PewterReport.com is in Indianapolis for the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine and will be covering all the news pertaining to the Bucs this week. Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht will be addressing the media on Wednesday, February 27 at 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., respectively.

Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Beckwith’s Status For 2019 In Jeopardy

Tampa Bay linebacker Kendell Beckwith missed all of last year while recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in a car accident last offseason. After missing OTAs and training camp, the team was hopeful that Beckwith would be able to join the team midseason as he continued his rehab and recovery.

But Beckwith encountered some setbacks once he began practicing with the team in November and was placed on the Reserve/NFI (Non-Football Injury) list on November 19.

“We’re not going to be able to activate Kendell – Kendell’s not going to be ready,” former Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said on Nov. 19. “Kendell made progress and he worked his tail off to get back. I don’t think people can appreciate how serious of a surgery he had. It was an uphill battle. He worked hard to get back, but he’s just not going to get back to a point where he feels comfortable playing at the level that he knows he can play at. He’s going to [remain on Reserve/NFI]. Bad break for Kendell with this whole car accident thing. Just wish him the best for continued improvement.”

The news isn’t optimistic about Beckwith being able to play in 2019 just yet, either. The team even has some concerns that Beckwith’s injury might be career-ending, although they are holding out hope that something in his recovery will change for the better this offseason.

With the ominous whispers that PewterReport.com has heard about Beckwith’s future in Tampa Bay, it’s no wonder we have had the Bucs picking LSU linebacker Devin White in the first round in each of the first two PewterReport.com 2019 Bucs’ 6-Round Mock Drafts this year.

It will be interesting to hear what Arians and Licht have to say about Beckwith on Wednesday from Indianapolis.

Brate Will Be Return To Tampa Bay In 2019

Bucs TE Cameron Brate - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs TE Cameron Brate – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs tight end Cameron Brate isn’t going anywhere this offseason. Despite the Bucs needing some salary cap room and Brate being the ninth-highest player in Tampa Bay this year with a $7 million base salary, the team has no plans to trade him or release him to help create some cap space. A year after catching 48 passes for 591 yards and six touchdowns, Brate had just 30 catches for 289 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 while dealing with a torn labrum in his hip.

The injury occurred during the 2017 season but never fully healed as the team had hoped prior to the 2018 campaign. Brate had to endure the pain all season before having surgery on hip on January 19 to repair the tear.

With the Bucs wanting to see how Jameis Winston performs in his fifth-year option season, they’ll need to surround him with some of his favorite targets, and Brate is Winston’s go-to guy in the red zone. Over the past three years, Brate has caught 20 touchdown passes – the most by a tight end over that three-year span.

Don’t expect Brate to take a pay cut, either. Licht is not a believer in reducing players’ salaries because it can reduce some players’ incentive to perform up to their abilities because of the ill will created by making the player to have to play for less.

Humphries Might Not Be Back

As PewterReport.com has previously reported, the Bucs are bracing to lose Adam Humphries in free agency. Humphries is coming off a career year in which he set career highs in catches (71), yards (816) and touchdowns (five) during the 2018 season, and given the thin market at the receiver position in free agency, Humphries could command between $8 million – $10 million per year on the open market.

That’s more than the Bucs are willing to pay for a player they view as a No. 3 receiver behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – and No. 4 if DeSean Jackson returns for another season in Tampa Bay in what would be the final year of his contract. The Bucs would prefer paying Humphries closer to $6 million per year, so there is a huge discrepancy between both sides.

Bucs WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Tampa Bay has around $16 million in salary cap room right now, so the team will have to make some hard choices this year when it comes to free agency. There are only so many balls to go around with Evans, Godwin and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate must be factored high on to the target list, too. Humphries could wind up in Dallas, Carolina and New England this offseason, and his departure coupled with a big money contract elsewhere could lead to a third-round compensatory draft pick for the Bucs in 2020.

Fitzpatrick Likely Done In Tampa Bay

Ryan Fitzpatrick likely won’t be back as Jameis Winston’s backup in 2019 because of his success last season. With 2019 being the dedicated year to find out if Winston is worthy of a long-term contract extension after his fifth-year option, new head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t want any potential division in the locker room. Arians wants unity behind Winston without his starting quarterback looking over his shoulder.

Winston had to wait until Fitzpatrick floundered in Chicago in Week 4 to get his starting job back, only to lose it after a four-interception performance at Cincinnati. Two weeks later, Winston was reinserted as the starter. If Arians has his way, Winston – barring an injury – will be the 16-game starter this season. Because of Fitzpatrick’s success last year, Arians can’t have any players pining for Fitzpatrick if Winston falters due to last year’s dynamic that affected Winston’s play upon his return from a three-game suspension.

With both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin poised to become unrestricted free agents, the Bucs will likely be looking for a new veteran backup behind Winston, and could possibly draft a quarterback, too.

Is The Franchise Tag Coming For Smith?

Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg will be meeting with agents in Indianapolis, including the representatives for left tackle Donovan Smith, who is a pending free agent. There’s not a whole lot of new information to report on Smith’s contract talks and the chance he could be slapped with the franchise tag.

Bucs LT Donovan Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

But one new caveat could be that the Bucs will most likely use the tag on him if Smith’s contract demands are higher than $12 million per year and a long-term deal can’t be worked out before free agency begins on March 13. Using the franchise tag on Smith will cost the Bucs $14 million this year, and it’s almost worth doing to give Smith one more “contract year” situation to prove himself worthy of a long-term deal under Tampa Bay’s new coaching staff if Smith’s demands are at or above $13 million per year.

Will McCoy And Jackson Stay In Tampa Bay?

Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud reported that Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will stay in Tampa Bay for a tenth season and not be asked to take a pay cut from his $13 million salary he’s due in 2019. Stroud’s report was pretty definitive, but PewterReport.com could not get a definitive confirmation about McCoy’s future with the team.

Arians and Licht will both be asked about McCoy’s future and the future of wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who is due to make $10 million this year, on Wednesday when they take to the podium to address the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, and perhaps they will provide some clarity on the future of both star players in Tampa Bay for the 2019 campaign. Jackson has said that he wants out of Tampa Bay, but Arians has expressed an interest in keeping the deep threat receiver with the Bucs for one more year.

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 spent six years 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]
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BigSombrero

I’m betting they just say they’re focused on draft candidates while in Indy. We’ll know what’s happening when it actually happens, but SRs inside scoop is appreciated.

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MizzouBucs24

Djax has to go. 2 reasons. 1. He is not worth 10mil and 2. He doesn’t even want to be a Buc so why keep him around. Cut him and bring Humphries back or sign a Olineman but don’t keep entertaining this clown.

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BigSombrero

NFL Network said today that if D.Jax is cut, he will likely command MORE than his 10m salary for 2019 because he will be the #1 WR free agent. Because of that, it makes it extremely unlikely the Bucs will cut him outright. They will trade him or keep him. If they trade him, he could likely fetch a 3rd round pick, which is what the Eagles gave for Golden Tate last year. I’ve said it on here many times that Oakland has the draft capital to pull the trigger and D.Jax would be returning home. Also, Gruden LOVES old… Read more »

MizzouBucs24

Agreed if we can trade him then do it. The problem is no one wants give up anything for him because he is a cancer to your locker room. 10 mil is cheap for a #2 receiver heck Sammy Watkins got 16 mil from the Chiefs and he’s the third option in that offense. So yea 10 mil is cheap but yet no team is throwing draft picks at us. Not bringing back Humphries is worse than not getting a draft pick for DJax

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BigSombrero

Hump is great but as much as we appreciate him, Arians hasn’t used a welker/edelman/hump type of receiver in his offense at any stop along the way. As much as we view DJax as a cancer who needs to go, he is talented and very fast. There are plenty of teams who would love him on their squad, including Bruce Arians. As far as not trading him last year, it’s the same for this year. Licht needs to win or rumor has it that he’s supposedly gone. I would guess the odds of DJax remaining a Buc are 75/25. Rate… Read more »

macabee

Bucs Mock Draft – Pre-Combine Draft Strategy – Trade Down I will look to trade down in this scrum of teams trying to get the best QB. After QB Kyler Murray Joined Dwayne Haskins, Will Grier, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones in the draft, it’s setting up for a QB scramble and the Bucs are in the perfect spot. Let me be clear. If Kliff Kingsbury/Arizona falls in love with Kyler Murray and one of the big 3 fall, I’m taking him at 5. Please notice that I threw the trade values book out of the window when trading for… Read more »

Spartan01

Very similar mock to what I’ve got on my board. Rounds 1 and 2 are exactly spot on with slight differences after that.

RD1 – ILB Devin White
RD2 – OG Chris Lindstrom
RD2 – DE Charles Omenihu
RD3 – CB Joejuan Williams
RD3 – OT Bobby Evans
RD4 – DE Anthony Nelson
RD5 – QB Tyree Jackson
RD7 – RB Devine Ozigbo

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Rich

Mac agree with your philosophy but have a comment/question. Prior to free agency the Buc’s biggest needs appear to be RG, LCB, and LB. We have no starting caliber RG or LCB. The LB position is a big question mark due to injuries. I believe it was Trevor who last year wrote an article commenting how it was foolish to count on injured players returning from IR going into the draft. However all four Buc Battle plans plus yours are counting on Howard, Hargreaves, Alexander, Beckwith and J. Evans being major contributors. My question for you is with LCB being… Read more »

Rich

Sorry, my keyboard crashed.
RD3-LB/Edge Hanks or highest ranking LB/EdgeRB/WR
RD4-DL Nelson or highest ranking DL
Rd5-CB I. Johnson or highest ranking CB
RD7-RB/WR/KR/PR Pollard

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macabee

Rich, I agree about CB and I went back and forth in the 2nd round between Amani Aruwayrie/Penn State and Roc Ya Sin/Temple. The Bucs drafted Hargreaves, then drafted 2 CBs in the 2nd round last year. I have come to the conclusion, they are better off getting a CB in FA and stay away from the Draft. You might have made the same observation about RB. I tried to cover ROG with the Chris Lindstrom pick. He is the Best OG in the draft and will not be there in the 3rd. I think the lesson here my friend… Read more »

Spitfire

That wouldn’t be bad but from the Mocks I’ve been lookin at lately, it looks like Lindstrom might not make it out of the first round. He sounds like he’s be the most solid Guard to get which is our biggest need on the Oline. He would be a good pick up if we end up in a good spot to get him.

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scubog

I like how you think Mac.

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Colin O'Connell

I love Humpries, but i don’t see how teams are going to justify paying him over 6mil to be a 3rd/4th target kind of guy. Besides Cobb (10mil) and Albert Wilson (8mil), which I think we can all agree were greatly overpaid, slot receivers just aren’t making that much.
The next highest 3
Taylor’s Gabriel 6.5mil
Amendola 6mil
Edelman 5.5
I haven’t seen the plays on boundary for him to get offered more than 6mil

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Spitfire

Point is, they expect someone to pay him 8-10 mil to be their WR2

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EricNV

I think most of us (possible exception being BucAss Bob) might finally agree that the 1st round pick will be Devon White, depending upon how well he does at the Combine.

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BigSombrero

I like Devon White. His game is built on speed and power. I think it’s becoming increasingly possible that kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins go in the top 4. Teams move up for QBs. Giants and Jags could move up to 1 and 2. They’re comparable to Goff and Wentz going 1/2. If that happens, the Bucs should take Quinnen Williams, Allen or Bosa.

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EricNV

I’ll go with you on Q Williams, Allen, or Bosa at no. 5 I just don’t see any of those three being available if we trade down to 7, although I would be just as happy if we picked up Ed Oliver at 7 or 15 as I would be if we got White.

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EricNV

I don’t care what the team is saying right now about who is staying and not restructuring salaries. If it wasn’t for the 20 million due to Winston and the need to pay Smith, I’d probably put more stock in statements about McCoy not going anywhere and not taking a pay cut, Brate not going anywhere, and DJax staying in Tampa another year. The cap room ain’t there, and if the cap room ain’t there, some players are going to be cut and/or traded!

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drdneast

I tend to agree with you EricNV. I really like Brate but having him as your No, 2 TE making $7 million is a luxury this team can’t afford. His numbers were very pedestrian until OJ Howard got hurt. I would much rather pay Humprhies the $7 mill and maybe get a third round for Brate. Detroit is dying for a proven pass catching TE to name one team. Would like to see Jackson and his attitude gone as well. I am very ambivalent about McCoy but really don’t think he is worth $13 million and neither does Pro Football… Read more »

macabee

Winston needs a Gisele! Lol.
Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady both know what it’s like to be at the peak of their respective games, but only one holds top status when it comes to income in their household.

Bundchen earned an estimated $30.5 million in the last year, USA Today reported Wednesday, citing Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid models.

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FLBoy84

Understand your thoughts on JW taking less ala Brady, but Tom’s made over $200M just in salary already, not including the multiple endorsement deals he has. JW’s first contract was $25M and he’s scheduled to make another $20M this season. Not sure he’s willing to give discounts this early in his career, but would be great if he did.

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Deadpool

“Brate Will Be Return To Tampa Bay In 2019”

Oops heading.

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Easythe great

Hump catches EVERYTHING thrown his way… Use some of D-Jax money and fucking pay the man!!! Regardless of Arians using a slot receiver or not he’s one of Winstons favorite targets.

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Dman

Would be interested in the detail on Beckwith’s and where the sources for this story are coming from.

All the reports have been fuzzy

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fredster

I broke my ankle badly in 1995. It was never the same. Not sure what type his was but mine twisted and shattered. 14 screws and plate in my leg it cork screw shattered. Ankle had to be screwed back together. It has never been same or 100% mobility. Hope his wasn’t as severe or career could be over. In a perfect work Hump would give huge hometown discount and stay but I don’t blame they guy wanting to get as much as can your one injury away from career ending. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

owlykat

The biggest waste of money will be franchising D. Smith and there is no way anyone can teach him how to stop speed rushers. He is not quick enough. It is dangerous to Jameis’ health. BA doesn’t want to train a college LT from a spread team but his best chance to get one from a nonspread team is quickly disappearing. Mississippi is converting to a spread team next year but he can get their LT right now from a drop back passing team they had last year, and he may be had at the top of the second round… Read more »