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Buccaneers Claim Former Browns DL Carl Nassib

The Buccaneers added to their defensive line today, as they have claimed former Cleveland Browns DL Carl Nassib.

Nassib was a final cut on the Browns after their waiver pickups over the weekend.

A 2016 third-round pick, Nassib had a memorable appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knock” this summer when he offered financial advice to teammates with some colorful language. He started 12 games and recorded three sacks for Cleveland last season.

Buccaneers Extend the Contract of GM Jason Licht Through 2019

The overseeer of five drafts as general manager of the Buccaneers, Jason Licht has been rewarded by ownership with a contract for a sixth season, Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsfan reports.

Multiple sources confirm that Licht now has a deal in place to remain with Tampa Bay at least through 2019.

At the NFL owners meetings in March, Bucs co-owner Joel Glazer lauded the infusion of young talent Licht has stockpiled.

“I think one of the positive signs in any situation is re-signing your own players,” Glazer said. “And when you start getting on a trend that you’re re-signing your own players, that means you are drafting well. If you’re drafting well, generally that means you’re going to start having success.

“So you saw Cameron Brate and Mike Evans [re-signed]. We got a couple of young guys with contracts that are coming up that we know we’re going to want to keep. So that to me is the most positive sign of, you know, what’s happening with the general manager.”

Licht, 47, replaced Mark Dominik as GM in 2014, a few weeks after Lovie Smith was named head coach. In his first draft as head of football operations, Licht selected Evans, who has posted at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his four pro seasons.

Injury to Bucs First-Round Pick Vita Vea Not as Bad as First Feared

Bucs first-round pick Vita Vea watched practice Tuesday with a boot on his left foot, pushing himself around on a scooter, but coach Dirk Koetter said the prognosis on his calf injury is better than was once feared, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

“Vita, it was better than we thought,” Koetter said. “What Vita described when it happened was what you would think if a guy tore his Achilles, which would be a year-long injury. Thankfully, it was not that. It’s a calf injury and he’s going to be out for right now but it’s not what it could have been. So, in that respect, we’re better off than we thought we were.”

Asked for a timetable for Vea, still nearly six weeks before the regular-season opener, Koetter would only say he’s out “for a little bit,” promising to give an update “in a little bit.”

Buccaneers Part Ways with Starting Right Guard J.R. Sweezy

The Buccaneers made an interesting roster move on Friday, as the team has released starting right guard J.R. Sweezy, Jenna Laine of ESPN reports.

Sweezy had missed OTAs and mandatory minicamp recovering from a leg injury. A source told ESPN that Sweezy has officially been cleared to resume football activities.

After Logan Mankins retired, the Bucs signed Sweezy to a five-year contract worth $32.5 million in 2016. But after Sweezy missed that season while recovering from back surgery, the Bucs restructured his contract heading into 2017.

He started 14 games for the Bucs last season and was due to make $6.5 million in 2018. We will see the depth that the Bucs have on the O-Line with the release of Sweezy.

Uber Driver Thinks That Jameis Winston’s Apology Over Incident “Needs Some Work”

The Uber driver allegedly groped by NFL star Jameis Winston issued a statement on the importance of believing women reporting sexual misconduct, a day after the football league suspended the Buccaneers quarterback for three games, Talal Ansari of Buzzfeed reports.

“My experience should highlight the importance of believing women when we have the courage to come forward about sexual assault,” she said in a statement to BuzzFeed. “Perhaps that night could have been prevented if others had been believed before me.”

The driver previously told BuzzFeed News she was hailed to the lively party scene of downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, to pick Winston up around 2 a.m. on March 13, 2016. She filed a complaint with Uber soon after the ride, writing that “apparently a big athlete in the nfl” reached over “and put his fingers on my crotch.”

As a result of the complaint, Uber suspended Winston’s account.

The NFL’s suspension came after officials determined the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner violated the league’s personal conduct policy, the NFL said in a statement.

The quarterback had denied the allegation, which was first reported by BuzzFeed News in November.

In a statement on Thursday, Winston did not deny the allegation, but apologized to the driver “for the position I put you in.”

“I’m glad to see the NFL discipline Jameis Winston,” the driver said in her statement. “I do appreciate his apology even if it needs some work.”

Buccaneers Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick Ready to Reach Elite Company in 2018

Buccaneers backup Ryan Fitzpatrick is no one’s idea of an elite quarterback but his long time career and consistency are about to put him in some elite company according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.com.

Because of starter Jameis Winston’s looming suspension, the 36-year-old Fitzpatrick is slated to start the first three games of the 2018 season for the Bucs. Fitzpatrick also started three games last year while Winston was injured. And Fitzpatrick has started at least three games every year since 2008. If all the other quarterbacks projected to be starters do so as well, Fitzpatrick will be one of only eight QBs who have starteed at least three games a season from 2008-2018. The other seven are Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan, at least three of whom-Brees, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger-seem destined for the Hall of Fame .And all but Rivers have made at least one Super Bowl appearance.

Not bad for a seventh-round pick out of Harvard way back in 2005. Fitzpatrick barely saw the field his first three years in the league but has since had a prolific and very lucrative career and has had four 3000-plus seasons. He may not be elite but he is smart, durable, and wealthy.