The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that the NFL has suspended cornerback Ryan Smith for four games of the 2019 regular season without pay for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug (PED) policy.

Smith, who is entering a contract year, is eligible to participate in training camp and the 2019 preseason games, but will have to leave the team and the facility for four weeks. He is eligible to return after the Bucs’ game in Los Angeles against the Rams on September 30.

“We are disappointed that Ryan will be unavailable for the first four games of the season,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “We do extensive training and education for our players regarding the league’s polices, but ultimately each individual is responsible for what they put in their bodies.”

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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

27 COMMENTS

  1. Look, the way I see it, it’s a not-that-bad news
    We were not expecting him to be a starter, were we?
    Go Bucs!

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  2. Just shows that he is doing everything possible to compete with these new DBs to keep a roster spot. Hate it for him that he got caught. Should know better.

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  3. That is a disappointment. Looks like the rookies are going to push hard for playing time now.

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  4. I believe he’s our best Special Teams tackler, so that will hurt.

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  5. No big deal. Truth is he became a long shot to make the team with all the new blood we drafted the last two drafts. He was a corner, moved to safety, back to corner? He’s probably best suited to be a gym teacher.

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    • To make a joke of these young men’s lives and careers is insulting.

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  6. Austin Williams, that’s the first thing I thought of when I read it. He knew since he’s been moved around a bunch and with all the New Speed and competition in a contract year he knew it might be his last shot to stay in the NFL. I feel bad for him because it doesn’t always mean he was doing something that bad, but we should be fine…

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  7. CB Ryan Smith now suspended for the first 4 games of 2019 had a base salary of 2 million with escalators. Perhaps this opens the door for a veteran CB the Bucs have been interested in. Go Bucs!

    https://thepewterplank.com/2019/03/28/tampa-bay-buccaneers-offer-morris-claiborne-2019/

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    • To be clear, I’m not suggesting that the Bucs cut Smith. Let’s not be so quick to write him off. Ryan’s a solid S/Ts player and he’s a decent, experienced, inexpensive backup corner who can play both outside & nickel. The Bucs knew about this possible suspension in March. May have had something to do with emphasis on CB in the draft, but Smith is still here. Even with the suspension, he can still attend camp and even play preseason games, just can’t play the first 4 games of the regular season.

      All I’m saying is that he will not be there for the first 4 games and the Bucs could use some veteran experience in the CB room and this would be a good time to look at that. Go Bucs!

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  8. Reminds me of a funny line in Caddyshack. “The world needs ditch diggers too!”

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  9. Sorry to hear this. He’s a small school guy that has blazing speed and has been coming along. Also, easily our best special teams guy. Disappointing.

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  10. He’s been underwhelming so not really concerned.

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  11. He was on the fence anyway. Save 2million$, bring in a veteran now.(might hurt on special teams)

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  12. Would think at least one of our many 1st or 2nd RD picks could fill in on special teams for him? If not then we have problems. Also have probs if he was the starter again. He’s solid special teams and backup. Not starter material.

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  13. Meant one of our second or third rd DB’s since Lb white was first.

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  14. surferdudes, ouch.
    Smith was definitely going to be on the bubble this year.
    He has shown improvement since he got here, just not enough.

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  15. This is pretty harsh – he’s our jack of all trades in the secondary and one hell of a open field tackler…reminds me of Torrie Cox

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  16. Sad development but it opens the door for draft picks or free agent. There is always someone waiting to take advantage of an opportunity!

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  17. This is going to be a hit to CB depth. VH3 needs to stay healthy or else CB depth instantly becomes worrisome. My gut feeling says that they will bring in a vet CB as part of the final roster. The Bucs FO and coaching staff may even feel the need to bring a CB much sooner. Training camp opens soon, so a CB signed on the eve training camp is now in play it seems.

    I am rambling a bit but I think the Bucs are going to take an extra hard look at these rookies during training camp to see where they are at. The biggest struggle for these rookies will be adjusting to the NFL rules of no touching beyond 5 yards. As talented as Dean and Murphy-Bunting are they may have some struggles with this. This also means that Carlton Davis needs to really show some growth year 2.

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  18. For anybody wondering why we’re in Cap Hell, 2 Million for a backup CB when Julian Edelman only made 2.4 mil is why. I used to defend J Licht for some of his draft picks and such but this is ridiculous. Nothing against Ryan Smith but in a year with so much riding on so many to succeed, with no extra salary to go around, and after spending nearly all our draft capital on DB’s the last two drafts, We find ourselves paying 2 mil for a backup DB on roids. Belichecht stuck with Edelman last year when he was suspended for PED’s because he was an MVP caliber player and only making 2.4 mil on a Super Bowl Roster. Why on earth are we even thinking of sticking with R Smith with so many other needs on this team is beyond me. Every day that goes by and with every move this GM makes I get more confident that he is not the right man for the job. Sorry but still a Buc fan 4 Life!!!

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  19. Harsh perhaps, but he’s made more in his short career then most people make in a life time. He’s the idiot who did this to himself, whether through ignorance, or cheating to gain an advantage. I have no sympathy for the fool. Let’s get real about his talent. In the past some of you same posters thought he was burnt toast back there, and wanted him cut. If he was any good, we wouldn’t keep drafting DB’s. This is no great loss, cut him, and save 2 million, he’s not worth 2 cents.

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  20. Bucs lucky that the league caught Smith and not a more important player because they all do PED the league catches a few each year to make a show like they are doing something.
    Most PED done right are very hard to catch Smith must have used a fake of mislabeled drug.
    Lot of times fakes use tons of test to give results but player will get caught with testing.

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  21. @deeznuts Absolutely agree. I’ve seen him race across the field to make tackles in the secondary on pure speed and ability make that open field tackle that other guys can’t. He’s still developing, but the guy has talent.

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  22. Another Snake bite

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  23. It’s important to note that PED’s can be found in a lot of supplements – anyone who shops at a local GNC generally wouldn’t pass an NFL drug test. It’s like being a concealed carrier – you’re subject to additional laws and regulations so you have to be extremely well informed as an NFL player and really watch what you eat/drink. While I don’t know what he tested positive for, I doubt it’s anabolic steroids/growth hormone etc.lets be real – this guy isn’t built like Marc mcguire and Sammy sosa

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  24. NFL players are instructed to report to their weight training staffs on what they can and can no use in off season training. At this point either the weight training staff made an error or R. Smith went solo without authorization.

    Anyway you slice it this is no good.

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  25. So let me get this straight Bob. You contend that all NFL players use PED’s and that every once in a while some guy/girl at the lab picks someone at random to be an example that the league is taking steps to prevent it? As Moe, Curly and Larry might say, “Shirley you can’t be serious.”

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