When the Buccaneers released cornerback Darrelle Revis last March, many fans and media members questioned how general manager Jason Licht was unable to get anything for the perennial Pro Bowl cornerback. On Thursday CBS Sports Insider Jason La Canfora wrote the Buccaneers actually did have multiple deals in place, but Revis and his agents forced the hands of the Buccaneers, thus allowing Revis to pick his team of choice.
La Canfora wrote, “Revis, as well as his agents, declined to speak about other teams or the specifics of any talks with them, but the list of potential suitors was long. NFL sources said the Raiders and Browns both had deals with Tampa essentially in place for Revis, but those trades were scuttled when it became clear that’s not where Revis would be interested in playing. Sources said Jets coach Rex Ryan was consumed with re-acquiring Revis — a former first-round pick of his and someone who could immediately lift New York’s depleted secondary (one that ended up damning their season), but could gain no traction with his appeals to ownership and the front office.”
Revis of course ended up in New England and will start for the Patriots in this Sunday’s Super Bowl, and the Buccaneers received nothing for the former Jets superstar.
First it was Chris Mortensen who claimed the Bucs were targeting Oregon quarterback earlier this week, and now ESPN’s Adam Schefter says “there’s a real sense that Tampa Bay has its sights set on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.”
Schefter doesn’t name any sources, instead claiming “a sense” possibly based on the assumptions of Mortensen earlier this week, who cited the hirings of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and quarterback coach Mike Bajakian as a reason Tampa Bay may be going in the direction of Mariota.
While many national pundits and scouts claim Winston is the better quarterback, the off-field issues will be taken into account. The Buccaneers have already begun the background process and will continue to look into Winston’s history before making a decision on which QB they select No. 1 in this April’s NFL Draft.
Another day and another opinion on the upcoming draft and a discussion of the top two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. This time NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah weighed on from Arizona, the site of the Super Bowl.
“I like Jameis Winston over Marcus Mariota from what I’ve studied on tape. You’re looking at someone who operated pretty much an NFL system, you’re looking at someone who can make all the NFL throws, can make those tight window throws, you see him move around within the pocket and do things you have to do at the next level,” Jeremiah said on NFL Network Wednesday. “I actually think Jameis Winston is more Ben Rothelisberger than Blake Bortles was. I’m high on him on the field. Off the field, you have a lot of stuff to sort through and teams have time to do that.”
“Marcus Mariota I think is a long-term play. I think if you draft him for Year One, Year Two, you’ll have to incorporate a lot of what he did at Oregon, a lot of the same offensive things, simplify things and let him use his legs. But he could have a nice payoff and develop down the line. If you want someone to just come in and play Day One, in an NFL system and come into your offense, I think it’s Jameis Winston.”
To watch the feature, along with a pro comparison video of both quarterbacks, click here.
As the debate on who the Buccaneers should take with the first overall pick in next April’s NFL Draft, opinions continue to be varied. While it is almost certain the Buccaneers will go quarterback with the first pick, will it be Jameis Winston, or Oregon’s Marcus Mariota?
One guy who has been in the Winston’s corner for a while is NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks.
Read Brooks’ mock draft, and watch the video of Brooks talking about Winston and why he thinks he is the best quarterback in the upcoming draft by clicking here.
The NFL offseason means draft blogs galore and SI.com’s Chris Burke put up first earlier this month. Burke has the Buccaneers selecting Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota over Jameis Winston, who he has falling in the draft.
In his mock draft, Burke noted when talking about Mariota, “The pro-Mariota crowd will point to the number of plays that came from him moving the pocket, all while keeping his eyes downfield, as well as the times he made rapid work of his progressions.
The current scouting report lies somewhere in between, though certainly closer to the positive end of the spectrum. He remains the No. 1 pick here because of the near-complete package of pure talent coupled with his advancements as a passer and a leader.”
To see the compete mock draft and see how far Winston falls, click here.
While most of the Bucs and Florida State connection talk in the upcoming draft revolve around Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston, the polarizing QB isn’t the only Nole on the Bucs radar. FSU guard Tre’ Jackson met with a number of NFL teams at last week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile and told PewterReport.com that Tampa Bay was one of those teams.
We asked Jackson, who earned Outstanding Player honors following last Saturday’s game, how difficult it was this season with the Seminoles under the national microscope.
“Coach Fisher has been preaching since I got there my freshmen year, to eliminate the clutter,” Jackson said. “That is something he really harped on. But we never really had to deal with it as we did this past year. But the way we were able to lock in on our opponent every week is something you don’t find that at many schools.”
Jackson was complimentary of his quarterback’s ability to deal with the outside adversity.
“When we saw the things he was going through, the things he was fighting and still come out and play his best game, continue to do things that Jameis Winston does, it drives you to eliminate the clutter and be the best.”
When asked who was the best quarterback in the upcoming draft, the obvious biased guard was quick with his answer.
“No question (he is the best quarterback),” Jackson said. “I think he is the best player in (all) of college football.”
Jackson said the thought of reuniting with Winston in Tampa Bay would be just fine with him.
“It would be a great feeling (to play for the Bucs),” Jackson said. “I never really thought about it until I started talking to Tampa out here this week. It would be a great feeling playing with Jameis Winston again.”
Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Jackson’s stellar play may have pushed his stock out of the Bucs range. Coming into the Senior Bowl most felt Jackson was a third-round pick, but some, including Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke, think Jackson could find himself being selected in the late first round after a great week in Mobile working with Jags line coach Tony Boselli.
Boselli talked to Seminoles.com last week at the Senior Bowl.
“He worked great at practice and did a good job of everything that was thrown at him,” Boselli said. “… He’s a good football player.”
It is that time of the year for mock drafts, big boards, draft rumors and everything in between. With the NFL Draft just over three months away, everyone is getting their opinions and thoughts out there, including NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler, who released his Top 50 draft board on Tuesday. Here are Brugler’s top five overall rated players and to see the full 50, click the link at the end of the story.
1. DT Leonard Williams, USC (6-4, 290, 4.88, JR)
Fast forward five years from now and if I had to guess the best NFL player from this draft class, it would be Williams with his combination of athleticism, power and versatility.
2. QB Jameis Winston, Florida State (6-4, 228, 4.83, rSO)
The maturity and off-field red flags are concerning, but Winston’s on-field play is impressive with natural traits and abilities that you don’t find often in 21-year old passers.
3. DE/OLB Dante Fowler, Florida (6-3, 266, 4.84, JR)
While he has some struggles against the run, Fowler has relentless energy and controlled explosion to disrupt the pocket and be a defensive difference-maker in a 3-4 scheme.
4. OG Brandon Scherff, Iowa (6-5, 315, 5.09, rSR)
A college left tackle, Scherff will be a tackle on some draft boards, but his best fit at the next level is inside at guard where he can dominate as a run blocker and pass protector.
5. WR Amari Cooper, Alabama (6-1, 205, 4.56, JR)
While not in the same conversation as AJ Green and Julio Jones as a prospect, Cooper is very detailed and well-rounded, making it tough to poke holes in his game.
To see the remaining 45 players on Brugler’s list, click here.
Erica Kinsman, the Florida State student who accused Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston of rape in 2012, has decided to come forward and tell her story on camera.
A documentary titled The Hunting Ground, premiered last Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, and takes a look at the epidemic of rape on college campuses and the lengths that some schools go to cover it up. The film, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick, doesn’t center around Kinsman and Winston only, but their story is included.
Kinsman for the first time, described the details of the alleged assault that took place on December 6, 2012 when Winston and Kinsman met at on-campus bar in Tallahassee. Winston has maintained the sexual encounter was consensual, and no charges were filed after an investigation by State Attorney Willie Meggs. Winston also faced disciplinary action from the school, but after a Code of Conduct hearing performed by former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding, it was ruled there was not enough evidence to support that Winston had violated the school’s code of conduct.
Winston, who led Florida State to a national championship as a freshmen, and an undefeated regular season as a sophomore, has declared for the upcoming NFL Draft and is projected as a top 5 pick by virtually all scouts and draft prognosticators. The Buccaneers hold the overall No. 1 pick in the draft and are thought to be strongly considering Winston.
From the NFL, released on Friday afternoon:
Our office has been conducting an investigation as to whether the footballs used in last Sunday’s AFC Championship Game complied with the specifications that are set forth in the playing rules. The investigation began based on information that suggested that the game balls used by the New England Patriots were not properly inflated to levels required by the playing rules, specifically Playing Rule 2, Section 1, which requires that the ball be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Prior to the game, the game officials inspect the footballs to be used by each team and confirm that this standard is satisfied, which was done before last Sunday’s game.
The investigation is being led jointly by NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells of the law firm of Paul Weiss. Mr. Wells and his firm bring additional expertise and a valuable independent perspective. The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly 40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise. We have obtained and are continuing to obtain additional information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence. We have retained Renaissance Associates, an investigatory firm with sophisticated forensic expertise to assist in reviewing electronic and video information.
The playing rules are intended to protect the fairness and integrity of our games. We take seriously claims that those rules have been violated and will fully investigate this matter without compromise or delay. The investigation is ongoing, will be thorough and objective, and is being pursued expeditiously. In the coming days, we expect to conduct numerous additional interviews, examine video and other forensic evidence, as well as relevant physical evidence. While the evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated. The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.
Upon being advised of the investigation, the Patriots promptly pledged their full cooperation and have made their personnel and other information available to us upon request. Our investigation will seek information from any and all relevant sources and we expect full cooperation from other clubs as well. As we develop more information and are in a position to reach conclusions, we will share them publicly.
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks released his first mock draft earlier this week and offered up his opinion on who the Bucs will take, as well as the rest of the league. While most early mocks have had Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston going in the first two picks, Brooks doesn’t agree.
To view his first round mock draft, click here.