

2. Peyton Manning

Breakdown: Perhaps you've heard of Manning before. He's third all-time in passing yards (54,828). He's third all-time in passing touchdowns (399). He's won more MVPs than anyone in NFL history (four). And he's second in his own family with Super Bowl rings (one). That last item isn't a shot at Manning, though. It's the reason we believe he's not done when it comes to football, and that he'll come back to the game supremely motivated. No one knows whether or not he'll be fully healthy by the time the 2012 season begins. We do know he won't be fully healthy by the time March 13 rolls around, though. Which means that anyone who signs him will be engaging in a serious high-risk, high-reward game of chicken with Manning's neck.
Potential Landing Spots: Cardinals, Dolphins, Seahawks, Jets, Redskins

3. Matt Flynn

Breakdown: Flynn's attempted just 132 passes at the professional level, but 81 of them are pretty impressive. Those came in the only two starts of his career, when Flynn managed to go 55 of 81 for 731 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. There are concerns that Flynn can't make every throw (right now) and that he might be a product of Green Bay's system. But that system's in Miami now, as former Packers quarterbacks coach Joe Philbin is the Dolphins head coach. If Miami doesn't make a run at Flynn when free agency opens up, that should be a big red flag for anyone else interested in Aaron Rodgers backup.
Potential Landing Spots: Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins

4. Alex Smith

Breakdown: Smith resurrected his career under new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and, in the span of about two playoff minutes against the Saints, nearly flipped the entire narrative of his career. As it is, Smith's improvement in 2011 is impressive; according to Pro Football Focus, he had the third-highest accuracy percentage in the NFL (factoring in drops, throwaways and spikes) last year, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Smith's said he isn't interested in leaving San Francisco, and Harbaugh's gotten his back publicly, even though there's zero chance they'll use the franchise tag on him.
Potential Landing Spots: 49ers
Henne could surprise in the right spot. (Getty Images)

5. Chad Henne

Breakdown: Miami drafting a quarterback in the second round: an April tradition unlike any other! But no, seriously, Henne's in a long line of signal-callers that the Dolphins took in the second round who didn't pan out. He's had serious problems with interceptions; Henne's got a 3.5 percent INT rate over his career and only nine of his 36 NFL games have not featured him throwing a pick. And Henne tends to look particularly robotic at times in the pocket (these things go hand in hand). But he's only 26 and it's not fair to blame him for all of Miami's woes the past three years. Henne can make all the throws and flashed some serious potential at times during his tenure in South Beach. He's the highest-upside backup quarterback out there and he's got several former coaches -- Brian Daboll, Tony Sparano -- coaching in spots that could use a backup quarterback.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Jets, Broncos

6. Jason Campbell

Breakdown: It's hard not to feel sympathetic for Campbell. The former Auburn star and first-round pick has had roughly 25 offensive coordinators since he started taking snaps in college and he's about to start out on his third NFL roster once the free-agency shuffling begins anew this year. He's 30 and hasn't played a full season in the past two years, either because of injury or being benched. The latter was for Bruce Gradkowski, so it's hard to tell what's worse for his reputation. He makes a lot of sense for a team that wants someone to push their starter without making a stink in the locker room.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Eagles, Jets

NFL Free Agency

7. Kyle Orton

Breakdown: Orton's was a "winner" with the Bears, he was a stat-hog for a season with the Broncos, he flirted with the Dolphins and finally he was a streak-killer with the Chiefs. He's not going to be anyone's starter in 2011, unless Washington seriously misplays everything in free agency and the draft (not out of the question). But he's an above-average backup in the NFL and could certainly compete with the starters that various teams -- KC, Washington, Jacksonville, for example -- will trot out in 2011. Orton doesn't want to deal with being a "stop-gap option" but it's unlikely he'll have a choice next year.
Potential Landing Spots:
Redskins, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears, Broncos

8. David Garrard

Breakdown: Pete Prisco's second-favorite quarterback missed the entire 2011 season after the Jaguars cut him and he underwent surgery for a herniated disk in his back. There was interest in the 34-year-old last year after teams lost quarterbacks to injury, but he decided to recover from the surgery instead. While that's the smart move, Garrard won't find the market as friendly for his services this time, especially since his agent said on February 15 Garrard would be ready in "four to six weeks." Expect someone with a steady starter and tenuous backup to look to Garrard.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Broncos, Buccaneers, Rams, Raiders

9. Shaun Hill

Breakdown: Hill's 32 and not exactly a spring chicken. But he performed admirably in place of Matthew Stafford in 2010 and the fit between he and the Lions is a nice one. The Lions are tight with cap space, but Hill appears to like where he's at, and it's not like he'd break the bank in another location anyway.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions
VY's likely to remain a backup. (Getty Images)

10. Vince Young

Breakdown: Now seems like a good time to remind you that the guy who coined "Dream Team" in Philly was indeed the backup quarterback and someone on a one-year contract. His personality and turnovers will cause a problem for teams looking to sign him. Unless that team happens to run the read-option offense and could really use a mobile quarterback with success in the NFL to step in and freelance if/when Tim Tebow gets hurt/melts down.
Potential Landing Spots: Broncos

11. Rex Grossman

Breakdown: Did you know that Rex Grossman is actually "Rex Grossman III"? Poor Mike Shanahan had RG3 on his roster the whole time and didn't even know it. Sigh. Anyway, Grossman's not going to attract a lot of attention on the market, and nor should he. As the old saying goes, though, "love the one you're with." And Grossman and the Shanahans are with each other, even if Rex isn't starting next year. It would be surprising to see him playing anywhere else in 2012.
Potential Landing Spots: Redskins

HONORABLE MENTION

Unrestricted Free Agents: Dennis Dixon, Josh Johnson, Brady Quinn, Charlie Whitehurst, Donovan McNabb, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, Caleb Hanie, Charlie Batch, Kellen Clemens

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:15 pm
 

Report: Bucs to hire Bill Sheridan as DC

By Josh Katzowitz

Bill Sheridan hasn’t had much success in the NFL recently, getting fired as the Giants defensive coordinator after the 2009 season and then coaching linebackers on the ill-fated 2011 Dolphins squad.

Latest NFL news, notes
Actually,  he was recently hired to Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State, but now, he’s leaving that job to go work for the Buccaneers.

Which is great news for a guy whose squad allowed 427 points, the second-most ever allowed by a Giants squad, in his only year as the defensive coordinator.

The Lantern, Ohio State’s student paper, broke the news and wrote that the school confirmed Sheridan is leaving the Buckeyes program.

Sheridan will join a franchise that now includes Butch Davis as an advisor to Schiano, Mike Sullivan as the offensive coordinator and former 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye as an offensive assistant.

Also, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bucs also will hire former Dolphins linebacker Bryan Cox as a defensive assistant.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:00 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 1:03 pm
 

Buccaneers tell Albert Haynesworth goodbye

HaynesworthBy Josh Katzowitz

The Buccaneers announced Wednesday that they’ve released well-traveled (and much-mocked) defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, the third team in the past season which has decided it’d be better off without him.

Haynesworth -- the $100 million man with the Redskins who was traded by Washington before last season and who was then axed by the Patriots in the middle of 2011 before signing with Tampa Bay -- started six of seven games with the Buccaneers, recording 25 tackles.

As Rotoworld’s Evan Silva points out, with Tampa Bay not having to pay Haynesworth’s 2012 base salary of $6.7 million and a $400,000 roster bonus, the Buccaneers will save $7.2 million on its salary cap. 

"I appreciate Albert playing for us after some key injuries this past season," general manager Mark Dominik said in a statement. "He was very professional and we now wish him all the best as he moves forward."

Latest NFL news
Perhaps the biggest shocker in the whole “Haynesworth to Tampa Bay” storyline is that he didn’t make much of a peep. He didn’t get arrested. He wasn’t so obviously hated by his teammates and coaches. He seemed to be a better teammate. He seemed a more positive person.

But the question is: can he still play?  Maybe not.

“This year right here, you’ve probably seen me at my worst,” Haynesworth told the Tampa Bay Times after the season. “I mean just as far as my play. I still did some good things, but I just think that next year I’ll be a hell of a lot better, back closer to my ’08 form.”

With all of Haynesworth’s baggage, though, will anybody give him another chance?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 12:19 pm
 

Morris 'wouldn't change anything' about Bucs job

Morrsi

By Josh Katzowitz

As new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano continues to add to his coaching staff, former coach Raheem Morris, fired last season, looks back and thinks, well, everything during his tenure was fine.

“I wouldn’t change anything about it,” Moriss told WDAE in Tampa, via sportsradiointerviews.com. “You put yourself in a position of power and you put yourself out there and you want to go out there and want to be great and we had the opportunity and almost pulled it off. I take no ill-will, no negative feelings toward those guys, toward the Bucs organization at all. … Now we’ve separated and I wish those guys nothing but the best.”

In reality, Morris, out of three years in charge in Tampa Bay, had one good season -- in 2010 when the team went 10-6 (otherwise, his record was an unimpressive 17-31). But last season, it was clear the team had plenty of problems, including a lack of discipline and players that seemed to quit toward the end of the year.

"Here's the thing: in order to be a great team in the NFL, coming off a 10-win season, you're not going to surprise anybody anymore," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said during Super Bowl week. "So you're going to get everyone's best. And you can't do the same things if you're going to be great in this league. I learned that from Warren Sapp. You've got to give them something new.

Latest NFL news
"I just think our discipline level dropped a little bit. We kind of had the second-year slump coming off a 10-win season and kind of living off that.”

Though Morris said he would be content not to change anything from his three years with the Buccaneers, he also realizes he made some mistakes.*

*If it was me and I had the opportunity to change my Tampa Bay tenure, I would change the mistakes I had made. But hey, that’s me.

“When you get put in those positions, you make more than one mistake and I certainly can tell you I made some mistakes,” said Morris, now the defensive backs coach in Washington. “… With all that being said, those mistakes you have to make in order to go into battle. When you make these calls and go through these things, you believe in them. When you look back, and reflect, if they were mistakes, it’s something you can sit there and deal with, and I do.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:07 am
 

Schiano hires Raye, another veteran assistant

Schiano

By Josh Katzowitz

For those who worried that new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano would have a tough time transitioning to the pro game after spending the past decade coaching Rutgers, he has continued surrounding himself with veterans to help ease him into his new job.

A couple days after the team officially hired former Browns head coach Butch Davis as an advisor to Schiano, Tampa Bay announced that it has hired Jimmy Raye as a senior offensive assistant.

"With over 30 years of NFL experience, coach Raye has attained a wealth of knowledge that will be an invaluable resource to our coaches and players," Schiano said in a statement released by the team.

Raye has coached for 40 seasons, including 34 in the NFL, and he was the Buccaneers offensive coordinator from 1985-86.  He’s also served as the offensive coordinator for the Rams, Patriots, Chiefs, Redskins, Raiders and 49ers.

So, yeah, the guy has experience putting together NFL offenses (though he won’t be the offensive coordinator for Schiano -- that job has already gone to Mike Sullivan).

But you might recall the last we heard from Raye was when he was the 49ers offensive coordinator in the final season of Mike Singletary’s reign as coach in 2010. The day after Singletary gave Raye a public vote of confidence just three games into the season, Singletary fired him.

So, like Davis (fired from his last two jobs), Raye probably can provide Schiano with guidance, but you have to begin to wonder if Schiano requires that his assistants had to have been fired within the past two years before he'll consider them for a job.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com