Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield Contract talks expected to continue
Fri, Feb 23, 2024, 10:25 AM
Buccaneers' GM Jason Licht is expected to meet with Mayfield's agent, Tom Mills, during the NFL scouting combine next week, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Analysis: Stroud notes that while no deal for the QB to remain with Tampa Bay is imminent, the team and Mayfield have had some preliminary talks about a potential new contract. In his first season with the Bucs, Mayfield recorded a career-high 4,044 passing yards to go along with a 28:10 TD ratio en route to leading the franchise to a third straight NFC South title. The report adds that Mayfield -- who the Browns made the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft -- would prefer to stay put after having split the 2022 campaign with the Panthers and Rams -- but if the veteran signal-caller hits the free agent market next month, the Buccaneers could have some competition for the 28-year-old's services.
Russell Gage
Russell Gage May be released soon
Wed, Feb 21, 2024, 9:21 AM
The Buccaneers may release Gage (knee) before he's due a $1.5 million roster bonus March 1, Dan Pompei of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Gage also has a non-guaranteed $8.5 million base salary for the third and final year of his contract, though the use of void years means the Buccaneers will free up only $6.5 million in 2024 cap space if he's released. The 28-year-old suffered a torn patellar tendon in August, putting his NFL future in jeopardy. Gage might consider renegotiating his contract to stay in Tampa Bay and continue his rehab with the Buccaneers.
Mike Evans
Mike Evans Free agency looking likelier
Mon, Feb 19, 2024, 9:30 AM
The Buccaneers are not expected to re-sign Evans by Monday's 'soft' deadline, which will force the team to take on $7.4 million in dead cap space, Jordan Schultz of BleacherReport.com reports.
Analysis: Evans and Tampa Bay will continue contract negotiations in the meantime, but as things stand, the passing of Monday's deadline makes it look more realistic that the 30-year-old wideout ends up on the free agent market. The Buccaneers also have the option of placing the franchise tag on Evans, though that would cost the team a whopping $28.4 million for 2024, and rule out other tag options like Baker Mayfield and Antoine Winfield. Evans has put together 10 straight seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards and been instrumental to each iteration of Tampa Bay's offense to burgeon forth in that stretch, so whether he receives his next contract from the Buccaneers or a team on the open market, expect his compensation to be remunerative.
Mike Evans
Mike Evans Likely to stay in Tampa?
Wed, Feb 7, 2024, 12:11 PM
New Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen made it clear Tuesday that he's hopeful the team will re-sign Evans, an impending free agent, Greg Auman of Fox Sports reports.
Analysis: Evans and QB Baker Mayfield have expiring contracts, and WR Chris Godwin is scheduled for $20 million in non-guaranteed compensation for the final year of his deal in 2024. The possibility of significant change can't be ignored, but Coen's opening press conference left little doubt that part of his motivation for taking the Tampa Bay job was an expectation the gang would be kept together. The former Rams and Kentucky offensive coordinator talked about how much easier it is to design an offense with a downfield, perimeter threat like Evans, also mentioning that he plans to move Godwin back to the slot as his primary alignment. A franchise tag for Evans would cost $28.4 million -- 120 percent of his 2023 cap charge -- while Mayfield's tag number likely would be around $35 million. The Bucs have a third candidate for the tag in 25-year-old safety Antoine Winfield, whose salary would be about $17 million. Re-signing Evans first would help the team's short-term cap flexibility, allowing the Bucs to shift much of his $12.2 million cap hit from void years into future seasons (but only if he signs a new deal before Feb. 19 when his current contract voids).
Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield Looking likely to stay in Tampa
Tue, Feb 6, 2024, 1:24 PM
New Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen said Tuesday that Mayfield is one of the reasons he chose the job in Tampa Bay, Greg Auman of Fox Sports reports.
Analysis: Coen said his confidence in Mayfield re-signing is "higher than I probably need [it] to be" but also clarified that it's "probably more 'want' than 'know'." It sounds like the two are on the same page, at least to some extent, as Mayfield said Friday that he expected contract talks to pick up once the Bucs finalized a deal with Coen, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The former Rams offensive coordinator worked with Mayfield at the end of the 2022 season in Los Angeles, before returning to the college ranks in 2023 with Kentucky to resume calling plays. Coen will get his first shot as an NFL play-caller in 2024, and there's a good chance he'll be working with Mayfield -- a candidate for the franchise tag and/or a long-term contract this spring. WR Mike Evans is also scheduled for unrestricted free agency, with his future having a significant impact on Mayfield's fantasy value after the two connected 79 times for 1,255 yards and 13 TDs in 2023.
Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin Likely returning to slot
Tue, Feb 6, 2024, 12:46 PM
New Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen said Tuesday that he anticipates moving Godwin back inside to the slot, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Analysis: Godwin took 32 percent of his snaps from the slot in 2023, down from 60 percent the previous year and 53 percent in 2021. His volume didn't suffer too much (130 targets), but his catch rate plunged to 63.8 percent after four straight years above 71 percent, and he finished with his lowest per-game averages for receptions (4.9) and receiving yards (60.2) since 2018 -- which was also the last time his slot rate dipped below 49 percent. While perfectly capable on the perimeter, Godwin is probably at his best inside. The shift to more outside work last season apparently stemmed from the Bucs' belief that it might help keep him healthy, and while Godwin did in fact play every game for the first time since 2018, he's nonetheless expected to man the slot more often with the team shifting from Dave Canales to Coen as offensive coordinator. It sounds like a good thing for his fantasy value, especially given that Godwin also gets a lot of playing time in two-wideout formations, unlike many other slot guys.
Patrick Laird
Patrick Laird Sticks with Tampa
Tue, Jan 23, 2024, 2:11 PM
Laird signed a reserve/future contract with the Buccaneers on Tuesday, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Laird was elevated from Tampa Bay's practice squad for each of their two playoff matchups this season, but he was ultimately left inactive. The 28-year-old hasn't suited up since 2021, when he was with the Dolphins, appearing in six contests but just seeing one carry for four yards.
Deven Thompkins
Deven Thompkins No production in playoff loss
Mon, Jan 22, 2024, 9:51 PM
Thompkins failed to bring in his only target and netted no gain on his one punt return in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: Thompkins' near non-existent offensive role wasn't exactly surprising given his sporadic use from scrimmage all season, but he also got much fewer opportunities than usual as a returner. The quiet finish to the campaign doesn't necessarily undermine Thompkins' progress in his second season, when he accrued 561 return yards and produced a 17-83-1 line through the air despite being stuck in the latter portion of the Buccaneers' receiver depth chart. Thompkins is set to be an exclusive-rights free agent this offseason, meaning he should be back with the Buccaneers in 2024 as a cost-effective developmental option and productive special-teams performer.
David Moore
David Moore Limited to one catch Sunday
Mon, Jan 22, 2024, 8:30 PM
Moore brought in his only target for 11 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: Moore couldn't quite replicate his showing from Tampa Bay's wild-card win over the Eagles, when he posted two receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. The veteran was mostly an afterthought this season after spending a sizable chunk of the campaign on the practice squad, and the five receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown he produced across seven regular-season appearances were his first stats from scrimmage since the 2020 season. Moore is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and could potentially return on a team-friendly deal if he finds a lack of interest in his services on the open market.
Chase Edmonds
Chase Edmonds Efficient showing to close out '24
Mon, Jan 22, 2024, 8:20 PM
Edmonds rushed four times for 19 yards and brought in both targets for 18 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: Edmonds overcame a questionable tag due to a toe injury to suit up for the postseason contest, and he filled his typically modest No. 2 role behind lead back Rachaad White. The veteran was reasonably effective with his opportunities during a 13-game regular season, recording 176 rushing yards at 3.6 yards per carry and adding a 14-81 receiving line. Edmonds then added 11 carries for 31 yards and three receptions for another 26 yards during Tampa Bay's two postseason games, and he's slated for unrestricted free agency this offseason after playing 2023 on a one-year deal.
Trey Palmer
Trey Palmer Pair of grabs to close out season
Mon, Jan 22, 2024, 8:10 PM
Palmer brought in both targets for 32 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: Palmer closed out his rookie campaign with a typical showing, making good use of a modest amount of opportunities with 23- and nine-yard grabs. The sixth-round pick followed up a 39-385-3 line across 17 regular-season games with a combined 3-88-1 tally in two postseason contests, and he could potentially be in line to assume a No. 2 role in 2024 if Mike Evans is allowed to walk in free agency this offseason.
David Wells
David Wells Back with Bucs
Mon, Jan 22, 2024, 2:07 PM
Tampa Bay signed Wells to a reserve/future contract Monday, Greg Auman of Fox Sports reports.
Analysis: Wells finished the season on the Buccaneers' practice squad, and now he'll get a chance to compete for a spot on their 53-man roster for 2024. Over five games this year, he drew just two targets, both of which he caught for minus-10 yards.
Cade Otton
Cade Otton Another impressive playoff effort
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 6:56 PM
Otton secured five of eight targets for 65 yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: On the heels of a career-best showing in the wild-card win over the Eagles, Otton put together a solid encore Sunday that included the Buccaneers' second-most receptions and receiving yards on the afternoon. The second-year tight end also tied for second in targets and hauled in a two-yard scoring grab just before halftime for his first career postseason touchdown. Otton, who'll head into the third year of his rookie contract in 2024, put together a relatively ordinary 47-455-4 line across 17 regular-season games; however, his combined 13-154-1 tally in two playoff games serves as proof he's capable of functioning as more than just a short-area, complementary option in the team's passing game.
Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin Four receptions in playoff defeat
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 6:20 PM
Godwin brought in four of eight targets for 40 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: The veteran wideout couldn't shake loose for any big gains against the Lions' inconsistent secondary, but he still finished third in receptions and receiving yards while tying for second in targets. Godwin's final line was fairly representative of his final month's worth of games, as he topped out at six receptions and 81 yards in terms of single-game highs over the last four contests. However, Godwin did post an impressive 83-1,024-2 line across 17 regular-season contests. He is slated to draw a robust $20 million base salary and count $27.5 million overall against the team's cap in 2024.
Rachaad White
Rachaad White Opportunity curtailed in loss
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 5:37 PM
White rushed nine times for 55 yards and secured four of five targets for 36 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: White opened the game with a solid dose of rush attempts, but the Buccaneers were forced to increasingly turn to the air when their deficit grew in the second half. The versatile back still enjoyed his usual role as a receiver, but his 13 total touches were his lowest since the Week 6 game against these same Lions. White corroborated his ability to serve as the team's lead back this past regular season with 990 rushing yards and six touchdowns, which he complemented with a 64-549-3 line through the air, over 17 games, putting him in position to reprise the role in 2024.
Mike Evans
Mike Evans Over century mark in playoff loss
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 5:33 PM
Evans secured eight of 12 targets for 147 yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: After a relatively quiet performance in the wild-card win over the Eagles, Evans reassumed his usual role as the clear-cut top target for Baker Mayfield, finishing with team-high figures across the board for the Buccaneers' pass catchers on the day. The highly decorated veteran delivered a clutch 16-yard touchdown grab with 4:37 remaining to bring Tampa Bay within one possession, and he was also the intended target on the subsequent two-point conversion attempt that fell short on a play on which there was contact between Evans and the defensive back. A disappointing conclusion to the season doesn't take away from the fact Evans looked as effective as ever in 2023, finishing with a 79-1,255-13 line across 17 regular-season games. With his reception and yardage totals his highest since 2018, Evans, a pending free agent, figures to command a lucrative new contract from either the Bucs or on the open market this offseason.
Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield Stellar effort marred by INT
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 5:25 PM
Mayfield completed 26 of 41 passes for 349 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions and added two rushes for 15 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-23 divisional-round loss to the Lions on Sunday.
Analysis: Mayfield authored yet another noteworthy performance, eclipsing the 300-yard mark for the second time in as many postseason games and fourth time in the last six contests overall. However, the Buccaneers ultimately came up short in large part because of Mayfield's interception on a pass intended for Cade Otton with 1:35 remaining on the second play of what was set to be Tampa Bay's potential game-tying drive. Mayfield had helped put his team in that position on the previous possession, when he spearheaded a nine-play, 75-yard march that he capped with his third touchdown toss of the day, a 16-yard laser to Mike Evans. That scoring throw had been preceded by two- and 12-yard connections with Otton and Rachaad White, respectively, in what was a back-and-forth affair all afternoon. Despite the disappointing end to a better-than-expected season, Michael Baca of NFL.com reports there is mutual interest between player and team for Mayfield to return in 2024 after he threw for 4,044 yards with a 28:10 TD:INT and 163 rushing yards and an additional score across 17 regular-season games.
Patrick Laird
Patrick Laird Won't play versus Lions
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 12:50 PM
Laird (coach's decision) is listed as inactive ahead of Sunday's divisional-round matchup against Detroit.
Analysis: Laird was elevated from the practice squad for the second week in a row Saturday, and it appeared he could have a chance to suit up for the first time this season with No. 2 running back Chase Edmonds considered questionable to play with a toe injury; however, the latter running back was ultimately listed as active Sunday afternoon. As a result, Laird will be ruled a healthy scratch for the second straight contest, leaving Rachaad White, Edmonds and rookie Sean Tucker to once again fill out Tampa Bay's running back room Sunday.
Chase Edmonds
Chase Edmonds Active for Sunday's game
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 12:42 PM
Edmonds (toe) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Lions.
Analysis: After being deemed a non-participant in Wednesday's and Thursday's walk-throughs, Edmonds logged a limited session Friday and approached the contest listed as questionable. With his active status versus Detroit confirmed, the running back is available to maintain his complementary role behind starter Rachaad White. As long as White remains healthy, however, Edmonds -- who logged seven carries for 12 yards and one catch for eight yards in the Buccaneers' wild-card win over the Eagles this past Monday -- will profile as a speculative lineup option.
John Wolford
John Wolford Won't suit up
Sun, Jan 21, 2024, 12:39 PM
Wolford (illness) is inactive Sunday against the Lions.
Analysis: Wolford came down with the illness Friday when he first popped up on the team's injury report. Although he likely would have been inactive for the divisional-round matchup under any circumstance, he probably would have dressed as an emergency third option. Instead, it'll be just Kyle Trask behind starter Baker Mayfield against Detroit.

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