BREAKING NEWS: GRUDEN SAYS HE WANTS TO COACH AGAIN

About the author

Scott Reynolds

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]

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39 Comments

  1. 1

    SaskBucs

    I think everyone knows Evans will be getting paid, only a matter of time. Verner being gone seems like a no brainer, makes to much to be a depth player and we have…. 5 CBs on the roster without him? (Hargreaves, Grimes, Robinson, Smith, Barija) It is nice to hear the names of guys rising at the Senior Bowl since I do not have much familiarity and I understand a lot will still change between now and the draft, but can you tell me who is falling? Is a guy like QB Watson going to fall for not playing? (Not that he is a bucs target just curious) Is Corey Davis a senior? Brooks didn’t even have him going 1st round in his mock. Go Bucs

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    1. 1.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Yes, WR Corey Davis is a senior, and I think he’s a top 20 pick. Also, don’t forget about Bucs nickel CB Javien Elliott, whom the team likes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tampa Bay stand pat at CB this year if Josh Robinson is re-signed.

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  2. 2

    chetthevette

    Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu is one to watch at the NFL Scouting Combine next month. Melifonwu generated a ton of buzz at the Senior Bowl due to his 6-foot-4, 219-pound size and fluidity, and is expected to be a top performer at the Combine as he has workout warrior-type athleticism.

    I think Scott is having big fun highlighting plays with unpronounceable names.
    I know I’m having fun with all these names too.
    OBI WAN it is.
    MAY THE FORCE BE WITH THE BUCS

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  3. 3

    macabee

    Over The Cap (OTC) has 2017 Bucs cap space at 65.1mil. Assume these possible cuts are made: Doug Martin 7mil, Alterraun Verner 6.5mil, Evan Smith 4.5mil, and George Johnson 2.25mil (total 20.25mil). Buc cap space could be 85.35mil (65.1mil + 20.25mil).

    That is enough money to re-sign our own key FAs, extend WR Mike Evans, set aside 7mil for the draft, and have plenty left for early Christmas shopping in free agency!

    http://overthecap.com/salary-cap-space/ (click on Buccaneers)

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    1. 3.1

      thewbacca

      I for one hope they carry as much cap money as possible forward to next year because there are going to be some huge salaries in the future. Be nice to not be cash strapped when Winston gets paid and be able to continue to add talent.

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    2. 3.2

      toofamiliar17

      Amen to that. I don’t love the idea of cutting Doug, but I’m on board with the rest of those, which still gives us more than $75M in space. I also think Scott overestimated a handful of the contracts our free agent players will get. Rodgers won’t get more than $3.5M, and I’ll be very surprised if he gets even that much. I also think Gholston won’t get more than that $5M per range that Scott listed as his low end of his estimate. Hawley’s number is WAY too big, considering he’s mostly played like crap for two years as a starter here. I’m hoping he’s either here near the veteran minimum or not at all. I also think SR is crazy for suggesting that Brate might be worth as much as $7M per after one great year. He’s a reliable target, but he’s very limited, and it shows on film. So many of his catches last year were tough ones, specifically because he isn’t capable of creating consistent separation in routes. Those contested catches won’t keep up at that rate forever, and he’ll never be a guy who can stretch defenses vertically up the seem. His blocking improved a lot this year, and it was still basically just average for his position.

      Don’t get me wrong – I like Brate. But he’s no $7M man. Then again, neither is Vance McDonald. NFL teams do dumb things with contracts all the time. We could certainly stupidly give Brate that much money. I sure hope we don’t, though.

      So yea, anyways, my point is – I agree. We should have ample room to chase whoever we want in FA even after resigning our own guys, and we’ll still have a decent chunk left over for next year.

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    3. 3.3

      Scott Reynolds

      I should have mentioned George Johnson, too. However, the team really likes Evan Smith and his versatility, so don’t expect him to be a cap casualty.

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      1. 3.3.1

        toofamiliar17

        @Scott, don’t you think we have great leverage to at least get him to agree to take less than he’s scheduled to make, though? The hard fact is that if he was a free agent today, exactly 0 teams would even consider offering him a deal in the neighborhood of the $4.5M he’s scheduled to make this year. I mean, come on – that’s mid level starting center money. I’m not saying we should strong arm him and try to back him into taking a super cheap deal, but why should we be in a hurry to pay a backup swingman more than all but 11 of his positional peers in the league?

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        1. 3.3.1.1

          toofamiliar17

          Actually, sorry, when I said 11 guys make more than him, that was when looking at averages over the course of their whole contracts. At an average value remaining of $4.5M, I’m pretty sure Smith is actually only behind 10 centers.

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  4. 4

    e

    Hey Scott, on a complete tangent; I saw that the Boston Celtics are the first team in any of the major U.S. sports leagues that is going to be sporting the GE logo on their uniforms in 2018. What’s your thoughts on that becoming a reality on NFL uniforms in the future?

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    1. 4.1

      Scott Reynolds

      I think it’s only a matter of time. The NFL jerseys won’t look like NASCAR, but I could definitely see one sponsor logo on the jersey of each NFL team.

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  5. 5

    MudManVA

    Nice reporting from the Senior Bowl. Can’t wait until Wednesday for the 2nd mock draft!!
    In Licht we trust! Go BUCS

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    1. 5.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Thank you, MudManVA!

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  6. 6

    Buc 1976

    GET MIKE SIGNED!!

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  7. 7

    stlbucsfan

    My pick OJ Howard had a dominant week of practice at the Senior Bowl. The presence of receivers like Reynolds is the very reason the Bucs should pass on Davis in round 1. We can get quality at WR past the 1st round.

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    1. 7.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Agreed, and that’s why we are going in a different direction in the first round of our new PR Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft, which will be published on PewterReport.com on Wednesday.

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  8. 8

    CDNBUCSFAN

    Nice job between yourself and Trevor there Scott, really appreciate the updates and insight. Yes let’s get Mike Evans extended sooner rather than later. I’d like another big target on the other side with a similar stature that can not only take the double off of Evans but also provide another target in the Red Zone. We have the slot receiver in Hump and the sure handed Brate at TE, so a solid 3 down back would be great to have. Certainly glad that you’re covering the Senior Bowl and providing us with mock drafts. I like the amount of cap room available and I think we should be careful in free agency, re-sign our key guys and go from there. Question for you: I’m not sold on Ryan Griffin being our backup QB in the event that Glennon leaves via FA. Who do you think the Bucs should bring in as backup QB. As we saw with the Raiders, one mishap to your starting QB flushes a whole season down the toilet.

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    1. 8.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Agreed, CDNBUCSFAN. I don’t think the Bucs are sold on Ryan Griffin, either. They like him and want him back, but they also want competition for the backup QB spot, too. And thanks for your kind words about our reporting from the Senior Bowl. We had a great week in Mobile, Ala. Glad you enjoyed our scoop and breaking news.

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      1. 8.1.1

        toofamiliar17

        I’m glad to hear the team wants competition at that backup QB spot. But that does kinda beg the question – if he wasn’t going to be the clear long term answer as our backup, then why did the team invest two years of a roster spot and the pay that comes with it into him? Honestly asking here. Has he underachieved what they thought he’d become?

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  9. 9

    cgmaster27

    Big Mike is an amazing receiver. He is a perfect compliment to Jameis and vise versa. He will get his money , no doubt, and I like the way he answered the question WAY better than the way Hawley did. Big Mike will go down in history as the Bucs best receiver, baring injury. His natural gifts can’t be taught and the fact is, he’s only been playing organized football for about 4 years now. He will only get better as he improves his route running a bit. That is the only area I see need for improvement. Better pop in and out of his breaks, which I know is tough for a man of his size. I cant wait to see him only get better with time. Crazy we might be drafting a receiver maybe the same age. Damn this team is young!
    As for his money we’ll have plenty of room after we makes some cuts, pay the man this off season so a bidding war doesn’t start when OBJ gets to free agency.
    As for Reynolds, I have seen some good highlights of this guy and let’s face it, Texas AM’s qb situation hasn’t been ideal. I like his size and if he runs in that 4.5 range, he will definitely go day 2. It would be nice to pair him with MIke, but as he said, he does need to put on some weight.
    You can never have too many pass rushers, so I see us taking one or two in this draft. I also agree that losing Smith in the first game of the season hurt more than most thought it did. The guy can be a double digit sack guy, only problem is he’s never healthy, and the greatest thing a player can do is be available.
    Looking forward to the next Mock on Wednesday. As I’m looking at it now, unless he runs a slow ass 40, there is no way Corey Davis is there for us at 19. I saw a weird Mock from Bucky Brookes that had Dalvin cook lasting till 21, past us laughably, so it isn’t an exact science. However if Cook, Davis, Williams, and the top DE’s are gone, do the Bucs trade back? I wouldn’t hate that this year.

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    1. 9.1

      Scott Reynolds

      I’m in the camp that no longer believes that WR Corey Davis will be there for the Bucs at No. 19. And I too wasn’t a big fan of Bucky Brooks’ first mock draft. Some questionable picks there, but we also heard that some NFL teams aren’t enamored with Dalvin Cook the person as much as they are Dalvin Cook the player.

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  10. 10

    martinii

    Get Mike signed. It is important to get your top playmakers extended first. Then if you have read any of my draft related post over the past two months you know that one of the top defensive picks IMO is the beast out of Villanova, Tanoh Kpassagnon. I have watched a lot of film on this guy and I am convinced he is the real deal. There are several options on offense but the team that lands this kid will get a real steal. On CBS Draft Scout he jumped 100 places in one week. Pewter and only a few other sites have covered him and personally I hope it stays that way. Unfortunately folks will get a glimpse of him in the SR, Bowl and the combine. It would not surprise me if he goes late 1st RD.

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    1. 10.1

      macabee

      I see you’re still a believer. Others will soon too! lol.

      http://thebiglead.com/2017/01/27/tanoh-kpassagnons-beautiful-body-is-on-the-mind-of-many-nfl-executives/

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    2. 10.2

      Scott Reynolds

      I agree. Somebody is going to fall in love with Tanoh Kpassagnon and draft him a round earlier than they should. He’s a great prospect, but he’s far from being a finished product.

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      1. 10.2.1

        macabee

        No need to reply Scott, but I wanted to say you’re right because I did exactly that in my mock draft to be posted in your Wednesday mock. I think Kpassagnon (K) is a 3rd round pick, but I put him in the 2nd round because I think by the time the Bucs pick in RD3, he will be gone.

        His physical presence will get him over-drafted. But I believe if the Bucs re-sign Gholston, K could be developed in to an effective pass rush piece. If Spence could move to a stand-up OLB pass rusher, this defense could be special and the Secondary automatically gets better.

        Good luck on the Wednesday mock. I’ll see you there!

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  11. 11

    Brandonges

    I really enjoyed Fab 4. I love all the contract speculating this time of year. I know it’s entirely too early to talk about other teams free agents, but it’s the offseason and I’m anxious. Any chance the Bucs could go after a prized blue chip guy like Eric Berry? I think he would pair very well with Tandy and give the Bucs a stud at each level of the defense. He seems like a player that would be worth breaking the bank over.

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    1. 11.1

      Scott Reynolds

      I agree and would like to see the Bucs make a play for Eric Berry. However, I think he feels a great sense of loyalty to KC and it will be tough to pry him away from the Chiefs. In the end, I don’t think the Bucs land him.

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  12. 12

    gafikdetail

    Taywan Taylor wants to be in Tampa also! really wants to play with Jameis & in Dirk’s offense

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    1. 12.1

      Scott Reynolds

      Yeah, he and half of the other WRs at the Senior Bowl! Lol

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      1. 12.1.1

        toofamiliar17

        I can only figure to call that the Jameis effect. One great thing about having a young, charismatic leader at QB is that other players in and heading into the league take notice of guys like that. I tend to think that Jameis will be the reason plenty of guys choose to come here when they’re close on a couple places over future seasons. It’s pretty cool, I think, to have that kind of presence leading your franchise.

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  13. 13

    Horse

    Good Article Scott. I’m not sure why we want to spend 5-7 million on Gohston and 3 million on Hawley. I believe there is enough tape to question that thought. We definitely need another Center than Hawley and I would try to find a Free Agent to fill those shoes or another team member as there’s enough talent at a cheaper price. Same for WR in the 1st round; I’d rather draft a CB or DL or Center. I’ll be out of the country for awhile so I hope when I come back we have signed some free agents, some of our own players, and traded some players. Go Bucs!

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    1. 13.1

      scubog

      Adios amigo! Enjoy your trip Horse.

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    2. 13.2

      Scott Reynolds

      Thank you, Horse. Stay safe and enjoy your trip.

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  14. 14

    chetthevette

    After cutting the deadwood out BUCS should have a ton of cap space.
    I think that Corderell Patterson might be a really good FA pickup.
    I think we should be aggressive in singing either Donteri Poe or Kwan Short.
    The draft can then be BPA.
    GO BUCS

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    1. 14.1

      toofamiliar17

      Reports abound of Patterson not being a good worker or student of the game, not putting in the effort needed on gameplanning or the playbook, which is why he really hasn’t developed at all over the course of his time in Minny. No thanks, I’ll pass.

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  15. 15

    Buc 1976

    The only FA the Bucs should pay big $$$ to is KCity S E Barry if he is available. I have seen enough of B. McD as a starter, as a backup ok. I really liked C Davis,but after seeing other WR in E-W game and Senior bowl highlights a WR in second rd. Or third rd may very well be the way to go. If OJH is available at 19 TAKE HIM!! He almost has WR speed & can BLOCK ! Off course we still need to se what happens in FA. Go Bucs

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  16. 16

    toofamiliar17

    (1) Obviously we need to keep Evans in Tampa. That should go without even needing to be said. That said, we shouldn’t just waste our negotiating leverage to make him feel good. As of right now, we’ve got him for at least two more seasons – next year and his 2018 5th year option year. And really, we know that we can franchise him in 2019 if need be, so the first time we could conceivably be forced to lose him is 2020. In football terms, that’s a very, very far way away.

    I’m not saying we should use all of those tools. At some point, a player does begin to feel disrespected and unappreciated due to these methods. But if we’re going to sign him this far in advance, then it needs to be at something of a discount from what his estimated market value would be. Otherwise, there’s no purpose served in extending him two full years prior to the first offseason he COULD potentially be a free agent. If we’re going to have to back the truck up and sign him to the richest WR contract in the league to keep him long term, then we may as well make sure his health holds up and that he continues to produce at an elite level until that time.

    Wait. There’s no reason to do it right now. There’s no team purpose that would be served. Let him play out 2017, pick up his 2018 option, and get a deal done next offseason. Or do it now on a deal that will save the team money long term. It makes no sense to both do the deal THIS early and to pay full price for it.

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  17. 17

    toofamiliar17

    (2) I’m totally open to continuing to add not only DE help, but also help at CB. I wouldn’t even mind using early round selections on either or both positions if the board breaks right. What feels like a strength today can easily be a major, desperate need tomorrow. Right now, we feel good at DE. But Spence is still something of an unknown, Jac Smith is coming off that knee injury and was never a complete player anyways, and Ayers is about to turn 32. We could blink and suddenly be nearly out of pass rushing threats off the edge. Same thing at corner – I believe in VH3, but that doesn’t make him a sure thing. And Grimes is very likely a short term solution, considering that he’s going to play his age 34 season for us next year.

    Whether it’s Kpassagnon on day 3 or a guy like Solomon Thomas all the way up in the first, I won’t be bad about adding pass rushers we believe in. And this draft is ridiculously deep at corner (something right in the neighborhood of 13-15 first or second round talents), meaning there’s a good chance that a second round caliber player at the position will be available in the third round, and maybe even as late as the fourth.

    I just hope Licht lets the draft come to him rather than focusing in tightly on specific individuals and forcing the issue. There’s lots and lots of talent in this pool of players. Can’t afford to waste picks on shortsighted move ups.

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  18. 18

    drdneast

    Since Martins guaranteed payout contract is now void, they could essentially leave it the same and it would into a year by year prove it deal.
    I see no reason to cut Martin and get nothing in return and then having to turn around and draft another RB and use a needed draft pick to replace him which could be used for another area of need.
    I had no problem with the Bucs getting rid of ASJ like that but Martin is trying to rehabilitate and correct his problem which is more than ASJ has ever tried to do.
    Like Verner, I see no reason to keep Smith around since he is paid more than Hawley and he is sitting on the bench.

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