Player News - Buccaneers

Date: Team: Pos:

Bucs signed second-round S Justin Evans to a four-year contract.

Physical with plus ball skills, Evans was a playmaker as a two-year starter for Texas A&M. He tested as an elite athlete at the Combine, and offers big-play ability on special teams. With Keith Tandy likely locked in at free safety, Evans will battle J.J. Wilcox and Chris Conte for snaps at strong safety.
May 25 - 4:02 PM

Doug Martin says he came out of drug treatment a "stronger person."

"It was a journey of self-development," Martin said. "I definitely turned a negative into a positive and I'm out here and I'm definitely a stronger person because of it." They're just words, but Martin's actions so far have appeared to match, as he's drawn raves from the Bucs for his offseason work. Once a cut candidate, Martin now appears likely to reclaim his starting job when he comes off suspension in Week 4.
Source: ESPN.com
May 25 - 2:31 PM

Bucs signed fifth-round RB Jeremy McNichols and third-round S Kendell Beckwith to four-year contracts.

Recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum, McNichols is targeting training camp for his NFL practice debut. A third-down type, McNichols figures to spend his rookie season buried on the depth chart. He'll need to show well on special teams in training camp.
May 23 - 6:39 PM

Bucs signed seventh-round DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu to a four-year contract.

After transferring from Utah, Tu'ikolovatu started 12 games for USC. He was graded as the No. 2 run-defending interior lineman in the class by PFF College. Despite the high praise, Tu'ikolovatu was a seventh-round selection because he tested as an eighth-percentile athlete, is 26 years old as a rookie, and offers zero pass rush. Tu'ikolovatu will be a run-stopping role player for the Bucs.
Source: ESPN
May 23 - 4:16 PM

Charles Sims (shoulder) is participating at the start of OTAs.

Sims was placed on injured reserve before Week 17 with what was reported as a pectoral injury, but he apparently underwent shoulder surgery this offseason. Either way, he is ready to go now. With Doug Martin suspended the first three games, Sims will compete with Jacquizz Rodgers and fifth-rounder Jeremy McNichols for snaps.
May 23 - 1:12 PM

Doug Martin appears to be working as the first-team running back at OTAs.

Martin being atop the depth chart is not a surprise considering how much praise he has garnered for his work this offseason. Things can change, but for now it looks like the Bucs are committed to Martin as their starter once he is able to return Week 4. Jacquizz Rodgers was second through the line behind Martin with Charles Sims third. Fifth-rounder Jeremy McNichols will also have a role to play.
May 23 - 11:25 AM

Bucs signed first-round TE O.J. Howard to a four-year contract.

As with all first-rounders, Howard's deal includes a team option for a fifth year. Howard is a rare talent at tight end who matches a video-game body and athleticism with dominant blocking ability. Rookie tight ends rarely contribute in fantasy, but Howard's skill set at least gives him a chance.
May 22 - 12:50 PM

Bucs signed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $3 million contract.

This should surely rile up the Colin Kaepernick crowd, as FitzMagic gets a job before Kap. Fitzpatrick was the worst quarterback in football last season, crumbling after a positive 2015 to throw 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, average 6.7 YPA, and finish near the bottom of the league with his 69.6 passer rating. Fitzpatrick will compete with Ryan Griffin to be Jameis Winston's No. 2.
May 19 - 9:58 AM

Jacquizz Rodgers has dropped six pounds this offseason.

The lost weight has reportedly added quickness to his game. Quizz is slated to open the year as Tampa's starter with Doug Martin suspended Weeks 1-3.
Source: ESPN
May 18 - 8:20 PM

Bucs OC Todd Monken said coach Dirk Koetter will continue to call plays this season.

Koetter flirted with giving up the play sheet, but he will keep doing what earned him the job in the first place. With DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard added to an offense on the upswing, the Bucs should take a big step forward this season.
May 18 - 12:41 PM

Mike Evans said having DeSean Jackson playing opposite him will be "very helpful."

Evans was still able to dominate last season as defenses keyed on stopping him, but having someone as dynamic as Jackson on the other side will make his job a lot easier. "This is going to be awesome," Evans said of the partnership. "Obviously, I think we could be one of the best tandems in the league. DeSean is an explosive receiver. I think we can do great things together." With Jameis Winston on the rise and first-round TE O.J. Howard in the fold, the Bucs have the makings of an explosive passing game.
May 18 - 10:16 AM

Bucs DE Jacquies Smith (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

Smith is eight months removed from a torn ACL. He’ll likely be moved slowly through training camp, but should be fine for Week 1. Smith will make $1.8 million before hitting free agency next offseason.
May 17 - 7:15 PM

Bucs re-signed restricted free agent DE Jacquies Smith to a one-year, $1.797 million contract.

Smith shopped himself on the RFA market, visiting the 49ers in March, but he wasn't able to lure a team into signing him to an offer sheet. He tore his ACL in last year's season opener after leading the team in sacks the previous year. Smith will again be a rotational piece off the edge for Tampa.
May 17 - 3:50 PM

Bucs sophomore DE Noah Spence said he has lost around ten pounds.

"I feel so much better," said Spence, who added he is "240, 243" right now after being listed at 251 last season. Spence's teammates seem impressed with the work he has put in. Gerald McCoy said he expects a "breakout year" from the sophomore while DE Robert Ayers said Spence could be "a 15-plus sack guy." Spence recorded 5.5 sacks in 572 defensive snaps as a rookie.
May 13 - 9:43 AM

Jameis Winston expects a bounce back year from suspended RB Doug Martin.

"One name that’s going to shock…Doug Martin," Winston said. "He looks incredible. The way he’s bursting and just being so explosive. It really shows his resilience and how well he's prepared this offseason." This falls in line with comments from GM Jason Licht. Martin was one of the biggest post-draft winners with the Bucs only adding Jeremy McNichols in the fifth round. Despite some offseason rumblings, the Bucs look committed to Martin as their starter.
May 10 - 7:16 PM


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