Nick Folk’s Days in Tampa Numbered as Buccaneers to Bring in Kickers Following His Disaster Thursday

The Buccaneers are arranging kicker workouts, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports citing sources.

It does not bode well for Nick Folk who missed three field goals in the Bucs 19-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday night.

NFC South Podcast: Episode 1 The Shortest Review

HBO made a great decision by choosing to have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their featured team. The Bucs are easily the biggest threat in the NFC South. On the offensive side of the ball, things will improve because now, there are several targets to help Jameis Winton look good. The Buccaneers acquired the speed demon Deshawn Jackson in the offseason. Jackson will fit perfectly with wide out Mike Evans and rookie tight end O.J. Howard.

This Bucs defense finished 4th in interceptions and 3rd in total takeaways is back and only getting better. By the same token, not all news has been good. A big issue last season was field goals which essentially led to a position battle and 2nd round kicker Roberto Aguayo has been released by the team. There are also some questions at backup quarterback. The Buccaneers don’t want to take steps in the NFC South-this team is ready to leap into relevancy.

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Doug Martin to Take a Backseat at Running Back When He Comes Back From Suspension?

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Sunday there are no assurances suspended RB Doug Martin will regain his starting job following his three-game ban according to Dan Graziano of

Licht would not even guarantee Martin’s roster spot. “Look, he has done everything we’ve asked him to do, and he looks reminiscent of 2015 when he was playing for his contract. He looks the same out there, mentally and physically. So he might be one of those guys that needs a carrot. And he’s got a pretty big carrot in front of him right now, because there’s no guarantees that he’s going to be here. And he knows that.”

Jacquizz Rodgers is expected to be the lead back in Tampa during the first three weeks of the regular season while Martin serves his suspension and it sounds like he will be given every opportunity to win the job outright. Signed by the Bucs last season when Martin was out due to injury, the 27-year-old Rodgers had the most productive year of his six-year NFL career and chose to re-sign with Tampa this offseason rather than test the free agent market. His teammates have praised Rodgers for his exceptional field vision and toughness and the coaching staff loves his versatility.

Bucs DE Jacquies Smith to Start Camp on PUP List

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The Bucs announced on Wednesday that defensive end Jacquies Smith will begin training camp on the active Physically Unable to Perform list, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

By placing him on the active PUP list, Smith will count against the 90-man roster limit and can be activated anytime before the final roster cutdown to 53 players.

Smith suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while attemping to cover a punt in the 2016 opener against Atlanta.

It’s a setback to be sure for Smith and the Bucs, who have not had a player record at least 10 sacks in a season since Simeon Rice in 2005.

The Bucs were confident enough that Smith would make an impact in 2017 that they tendered him a one-year tcontract worth $1.8-million as a restricted free agent. The designation Wednesday means the Bucs expect Smith to be ready sometime before the start of the regular season.

Buccaneers Agree to Terms with Veteran Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Bucs have a solid veteran quarterback to help out and mentor Jameis Winston, as today the team has come to terms with former Bengals, Bills and Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Last season in 14 starts with New York Fitz threw 12 touchdowns and 17 picks as he and the young Jets struggled. He was solid two seasons ago, throwing 31 touchdowns and 15 interceptions as the Jets came within a game of making the postseason.

He’s played with six teams in his career, throwing a total of 80 touchdowns.

Sports Illustrated Gives Some Love to the Buccaneers for Their 2017 Draft Picks

While it could take years for the Bucs and the rest of the NFL to be able to give a grade to the teams’ draft class this year, it’s never early to start throwing out how teams did last week in the annual picking of players.

Chris Burke of SI has thrown out his grades – and he has the following to say about how he felt the Buccaneers did last week.

Not sure anyone expected TE O.J. Howard to be around at pick No. 19. The Bucs almost had to take him there—he’ll bolster their run game with his blocking, and his pairing with Cameron Brate will cause significant mismatch problems for opposing defenses. S Justin Evans (No. 50), an aggressive defender, should find his way onto the field early. Those are the main cogs of this class. WR Chris Godwin (No. 84) is interesting as a downfield threat, but he’s no better than the fifth or sixth option in the passing game. LB Kendall Beckwith (No. 107) is coming off an ACL injury and doesn’t really land at a spot of need. Pick No. 162, RB Jeremy McNichols, is one to file away for those fantasy drafts. He’s a sleeper option if he can win time. GRADE B+

A Rundown of All the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Bucs 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 1, Pick 19 (No. 19 overall)

O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama: Jameis Winston likely hoped the Buccaneers would draft Dalvin Cook, because he and Cook played together for a season at Florida State. The Tampa Bay QB should not have any complaints about how this played out, though. Howard has the type of mismatch-creating abilities as a receiver that’s perfect for the modern NFL, and he’s a blocker with an advanced skill set. The run game still is a bit unsettled, but Tampa Bay now has Howard and Cameron Brate to pair in two-TE sets, with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson outside. Look for Winston to have a huge 2017 season. GRADE: A?

Round 2, Pick 18 (No. 50)

Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M: Evans slid a little bit under the radar within a deep and talented safety class, but he is not out of line here. Because of the way he clobbers people, he’s better playing closer to the line. He can drop back and play deep, though, so Tampa Bay can mix and match him with new addition J.J. Wilcox and incumbents like Chris Conte.? GRADE: B

Round 3, Pick 20 (No. 84)

Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State: Jameis Winston might not have to do anything other than drop back and heave it deep this season. Godwin is a go-and-get-it receiver on the outside, joining a pass-catching corps that already included Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and first-round pick O.J. Howard. GRADE: B+

Round 3, Pick 43 (No. 107)

Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU: The Bucs sent picks 125 and 204 to the Jets for Beckwith, a former teammate of Kwon Alexander at LSU. It might be a redshirt pick, because a.) Beckwith tore his ACL in November, and b.) there’s not an obvious spot for him in the rotation, aside from adding depth.? GRADE: C

Round 5, Pick 18 (No. 162) Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State

Round 7, Pick 5 (No. 223, from Dolphins via Rams) Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, DT, USC

Buccaneers Get Alabama TE O.J. Howard With 19th Pick in 2017 NFL Draft

The Buccaneers selected Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the 19th pick in the NFL draft, providing young quarterback Jameis Winston with another playmaker for an improved offense.

Winston threw for more than 4,000 yards each of the past two seasons, however the Bucs have struggled to score points.

General manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter are counting on him to be able to get the ball in the end zone with more regularity after adding Howard, as well as veteran receiver DeSean Jackson in free agency.