The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Thursday the signing of five of the team’s eight selections from their 2019 NFL Draft class.

Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (second round), outside linebackerAnthony Nelson (fourth round), kicker Matt Gay (fifth round), wide receiver Scotty Miller (sixth round) and defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. (seventh round) all signed their rookie deals on the eve of Friday’s rookie mini-camp.

Murphy-Bunting (6-0, 195) was selected with the 39th pick in the draft, out of Central Michigan. In his three-year career, Murphy-Bunting started 25-of-38 games played, registering 104 tackles (3.5 for loss), 15 passes defensed, nine interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In 2018, Murphy-Bunting was named first-team All-Mid-American Conference and earned the Chippewas’ Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2017, Murphy-Bunting recorded a career-high five interceptions. Murphy-Bunting will wear No. 26 for Tampa Bay.

Iowa DE Anthony Nelson
Iowa DE Anthony Nelson – Photo courtesy of Iowa

Nelson (6-7, 271) was the 107th pick in the draft, out of Iowa. Nelson played in 37 games for the Hawkeyes, recording 119 tackles (31 for loss), 23.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery, which was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. In his final season at Iowa – after posting 9.5 sacks, tied for the second-most in the Big Ten and tied for the 17th most in the FBS – Nelson was named second-team All-Big-Ten by the league’s media and earned third-team honors from Phil Steele, as well as the league’s coaches. He also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against Minnesota, after matching a career high with three sacks. Edwards will wear No. 98 for Tampa Bay.

Gay (6-0, 232) was chosen with the 145th selection in the draft. Gay played two seasons at Utah, connecting on 56-of-65 career field goal attempts (86.2 pct.), while also making all 85 extra point attempts. Gay won the Lou Groza Award as the country’s top kicker in 2017 and was a semifinalist in 2018. A two-time All-American, Gay also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in both of his seasons with the Utes. He ranks third all-time in field goals made, including establishing a school record for field goals of 50-or-more yards made (eight). His career 86.2 field goal percentage ranks second in school history while his 253 kicking points scored rank third. In 2018, Gay set a school record with 21 consecutive made field goals. Gay will wear No. 9 for Tampa Bay.

Miller (5-9, 174) was the 208th selection in the draft, out of Bowling Green. In his career, Miller started 34-of-45 games played, catching 215 passes for 2,867 yards for 23 touchdowns. A three-time All-MAC selection (first-team 2016, second-team 2018, third-team 2017), Miller finished his career tied for the third-most receptions in school history, while ranking third in receiving yards. In 2018, Miller posted a career-best 1,148 receiving yards, the third-most in a season in school history. His 104.4 receiving yards per game in 2018 ranked him seventh in the FBS. Miller will wear No. 10 for Tampa Bay.

Missouri DT Terry Beckner, Jr.
Missouri DT Terry Beckner, Jr. – Photo courtesy of Missouri

Beckner Jr. (6-4, 296) was selected 215th overall, out of Missouri. Beckner played in 41 games for the Tigers, recording 120 tackles (32 for loss), 13.5 sacks, four passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and one interception, returned 49 yards. In 2018, Beckner led Missouri in tackles for loss (11.0), while ranking second on the team in sacks (3.5). He posted a career-best 7.0 sacks in 2017, which tied for the team lead. Beckner will wear No. 73 for Tampa Bay.

First-round selection Devin White and third-rounders Jamel Dean and safety Mike Edwards have yet to sign their rookie deals but are expected to participate in this weekend’s rookie mini-camp.

Possibly complicating the signing of White is the Bucs lack of salary cap space. Tampa Bay came into this week with the second lowest amount of cap space, thought to be just under $2 million.

– Part of this report is courtesy of the Buccaneers communications department 

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

22 COMMENTS

  1. Make the cuts already! We don’t even have money to sign our draft picks! JPP might not even be able to come back from his broken neck… so what?… we gonna wait a year or two to see? Cut him already! McCoy doesn’t want to be here anymore and it seemed like early after BAs hiring that he didn’t want him here here either… certainly not for $13 mil! That’s like 25 million wrapped up in these two players… who when they were both healthy got us 5 wins! Make the cuts already! That’s just business, nothing personal! We NEED the cap space! I’m just saying…

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  2. Cutting JPP before we even know if he will be out? The team hasn’t even announced anything yet. We don’t even know if Beckwith is going to be out. Cutting McCoy might be a mistake too. I hate to say that because I thought he was the obvious choice before the JPP news. At this point, I think Bucs need him. How they make it work? I have no idea.

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  3. McCoy should see the writing on the wall and be willing to redo his contract to about 5-6 mill and be a part of this turnaround to winning football in Tampa.

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  4. Bucs are doing their due diligence and being patient. Good work so far. Three more draft picks to sign and Bucs are ready for mini camp.

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  5. We are 3 strong drafts away from being a 500 team.
    We have the worst gm in the nfl so there isn’t a chance this will happening

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  6. Why is every one so worried about salary cap for draft picks? All it takes is making about 10 million of the total owed to Evans this year as a bonus. Its that simple. No point in cutting McCoy now just for cap space especially with the injury to JPP.

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  7. Because we need more than just 10 million! That’s why! What about FAs that become available after draft picks r signed and some vets are released? The Bucs have been active late in the free agency game before if they fill the talent is an upgrade to what they currently have on the roster! Why r so many of you concerned with potentially losing both McCoy and JPP, now with this neck injury and a 10 year vet on the other side of 30! Makes no sense to me! We had 5 wins when both were healthy! The future success of this franchise does not lye with these two aging vets! Thank u for ur service but time to move on. Let the youth movement begin. Let’s make the cuts now and start rebuilding for the future! So we don’t have to deal with these exact same issues…AGAIN!… next year! Here’s hoping the Buccaneers go 9-7 and challenge for a wildcard in the NFC… that’s the fan in me… reality says 4-5 wins unless we get some lucky breaks… then maybe 6-7 wins. Let’s starting building for the playoffs again! Sometimes it becomes addition by subtraction. I’m just saying…

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  8. So with your logic just because we were 5-11 with both McCoy and JPP on the roster that means that the two of them are worthless? Because they actually produced last year and we lost 7 games by one score or less they automatically are expendable? That’s absurd and I’m pretty sure you know that.

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  9. Of course they r not worthless! They have value… just not $26 million worth of talent! Both on the other side of 30. One with a chip on his shoulder because the new admin questioned his production versus his salary. The other…JPP is over 30. Has one and half hands after his fireworks accident… which has affected his overall ability and now he suffers a possible broken neck! Do you realize the toll a neck injury like the one some r reporting JPP has on an NFL career! I respect them both and genuinely thank them for their contributions to the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! I really do! In fact, I predict McCoy will be in Ring of Honor one day! It’s not my logic… it’s the facts! I’ll say it again… with both McCoy and JPP fully healthy we still had 5 wins! We have no cap money to pay our top draft picks. If JPPs salary can be paid by insurance company and the Bucs can recoup his salary back to the cap… then business wise… why wouldn’t u make that move? We r all huge Buc fans and just want them to get back to the playoffs! U will not do so by betting the farm on two over 30, 10 year vet Defensive linemen who r clearly on the downsides of their careers! Ur comment is based on emotion and not the facts as they r currently laid out! But, I do respect ur opinion and ur ability to post it here on PR. In the end, we both just want to see the Bucs win! But yes… to answer ur question… they both r expendable! I’m just saying…

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  10. @bucballer: I understand your logic and suspect at some point Jason Licht will address the situations with both players and likely a few others. There’s just no urgency to do it now.

    I agree with you that our Defense was ranked in the bottom five of the league in nearly every category with both of those players standing next to each other. Hard to comprehend being any worse without them. We in Bucville really have no idea what the organization knows and is planning. We only have a tidbit of information on which to base our opinions. As Dorris Day might sing, “What will be will be.”

    Me, I’m looking for ward to this weekend’s Mini Camp and the Pewter Report eyewitness accounts. Time to look ahead to a new season when anything can happen. Maybe even another “Worst to First” surprise.

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  11. I hope so Scubog! From ur lips to God’s ears! Go Bucs!

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  12. Today is Rookie Minicamp. Bruce Arians is busy planning a golf tournament. I presume all is well at the Bucs. I am not going to invest any more energy into the discussion involving cap space, Gerald McCoy, JPP or how those matters are resolved. I’ll know when I know.

    In case some of you are wondering how the Bucs can sign draft picks without increasing cap space. Remember during the offseason NFL teams are allowed to carry 90 players exceeding the cap. The cap is determined by the Top 51 salaried players. The draft picks signed are not in the Top 51. The only need 600k to sign the other draft picks with the exception of 1st rounder Devin White. Cuts must made to the Top 51 to sign him and they have lots of ways to do that without cutting McCoy or JPP. I’m not saying they won’t, I’m saying that’s not the only way to acquire the needed cap space.

    Draftees do not have to be signed to a contract to participate in team activities like Rookie Minicamp or OTAs. Remember 2018 1st round pick Vita Vea signed a 4 year contract with the Bucs worth $14,824,238 on May 24, 2018. I suspect about that time this year Devin White will sign his contract and matters regarding cap space will be settled. Joey Bosa/Chargers didn’t sign his contract until the end of preseason last year. Don’t fret Buc fans, this is Mark Greenberg territory. Players will be signed, cuts will be made, and BA will have his Oconee Golf Tournament. LOL. Go Bucs!

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  13. Bucs have 2 problems that they need address
    JPP will not find Dr to release him to play in NFL with fracture
    A. Cut him
    B pay him to not play.

    Gerald McCoy is worth 7 Mill
    A. Cut him
    B. Pay him 14 Million.
    Simple choices for small minds to make at Buc One
    What would the Pewter Boys ?

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  14. Now your a Dr. too dumbass? Talk about small minds you should know.

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  15. Always appreciate the insight Macabee.

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  16. We will see who the Dumbass is Fredster , wait tell the the 49ers first game and I can not wait see you jaw drop, when you first learn how bad this team will be.
    5 wins will be a distant dream of the past.

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  17. @macabee Mac, thanks for the salary cap tutorial, we all could use that from time to time as it makes no sense to mere mortals.

    I will chime in with a couple thoughts. Time and deadlines dictate deals. We need time to evaluate JPP. We need time to evaluate Beckwith. We need time to evaluate returning players. We need time to evaluate rookies. Those evaluations are the inputs coaches need to decide players they want to role the dice with or cut loose.

    My recollection from prior cap discussions is that an innocuous restructure of Mike Evans’ contract would free up all the cap space necessary to sign all of our rookies. The question then becomes when does the team need to make the big decisions regarding JPP and GMC. My guess is cap space won’t be the deciding factor, it will be player evaluations. And in that case, no deadline is in sight.

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    • I agree Dman, but the Bucs are hesitant/resistant to restructuring contracts and I assume because they create dead money. 5 years is an eternity in the life of a WR who they may want to cut/trade for the very reasons we’re having this discussion. This one gives me mixed emotions like driving your mother-in-law over a cliff in your new 600 class Mercedes Benz. lol. That is why I’m leaving it alone until they do something. Hope whatever they do benefits the opportunity to win now. Go Bucs!

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  18. Glad to see the team making progress with the new players. I trust that Bucs leadership will handle the salary cap situation with their collective professional expertise, and get everyone we need signed to a contract.

    Have a great day, Bucs fans!

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  19. Yes Bob ssa cub Bucs have been able to drop 7 really good starters with large paying contracts and replace them with back ups from other teams, using brilliant coaching we will fix those players and turn a last place team in to a dominate contender for years to come.
    And loss of McCoy and JPP will inspire the others to step up and even though Bowles ran the worst defence in league last three years he has Arians to fix him. Ya go bucs

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  20. @macabee: How, oh wise one, did you get the REPLY to work?

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    • Oh, how I wish. lol. scubog through trial and error I discovered that it is in the browser. I use a Windows 10 laptop that where I use both Chrome and Edge browsers. I use Chrome as my preferred browser but REPLY does not work with Chrome. I have an iPhone 7 plus that I use occasionally. It does not work with Safari either. When I want to respond, I click out of chrome, click on Edge and it works. My Dell premium support guy says it has been disabled by PR for whatever reason. I suspect the interchange between certain posters prompted the discontinuation. Personally, I don’t need it. I use it only when someone request a response from me by name. I hope this helps my friend! Go Bucs!

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