Entries in tampa bay buccaneers (105)


Winston Signs Rookie Deal with Bucs

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed quarterback Jameis Winston, the first pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, on Friday.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound former Heisman Trophy winner received a four-year deal worth $25.35 million, including a $16.69 million signing bonus.

The contract is completely guaranteed under the league's collective bargaining agreement.

"It's something we wanted to do," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said about signing Winston. "And it was something where they had no reluctancy, either. It was fairly smooth. We wanted Jameis to start off on the right foot. There's no reason to punish Jameis. He's going to be treated contractually in terms of money just like any other first overall pick."

Winston will wear No. 3 for the Bucs.

"I'm glad we got the contract stuff out of the way," Winston said. "I'm just looking forward to getting with the team. We've got some great teammates and I'm looking forward to working with the coaching staff. Just playing some football. This whole thing has been long for me. But football is what I'm here for and I can't wait."

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Winston Goes First to Bucs, Mariota Second to Titans

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- There were no curve balls to start the 2015 NFL Draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the first overall pick on former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, while the Tennessee Titans stayed put and selected former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the second pick.

It's long been thought that Winston would be the first pick of the draft, but off-field character concerns left some doubt that the former Heisman Trophy winner would end up in Florida.

"When we were doing the exhaustive process that we went through, not only were we comfortable with him and his character, we were confident with his character," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said. "We think that his character that he brings to the locker room and the building is a strength. That's one of the things that makes him a great player."

Meanwhile, there was much speculation that the Titans would trade out of the No. 2 spot with many teams interested in using that pick on Mariota, but in the end this year's Heisman Trophy winner was too difficult to pass up.

"It was going to be difficult to convince us to back out," Titans general manager Ruston Webster said.

Mariota becomes the first Oregon quarterback to be selected in the first round since Joey Harrington in 2002.

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DE George Johnson Traded to Bucs After Lions Drop Grievance

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Defensive end George Johnson is finally a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

Johnson's previous team, the Detriot Lions, had a grievance with the three-year restricted free agent offer sheet he signed with the Bucs. The NFL even assigned an independent arbitrator to investigate the situation. The Lions have now dropped their grievance and agreed to a trade with the Bucs.

The Buccaneers will send a fifth-round pick and a seventh-round pick to the Lions in exchange for Johnson.

Johnson returns to Tampa Bay, where he played in the first season and a half of his NFL career.

The 27-year-old Johnson played in 16 games last season for the Lions, recording 29 tackles and six sacks.

While Johnson was not a starter for the Lions, he will be missed from a Detroit defensive line that's already lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in free agency.

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David Cornwell: "Winston Not Ready to be an NFL Player Off The Field"

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Criminal defense attorney David Cornwell became the latest voice to air concerns about the future of quarterback Jameis Winston's NFL career. 

Cornwell, who previously advised and represented Winston stated that he felt Winston was not prepared for the NFL once he was outside the confines of a team facility.

Speaking at Villanova's Moorad Sports Law symposium, David Cornwell said, "He's ready to be an NFL player on the field, but he's not ready to be an NFL player off the field."

Cornwell clarified that he felt most college age young men were not ready for the life of a professional athlete. 

"I don't think anyone is ready," Cornwell said. "No one is ready for this (NFL) world when they come into it."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are rumored to be ready to select Winston with the first overall pick on April 30 in the 2015 NFL draft. Though, a report from Yahoo Sports Charles Robinson suggests that one of the team's owners could have reservations about the selection as it relates to the family's charitable foundation.

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Lovie Smith Is a Fan of Jameis Winston

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith has no problem with former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Smith believes that the former Heisman Trophy winner has moved past his off-the-field issues and thinks he's doing his best to mature.

"What do you want a quarterback to do? Well, you want him to be able to win and get people to believe that you can help be the reason why we win every game," Smith explained. "I think he's done that. He's got a track record -- he's got a Heisman behind him. He's got a national championship."

"You start talking to his teammates and they all say the same thing," Smith continued. "You talk to coaches that have been around him in the room. You put him on the board, you start talking about his football intelligence. You let him sell himself. He can sell himself."

Smith is confident that Winston can be a leader and represent the NFL shield in the right way.

"I said it [at the NFL combine] that with the information I had, I was very comfortable with him," Smith said. "Since then, we've had a chance to spend a lot more time with him and nothing has changed. It's even grown a little more now that I know him better.  If we decide to go that direction, we're very comfortable with Jameis being the face of our franchise and the quarterback on our football team."

Smith also did not rule out drafting former Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota.

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Chicago Bears Sign LB Mason Foster to One-Year Contract

NFL(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) -- The Chicago Bears and free agent linebacker Mason Foster agreed to a one-year contract, the team announced on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Foster was originally selected out of Washington by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft.  In four seasons (2011-2014) with the Bucs, the 26-year-old had 343 tackles, six sacks and five interceptions.

The Bears finished the 2014 season with the league’s 30th-ranked defense.

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Michael Johnson Re-Joins Bengals

David Lee/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI, Oh.) -- After a single-season stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive end Michael Johnson has re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Johnson, 28, spent the first five seasons of his career with the Bengals after being drafted in the third-round out of Georgia Tech. He amassed 26.5 sacks over 79 games and was one of the hot free agents last season.

The Buccaneers awarded Johnson a five-year, $43 million contract in hopes that he would sharpen Tampa Bay's pass rush that included Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn. 

Tampa Bay released Johnson after he struggled through an ankle injury and provided just four sacks. 

In an ironic twist, after losing Johnson to free agency, the Bengals were awarded a 2015 third-round compensatory pick for Johnson. Now they also have Johnson back in the fold.

Johnson was said to be torn between returning to the Bengals or joining the Minnesota Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer -- who was the Bengals defensive coordinator until last season.

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Bucs Sign LB Bruce Carter to 4-Year Deal

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free agent linebacker Bruce Carter to a four-year deal Wednesday.

Carter, 27, played his first four NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys after the team selected him with the 40th overall pick of the 2011 draft.

Carter has had an injury-riddled career to this point. He played in only 10 games in 2011 after he recovered from a torn ACL that he suffered in college. In 2012, he dislocated his elbow limiting him to 12 games, and he missed three games last season due to a quadriceps injury.

Carter provides Tampa Bay with some security at the linebacker position: starting middle linebacker Mason Foster and reserve Dane Fletcher both became free agents on Tuesday.

Over Carter's four NFL seasons, he's played in 49 games recording 256 tackles, 17 passes defended, five interceptions, three sacks, and a touchdown.

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Buccaneers Re-Sign CB Mike Jenkins

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(TAMPA BAY) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed veteran cornerback Mike Jenkins, the team announced on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not released.

Jenkins was originally selected out of the University of South Florida by Dallas with the 25th overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft. During his seven-year career with the Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and Buccaneers, he has 10 interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a touchdown.

Jenkins played in just one game with Tampa Bay last season before suffering a pectoral injury and being placed on injured reserve.

Tampa Bay also extended qualifying offers to linebacker Danny Lansanah and safety Bradley McDougald.

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Winston 'Would Love' to Play in Tampa

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had an all-day meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday.

The Buccaneers, who hold the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, had team officials meet with the youngster who many believe the Bucs will take with that top pick.

"Being able to play three years in Florida, I would love to stay here in this great state," Winston told the Bucs' website. "I've just got to take advantage of this blessing. It's not really important to me to be the first pick, but it is important to me to be picked. I believe that I have been blessed during my years at Florida State to win a national championship and just be a winning quarterback. And I believe this place -- I would love to be here."

The 6-foot-4, 230 pound Winston played two seasons for Florida State, winning a national championship and Heisman Trophy along the way. He finished his time in Tallahassee completing 66 percent of his passes for 7,964 yards, 65 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions.

The NFL Draft runs from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago.

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