The blockbuster deal that sent All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis from the Jets to the Buccaneers on Sunday was obviously not a simple transaction to complete. It came down, essentially, to the 11th hour, not surprising given that it included two of most coveted of NFL assets: a shutdown cornerback and a first-round draft pick.
But G.M.’s Mark Dominik and John Idzik got it done, and one assumes that wouldn’t have happened if each side hadn’t been at least somewhat satisfied with its haul in the bargain. Dominik called it a “rare and unique” opportunity for the Buccaneers to acquire “the premier defensive player in the league.” Meanwhile, Idzik laid out the Jets’ reasoning as to why the trade was the “best thing to do for really all concerned,” with his squad receiving “very valuable compensation.” Continue reading
Darrelle Revis is going to get a warm reception from his new Tampa Bay teammates the first time he steps into the locker room at One Buccaneer Place. He already got one on Twitter.
It is probably an understatement to say that Buccaneer players are thrilled with the addition of one of the NFL’s true superstars to their roster. Hot on the heels of the Dashon Goldson signing, and with several prime picks in the 2013 draft still to be spent next week, the Bucs can legitimately believe that their playoff chances got a whole lot better on Sunday afternoon.
Not surprisingly, some of those excited Bucs took to everyone’s favorite social media platform on Sunday to react to the Revis trade, and to welcome their new teammate to the fold. They weren’t alone in being drawn to the topic: At one point, Revis was one of the top trending Twitter topics in the world. Pro Bowl DT Gerald McCoy, who likely has visions of coverage sacks dancing in his head, was one of the first to reach out to Revis, and other players around the league quickly reacted, as well.
NFL.com has compiled a short list of some of those reaction tweets. Check it out.
On Wednesday morning, the Buccaneers announced the signing of S Nick Saenz to their practice squad. The team had an open spot on that eight-man crew since promoting DE Markus White to the active roster last Saturday.
Saenz, who played his college ball at Houston, went north to make his initial entry into the NFL, signing as an undrafted free agent with the Bills in May. He was released by Buffalo during the final roster cuts after recording 10 tackles and one forced fumble during the preseason, and later spent several weeks in October with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL.
The 6-1, 190-pound Saenz played in 52 games for the Cougars, racking up 248 tackles, five interceptions, 17 passes defensed and three forced fumbles. He capped his collegiate career with a two-interception outing in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl, helping Houston defeat Penn State, 30-14. Saenz then ran an impressive 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at the Cougars’ Pro Day in March, helping to earn him the tryout in Buffalo.
Though there is just one week – and three practices – left in the Buccaneers’ 2012 season, Saenz signing isn’t necessarily a brief commitment for the young player or the team. All NFL practice squad players automatically become free agents as soon as their teams’ seasons are over, whether that be this coming Monday or later in the playoffs. However, it is not uncommon for the specific players who end a season on a team’s practice squad to quickly re-sign with that same team for the next offseason, agreeing to what is commonly called a “futures” contract that takes effect in March.
For instance, early this past January the Buccaneers re-signed five players that had finished 2011 on their practice squad, including TE Collin Franklin and QB Brett Ratliff. Days after the end of the 2010 season, all eight players that ended that campaign on the practice squad – including DE E.J. Wilson and WR Ed Gant – promptly re-signed with the Bucs.
The Buccaneers moved two off and one on their practice squad on Tuesday, which left them with an open spot on that eight-man crew heading into the week of preparations for the St. Louis Rams. Not surprisingly, that spot was filled before the week’s first practice on Wednesday, as the team signed rookie wide receiver Jabin Sambrano, formerly of the Colts.
The 5-11, 175-pound Sambrano signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent this past May. He went to camp with the Colts and played in the preseason, seeing his most significant action as a kickoff returner, where he ran back four kicks for 107 yards (26.8 avg.). Sambrano also caught one two-yard pass and returned two punts for six yards.
A Temecula, California native, Sambrano started for three seasons at Montana, earning second-team all-conference honors as a senior after catching 36 passes for 362 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The practice squad for an NFL team is always a fluid group, with players occasionally coming and going as a team tries to keep its numbers at various positions where they want them. That remains true even when the season is near its end, as evidenced by the three practice squad moves the Buccaneers made on Tuesday.
And there will likely be one more change to that eight-man group within the next few days, because Tuesday’s moves left the Bucs with one open practice squad spot. LB Joe Holland was re-signed, but TE Drake Dunsmore has been placed on practice squad injured reserve and G Hayworth Hicks has terminated his contract with the team. Continue reading
For the second time in three weeks, the Buccaneers have re-signed versatile and experienced offensive lineman Derek Hardman. To make room on the roster, the team waived G Hayworth Hicks, whom they had claimed off waivers from Kansas City earlier in the week.
The 6-6, 300-pound blocker has experienced his share of roster moves during his three seasons in the NFL, but all of his game action has been as a Buccaneer. He played in nine games and started four at right guard as a rookie in 2010, then got into three more contests last fall. Hardman went to camp with the Buccaneers again in 2011 and made the cutdown to the 53-man roster but was waived a few days before the season opener. He has since returned twice more, most recently on November 28.
Hardman played tackle at Eastern Kentucky and is capable of filling in anywhere along the offensive line. When he returned to the team in late November, it was just after Jeremy Trueblood had been placed on injured reserve, leaving the team thin behind the starting offensive tackles. His return this week could be connected to the uncertain health of starting right guard Jamon Meredith, who missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle ailment.
The Bucs’ ever-changing cornerback corps is going to have yet another look in Week 14.
Out, for this week at least, is first-year man LeQuan Lewis, has played a significant number of snaps in recent weeks as a nickel back. He suffered a knee injury in Denver and will miss at least this next game, though the injury is not considered a season-ender.
In is Anthony Gaitor, who hasn’t played since the second week of the preseason. Continue reading
DE Markus White is back on the Buccaneers’ practice squad, where he has spent the majority of the 2012 season, despite being involved in quite a few more transactions than the average player. To make room for White on that eight-man unit, the team released LB Joe Holland.
Most recently, White was promoted from that crew to Tampa Bay’s active roster last week, but the Bucs then elected to use that spot to nab DT Matthew Masifilo off San Francisco’s practice squad. That made White a free agent again briefly, but the Buccaneers eagerly brought him back after the weekend. White has also spent several weeks on the Washington Redskins’ 53-man roster earlier in the fall and was on the Bucs’ active roster for their Week Six game against Kansas City, though he was inactive on game day.
Originally a seventh-round pick of the Redskins in 2011, White appeared in two games for Washington as a rookie. In three seasons at Florida State, he racked up 131 tackles, 11.0 sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss. Known for his relentless style of play, White capped his collegiate career with a senior season in which he contributed 64 tackles, 8.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He hails from West Palm Beach.
Holland joined the Bucs’ practice squad last week, actually taking the spot that was created when White was promoted to the active roster.
Tampa Bay’s secondary, which has had to test its depth significantly throughout the 2012 season, could be getting reinforcements soon.
Second-year CB Anthony Gaitor, who has been on injured reserve for the past six weeks due to a hamstring ailment, will begin practicing with the team on Wednesday and could return to game action as soon as Week 14. Continue reading
The big roster news of the day on Tuesday was Quincy Black’s unfortunate move to injured reserve, but the Buccaneers also tweaked their practice squad once again before starting up their week of preparations for the Panthers.
Two spots on that eight-man crew switched hands, as the team brought in DE Ernest Owusu and WR Diondre Borel and released TE LaMark Brown and WR Dale Moss.
Though Ernest Owusu shares a last name and a former college conference (the Pac-10) with current Buccaneers receiver Chris Owusu, the two are not related. The Bucs’ newest Owusu originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings in May. The former University of California standout earned a spot on Minnesota’s practice squad to start the season but was just released from that unit last Friday. At Cal, the 6-5, 270-pound Owusu played in 42 games with 18 starts and recorded 55 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks. He was a repeat member of the Pac-10′s all-academic teams.
The 6-0, 199-pound Borel also came into the league as an undrafted free agent, though in 2011 with Green Bay, and he has spent most of the past two seasons on the Packers’ practice squad. He converted to the receiver position in Green Bay after playing quarterback and punter in college at Utah State. Running a spread offense for the Aggies, Borel threw for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns during his collegiate career, and also ran for nearly 1,500 yards.
Moss had been on the Bucs’ practice squad since the opening week, while Brown was just added last week.