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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Roy Cummings

Tribune Staff

Bucs Beat: Conte says playing football worth the risk

- Fearful that continuing to play football might one day reduce his quality of life or, even worse, shorten it by a few years, former San Francisco 49ers LB Chris Borland retired last week at age 24 after just one NFL season.

Bucs decide not to pursue DE Greg Hardy

- Bucs officials never developed a comfort level with the idea of bringing DE Greg Hardy into their locker room, which is why they bowed out of the bidding for him on Wednesday.

DE Hardy could be an option for Bucs

- No one is quite sure just how many games free agent defensive end Greg Hardy will be allowed to play this coming season. The Bucs, though, appear to have an interest in finding out if Hardy wants to play them.

Bucs’ safety Chris Conte willing to risk it all for football

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— Fearful that continuing to play football might some day reduce his quality of life or even shorten it by a few years, former 49ers LB Chris Borland retired on Monday at the a...

While Mariota visits Bucs, Winston may skip draft

- Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota spent his Monday visiting with the Bucs brass and touring the training facility at One Buc Place as reports surfaced that Jameis Winston may not attend the NFL draft.

Bucs Beat: Melton says it’s all about hard work

- With the Bucs so far signing only B- or C-list free agents such as LB Bruce Carter, DT Henry Melton and S Chris Conte, there is a fear they will struggle to improve on last year’s disappointing 2-14 finish.

Top-pick QB busts are setbacks, but not like before

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— What if it doesn’t work out?

Mariota scheduled to visit Bucs’ facility on Monday

- The Bucs will spend the day entertaining Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, but the meeting will not include an on-field workout. That will take place in April.

Bucs sign former Bears defenders Melton, Conte

- Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht spent Thursday in Eugene, Oregon, watching University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota’s pro day. That didn’t keep Tampa Bay from staying active in free agency.

Bucs sign LB Bruce Carter, cut DE Michael Johnson

- The Bucs made their first foray into free agency, signing former Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter to a four-year, $20.5 million deal while releasing defensive end Michael Johnson, who like left tackle Anthony Collins before ...

Bucs sign ex-Cowboys LB Bruce Carter

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— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their first addition through free agency this year, signing former Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter to a four-year deal, the team announced.

Bucs begin meeting with free agent prospects today

- In a vast departure from previous years, the Bucs spent the opening hours of the 2015 free-agency signing period arranging visits with players instead of signing them.

Bucs release OT Collins in subdued start to free agency

- The biggest news made by the Bucs on Tuesday, the first day of the 2015 signing period, came when they announced the long-anticipated release of left tackle Anthony Collins after just one year of service.

Bucs, seemingly set at RB, could target Murray

- The Bucs will go into the start of the free agency signing period today needing fixes at several position groups across the field, but could find a very enticing target at a position that appears to be a strong suit.

You be the Bucs GM: Defensive backs

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— The NFL calendar officially flips to 2015 with the start of free agency. A three-day negotiating period began Saturday, allowing teams and prospective free agents to begin the...

After bad decisions in 2014, Bucs again eye free agency

- The Bucs dove into the 2014 market with a plan to make starters out of a career backup quarterback, a part-time left tackle and a defensive end with a five-year career average of 5.3 sacks per season. The plan failed. Miser...

Bucs reach agreement to re-sign TE/FB Stocker

- The Bucs on Saturday reached agreement on a new contract for prospective tight end Luke Stocker.

Bucs GM Licht on Winston: ‘The process isn’t over’

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— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers kept Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston to themselves when they had him in for a visit of One Buc Place earlier this week.

You be the Bucs GM: Running back

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The NFL calendar officially flips to 2015 with the start of free agency. A three-day negotiating period begins Saturday, allowing teams and prospective free agents to begin the matchmaking process.

Bucs bring back CB Jenkins, LB Lansanah, S McDougald

- Six days ahead of the official start of free-agency, and two days ahead of a legal three-day negotiating period, the Bucs also spent part of Thursday meeting with free agent defensive end Trent Cole.

Bucs meeting today with ex-Eagles DE Trent Cole

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— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers search for a possible replacement for defensive end Michael Johnson will begin today when they visit with two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole....

You be the Bucs GM: Quarterback

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The NFL calendar officially flips to 2015 with the start of free agency. A three-day negotiating period begins Saturday, allowing teams and prospective free agents to begin the matchmaking process. On Tuesday, contracts ...

Bucs meet with Jameis Winston in Tampa

- Almost a month ahead of the time when teams begin bringing prospects to their facility for in-depth interviews, the Bucs spent the day with the Florida State quarterback at One Buc Place.

NFL's 2015 salary cap will give Bucs room to work

- A Bucs team in dire need of fixes throughout its roster will have plenty of room to work with under the salary cap when the NFL's free agency market opens next week.

Bucs Beat: Psych eval will be Winston’s biggest pre-draft test

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For Florida State QB James Winston, the most important part of the pre-draft process is yet to come.

Polian confident Bucs are ready to be relevant again

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A 2-14 season in his first year back on the sidelines has left some fans to wonder if coach Lovie Smith can lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back to playoff prominence.

Winston, Mariota combine workouts impress Bucs’ GM

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— Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston took the field at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday and did something predecessors such as Brady Quinn, Andrew Luck an...

Bucs Beat: Selling fan base on Winston won’t be easy

- Speaking to reporters here at the scouting combine last week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said “all options are still on the table’’ regarding his team’s plans for the draft.

Winston confident he can be face of a franchise

- Jameis Winston says he’s working to rid himself of the troublesome image he’s earned as a result of the litany of misdeeds he’s committed away from the field.

Report: QB Winston tested for shoulder weakness

- According to ESPN, Jameis Winston has undergone testing to determine why he is experiencing weakness in his throwing shoulder that was discovered during medical testing at the NFL combine.

15 minutes with Winston won't provide much, Lovie Smith says

- Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith will meet Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for the first time here at the scouting combine. It will be a brief introduction.

Bucs notes: Lovie Smith getting ‘advice’ on No. 1 pick

- Football fans everywhere have an opinion on what Tampa Bay should do with the first overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. Some aren’t afraid to share their opinions with the men who will actually make the call.

QB prospect Mariota knows he has a lot to learn in NFL

- Marcus Mariota admits he's not prepared to start in the NFL at this point, but the Oregon star says he will be when the time comes.

Bucs notes: Lovie sees NFL skills in Mariota

- Earlier, Bucs coach Lovie Smith said he was comfortable with drafting Jameis Winston. Now, he says he discounts critics of Heisman winner Marcus Mariota who say the QB can’t excel in the NFL.

Lovie Smith comfortable with drafting Jameis Winston

- “There’s guys accused and there’s guys who have actually committed things. I think with Jameis, he’s accused,” the Bucs’ coach said Wednesday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Bucs may address middle linebacker in draft

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Unhappy with Mason Foster’s lack of ideal foot speed, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will probably allow the middle linebacker to move on to another team through free agency this year.

Mayock: Tough call for Bucs on draft day

- Mike Mayock of the NFL Network said the decision a quarterback-needy team such as the Bucs has to make with the first pick is so tough this year, he’s glad he’s not among those making it.

Glazers involved but won’t dictate Bucs’ draft pick, Mark Dominik says

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— With the first overall pick in the draft, the Buccaneers are in a position to make what many believe will be a franchise-altering decision this year.

Mayock: QB-needy Bucs in tough spot at No. 1

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— Arguably the best football analyst in America, Mike Mayock of the NFL...

Winston scrutiny will get more intense at combine

- For prospective NFL quarterbacks, there is only one setting that presents the type of pressure they face while standing inside a collapsing pocket: the NFL combine.

Polian: Glennon ‘perfect bridge’ for Bucs until top pick ready

- The biggest question everyone is suddenly asking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is: Who will start at quarterback when the 2015 season opens? Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian believes he has the answer.

Bucs line coach Phair takes job at University of Illinois

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— Tampa Bay Buccaneers three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy walked away from the 2014 season praising his two line coaches, Joe Cullen and Mike Phair, for the work t...

Josh McCown says he’s not surprised Bucs cut him

- Dismissal is the price the quarterback of a 2-14 team with the third-worst offense in the league usually pays, McCown said. So he wasn’t surprised when coach Lovie Smith called with the news.

Koetter confident he’ll get most out of Bucs’ next starting QB

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— With Josh McCown suddenly out on the street, there’s no telling who the Tampa Bay...

Bucs release QB Josh McCown after one season

- The chances of Tampa Bay drafting Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the first pick in the draft appeared to increase substantially when the team released 2014 starter Josh McCown.

Browns’ apparent interest in Mariota fuels trade speculation

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— The suggestion was made a week or so ago that the Browns’ seemingly never-ending search for quarterback help could result in a trade with the Buccaneers this spring.

Ex-Bucs GM Dominik likes Mariota at No.1

- Mark Dominik made the call on the last two quarterbacks drafted by Tampa Bay, spending the 17th overall pick in 2009 on Josh Freeman and a third-round pick in 2013 on Mike Glennon.

Bucs have big plans for TE Seferian-Jenkins, now fully healed

- A few weeks of rest is all Tampa Bay tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins needed to rid himself of the back problems that cut short his rookie season.

Browns, in need of QB, could impact Bucs’ draft plans

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— Brian Hoyer is on his way to the free-agent market. Johnny Manziel is in rehab. Add it all up and the Cleveland Browns are a team seemingly in need of a quarterback.

Bucs a team to watch next year, says ESPN.com’s Sando

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— The fall of all that multi-colored Lombardi Trophy-shaped confetti out in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday night signaled the official end of the 2014 season.