Buccaneers Come to Terms with Free Agent CB Brent Grimes

Brent Grimes,

The Bucs have a new cornerback, as Pro Football Weekly reports that Brent Grimes, free agent CB of the Dolphins, has agreed to terms to join the team.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Times reported Friday Grimes, the former Miami Dolphins cornerback, will stay in state and sign with the Buccaneers. Terms of the deal weren’t immediately disclosed.

Grimes has been to four Pro Bowls (2010, 2013-15) in his nine-year career, which began as a Falcons undrafted free agent out of Shippensburg in 2006. The 5 foot 10, 185-pound corner will be 33 when the 2016 campaign kicks off.

Grimes has 26 career interceptions and 99 passes defensed. He’s a willing run-support corner who’s been durable since a ruptured Achilles suffered in 2012 ended his stint in Atlanta. Grimes reunites with Mike Smith, now Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator. Smith was Grimes’ coach in Atlanta.

Buccaneers and RB Doug Martin Begin Talks About a New Deal

Doug Martin

It sounds like the Bucs and running back Doug Martin are interested in staying together, as reports from ESPN say that discussions have started between the running back and the team.

While they are talking, ESPN says that nothing is imminent and it sounds like it’s going to be an ongoing situation as the team looks to retain Martin.

Here’s what ESPN says about the chat between the Bucs and Martin:

More substantial discussions regarding a new deal are not expected to take place until after the combine, according to Murphy. Martin has expressed a desire to remain with the team, while the Buccaneers have expressed a desire to re-sign the Pro Bowl running back before he hits free agency.

General manager Jason Licht updated the team’s stance when he addressed the media Wednesday.

“There are obstacles in a negotiation. We haven’t hit those obstacles yet,” Licht said. “But we’re going to talk and we’re going to try and get something done. And I feel pretty optimistic about it. Right now, there’s no reason to be nervous about that.”

Martin, who had a base salary of $1,315,572 this past season, did not have his fifth-year option of $5.6 million picked up last offseason. He went on to be the league’s second-leading rusher in 2015 with 1,402 yards, behind only Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (1,485). The 27-year-old could cash in, with many of the top running backs making $7-8 million per year.

Martin had a great 2015 season, going for 87.6 yards per game with 1402 yards rushing and six touchdowns. In his career, Martin has run for a total of 3,806 yards and 20 touchdowns.

OG Logan Mankins Not Sure About Coming Back to Play in 2016

Logan Mankins

Buccaneers offensive guard Logan Mankins has not yet decided if he wants to play in 2016 according to JoeBucsFan.com.

“I’m trying to just take my time and make the right decision,” Mankins said.

“Things like that, usually, you don’t want to rush into.” The eleven-year veteran and former All-Pro will turn 34 in March. He is owed $7 million in salary and bonuses next season. The Bucs likely want Mankins back, as he is still playing on a high level and is an excellent locker room presence for a very young but improving team.

Buccaneers Close to Naming Dirk Koetter As New Head Coach

Dirk Koetter

The Buccaneers are ready to hand their head coaching duties over to the director of the most the prolific offensive attack in franchise history, Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune reports.

Dirk Koetter, who orchestrated an offense that set a franchise record by gaining 6,014 yards during the 2015 season, was “close’’ to completing a deal that will make him the team’s 11th head coach, a source familiar with the process said.

The appointment of Koetter, a nine-year NFL coaching veteran who has engineered four top-10 offenses with three different teams, would not come as much of a surprise.

Labeled by general manager Jason Licht as a “strong candidate’’ for the job at the start of the team’s search, Koetter has long been considered the favorite to win the job.

“He’s got a strong resume,’’ Licht said during a news conference to address the search and the firing former coach Lovie Smith last week. “He’s a good communicator and he’s done good things with (rookie quarterback) Jameis (Winston).’’

With Koetter in charge of the Bucs offense for the first time this past season, Winston became only the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,000 yards.

Koetter’s offense also produced an All-Pro selection in running back Doug Martin, who ground out 1,402 rushing yards, the second most in the league in 2015.

Cowboys vs Buccaneers NFL Wednesday Injury Report

Practice Report
  Wednesday WR Dez Bryant (foot, knee), WR Brice Butler (hamstring), S Barry Church (ankle), DT Nick Hayden (ankle, ankle), LB Anthony Hitchens (ankle), LB Sean Lee (concussion), RB Christine Michael (illness), RB Rod Smith (illness)
  Wednesday CB Brandon Carr (shoulder), S Jeff Heath (shoulder), LB Rolando McClain (hand)
  Wednesday QB Matt Cassel (knee), DE Jack Crawford (hand), TE James Hanna (ankle), DE Demarcus Lawrence (back)
Practice Report
  Wednesday WR Vincent Jackson (knee), G Ali Marpet (ankle), DT Tony McDaniel (not injury related), DE Jacquies Smith (ankle), CB Alterraun Verner (foot)
  Wednesday S Bradley McDougald (concussion), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder), S D.J. Swearinger (toe), S Major Wright (hamstring)
  Wednesday DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder)

Buccaneers vs Falcons NFL Week 8 Inactives

Buccaneers inactives: QB Ryan Griffin, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Tony McDaniel, DT Clinton McDonald, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Tim Jennings, S Major Wright

Falcons inactives: C Gino Gradkowski, DE Malliciah Goodwin, WR Leonard Hankerson, T Bryce Harris, S William Moore, CB Dezmen Southward, WR Nick Williams

NFL Week Eight Preview – Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Falcons will look to continue their success Sunday as they play host to first overall pick Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta is coming off a game in which they clearly didn’t play their best, but were able to overcome a game Tennessee Titans team 10-7 in Nashville last Sunday.

The Falcons are 6-1, and would like to get back to the form of what they did to the Bucs last season when they beat the Buccaneers 56-14 last September 18th.

Atlanta hasn’t looked as dominant as they did in their first few games, as in their last three contents they have turned the ball over eight times, and are putting up 18.7 points per game.

By comparison in their first four games Atlanta put up 34.2 points and 403.2 yards of total offense with two total turnovers.

“We are just in a funk,” Falcons WR Julio Jones said. “We have to get out of it. We have to keep battling and keep going and keep trying to get better and fix these things.”

Devonta Freeman is still running the ball well, as he leads the league in rushing with 621 yards. He’s averaging 136.0 yards with 5.68 per carry in the last three and hasn’t turned the ball over all season.

The Bucs will focus in on him, which could open up for a big day for Matt Ryan, who will see a Tampa defense that is a lot better against the run than the pass.

Tampa Bay is coming off Sunday’s 31-30 loss in Washington after leading 24-0 late in the second quarter, and they’ve allowed 20.3 points per game in the second half over the last three.

“I’ve made the statement that we are getting better as a football team,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said.

“I think first off you have to be a decent team to get up 24-0 on a team in the NFL. That’s telling you a little bit of what you can be. Hopefully, that’s going to tell us a lot about what we’ll be in the future.”

The Bucs may not have all their weapons on offense, as wide out Vincent Jackson (knee) and Louis Murphy (ACL) were both injured against the Redskins.

Murphy landed on injured reserve and Jackson is still being evaluated, which could mean Russell Shepard and rookie Donteea Dye are forced into significant roles.

That will put more pressure on the run game and Doug Martin, who has run for 541 yards this season and will do his best to keep the Falcons offense off the field.

The two teams know each other well, and while the Falcons need to be careful with the ball, they should be able to squeak out a home win against a Bucs team that should have won last week on the road.

Atlanta 24 Tampa Bay 20

Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston 212 yards 1 TDs, Doug Martin 114 yards 1 TD, Donteea Dye 78 yards receiving 1 TD
Atlanta – Matt Ryan 241 yards 2 TD’s, Devonta Freeman 94 yards rushing 2 TD’s, Julio Jones 118 yards receiving 1 TD

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Buccaneers vs Falcons Wednesday Injury Report

Practice Report
  Wednesday T Reid Fragel (concussion), WR Vincent Jackson (knee), DT Tony McDaniel (groin), DT Clinton McDonald (pectoral)
  Wednesday DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder), C Evan Smith (ankle), S Major Wright (hamstring)
  Wednesday WR Russell Shepard (hamstring)
Practice Report
  Wednesday WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring), S William Moore (groin)
  Wednesday DT Jonathan Babineaux (back), LB O’Brien Schofield (knee), WR Nick Williams (hamstring)