Russell Wilson’s trade, Aaron Rodgers’ decision, franchise tag deadline: Recapping a wild Tuesday in the NFL
Tuesday was a wild day in the NFL, and not just because of the 4 p.m. ET deadline for teams to use the franchise tag. 9:08 a.m: Dolphins tag Mike GesickiESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the “Dolphins have placed the franchise tag on TE Mike Gesicki, per league source.”10:01 a.m: Cowboys tag Dalton SchultzNFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports “The #Cowboys are franchise tagging TE Dalton Schultz, source said, keeping another playmaker in the fold. The signing period for franchise players begins at 4 p.m. ET on March 16 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season.”mlive.com
Brady, Bucs rout Panthers 32-6 to clinch NFC South title
Tom Brady threw for 232 yards and a touchdown, Antonio Brown made a grand return to the lineup after missing the last eight games and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-6 on Sunday to clinch their first NFC South title since 2007.
Patriots, Bucs among those making biggest waves so far
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)Bill Belichick never was one to spent wildly in free agency. Whether by trade, free agency or re-signings, the group brings a good mix of offense, defense and special teams. In addition to keeping Von Miller, Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris, Paton filled his biggest defensive pothole by signing free agent cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller. FUTURE CONSIDERATIONSThe Lions didn’t do much in free agency but nobody in Detroit should be bothered. The Lions are focused on rebuilding through the draft after sending QB Matthew Stafford to the Rams and then letting star wide receiver Kenny Golladay walk in free agency.
Barrett, Gronkowski agree to deals to stay with Buccaneers
Linebacker Shaquil Barrett and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who came out of retirement 11 months ago to help Brady win No. 7 in his first season with the Bucs, are the latest players to agree to terms to stay with the team. Agent Drew Rosenhaus represents both players and confirmed the deals to The Associated Press on Monday. He signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Tampa Bay in free agency in 2019 and has 27½ sacks in 31 regular-season games since joining the Bucs. Gronkowski played nine seasons with Brady in New England before retiring after the 2018 season.
Nobody comes for free in NFL free agency that begins Monday
Regardless, on Monday, two days before the NFL's 2021 business year begins, the 32 teams and agents for the players will be making deals. “Legal tampering, and tampering is illegal? AdOf course, free agency always is a buyer-beware situation. AdVoila: Lavonte David, a key linebacker, was re-signed, and several other key guys in the title run could be back. “We do have some money from a cap standpoint that we can spend; but again, it’s an interesting year.
Brady signs extension, frees salary cap space for Buccaneers
FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, in this Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, file photo. om Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with much-needed salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until hes at least 45. (AP Photo/Brett Duke, File)TAMPA, Fla. – Tom Brady has agreed to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that provides the Super Bowl champions with much-needed salary cap relief and will help the seven-time NFL champion reach a goal of playing until he’s at least 45. The five-time Super Bowl MVP capped his first season with the Bucs by leading Tampa Bay to its first championship in 18 years. David’s contract, of which $20 million is guaranteed, includes voidable years that make it salary cap friendly.
Receivers Godwin, Robinson top franchise tag list
(AP Photo/Jason Behnken, File)The big money that accompanies franchise tags for the 2021 season is going to receivers, safeties and linemen. So wideouts Chris Godwin, who helped the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl, and Chicago's Allen Robinson were tagged just before Tuesday's NFL deadline. Barring their teams working out long-term deals by July 15, they will earn about $19 million, $18 million and $13.7 million, respectively. The going rate for safeties under their first tag is around $10.5 million, which Maye and Marcus Williams will make in New Jersey. RECEIVERSThe 25-year-old Godwin earned $2.13 million in 2020 when he had 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games.
Bucs hope to keep core together to chase another Super Bowl
The Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 to win the Super Bowl. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already thinking about what it’ll take to repeat as Super Bowl champions. If Brady, Arians and general manager Jason Licht have their way, Gronkowski, Brown and Fournette won’t wind up being one-season rentals. “Hopefully we can keep the band together, have an offseason and actually know what we’re doing (entering next season),” Arians said. It changed our entire football team.”AdBrady said Arians, who also has two Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach, deserves credit, too.
Brady, improved defense keys to Bucs winning Super Bowl
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady during NFL football practice, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55. (Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)TAMPA, Fla. – Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won’t be denied. The 43-year-old six-time Super Bowl champion may no longer be the best quarterback in the NFL, however, he’s shown in his first season with the Bucs that he’s still good enough to lead a team to the NFL title game. You want to make some moves that hopefully get your team into the Super Bowl.
Chiefs' success big reason why fans will be at Super Bowl
FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2020, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs fans do "the chop" at the start of the team's NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann, File)There will be about 25,000 fans inside Raymond James Stadium for the Super Bowl on Sunday. Even when COVID-19 numbers were spiking around the country, the Chiefs never experienced an outbreak traced back to their fans. BRADY’S PORTUGUESETom Brady's six Super Bowl rings don't protect him from being trash talked in his own home. The fact that it will happen in the Super Bowl?
AB says he's grateful for 2nd chance provided by Buccaneers
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)TAMPA, Fla. – Antonio Brown says he’s grateful to be back in the NFL, let alone preparing to play in the Super Bowl. “I just think it was my only chance to be able to prove — not only to the doubters, but myself — I’m still a high-end football player, still love the game,” Brown said. Arians initially opposed the idea of adding Brown, saying during the offseason that the receiver wasn’t a good fit for the Bucs. He's the most accomplished wide receiver Brady has had to throw to since the Patriots had Hall of Famer Randy Moss, who also had a reputation of being difficult to play with, more than a decade ago. “He has a great love for the game, is a real perfectionist about how he plays, how he takes care of himself.
Super Bowl could be farewell for several pending free agents
Kansas City and Tampa Bay have several starters, including some notable pass catchers, scheduled to become free agents next month. So the Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Buccaneers will serve as a farewell for several players with their current team. Brown signed a one-year, $1.6 million contract with Tampa in late October and has been a model citizen since. He has 45 receptions for 623 yards and seven touchdowns after signing a one-year, $9 million deal. He turned 34 last month and might be willing to sign another one-year deal to stay in Tampa.
Brady, productive drafts fuel Tampa Bay's run to Super Bowl
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs with a elastic band around his legs during an NFL football workout Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston but dared to dream of signing Brady if the six-time Super Bowl champion decided to leave New England as a free agent. Of course it was Tom Brady, not thinking he would become a free agent,” Arians added. Ad“Naturally, I think you envision every year in the offseason you want to make some moves that hopefully get your team into the Super Bowl.
10 pending free agents in NFL conference championship games worth checking out
ALLEN PARK -- It’s that time of year where we’ll take a closer look at pending free agents worth tracking in the NFL’s conference championship games. The Green Bay Packers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while the Buffalo Bills head to Kansas City for a date with the defending champs on Sunday. See below for a rundown of 10 pending free agents worth keeping tabs on in Sunday’s conference championship games:Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay BuccaneersIt seems unlikely the Buccaneers would let Chris Godwin hit free agency, but there is a decent amount of moving parts in Tampa Bay. Shaquil Barrett, 28, is another one of those names that’s hard to imagine leaving Tampa Bay at the time. The veteran linebacker continues to play at a high level, but something’s got to give in Tampa Bay.mlive.com
NFC Matchups: Where else to start but Brady and Rodgers?
But Gronk in particular has always been a big-play guy in big games for Brady, and Green Bay doesn't have linebackers who excel in coverage. Green Bay will do some blitzing, though not as much as Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles figures to do. Unlike Brady, Rodgers can create outside the pocket, and he's especially dangerous when doing so. Veteran placekicker Mason Crosby is solid, making all 16 field goal attempts, but missed four PATs for Green Bay. Tampa Bay's Ryan Succop, now in his 12th pro season, made 28 of 31 field goal tries but missed five extra points.
Brady, talented Buccaneers playmakers developing chemistry
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrates his touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. Don't forget Antonio Brown, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at midseason and has contributed to the team’s run to Sunday’s NFC championship game at Green Bay. Then there’s Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson, a couple of late-round draft picks roughly half the age of the 43-year-old quarterback. The more that I’ve been around Mike, Chris, Antonio, Scooter (Miller), Tyler, Mick (Jaydon Mickens) — the better it gets,” Brady said. Tyler makes a great catch,” Arians added.
Saints' Brees sees playoff clash with Brady's Bucs as fate
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts after a touchdown by Alvin Kamara in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Chicago Bears in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)NEW ORLEANS – Drew Brees periodically discusses his long, extraordinary NFL journey in terms of fate and destiny. “Other than that, there’s not a lot of bad about” the Saints, Brady said. I think the quarterback-receiver relationship is really important.”Still, no defense has had more success against Brady this season than the Saints. The Saints gained 2,265 yards rushing during the regular season and added another 123 yards in their playoff opener against Chicago's formidable front.
Bucs, Browns, Bills out to follow footsteps of champ Chiefs
Aside from winning the final Super Bowl before the merger in 1970, the Kansas City Chiefs’ biggest claim to fame for over half a century was team founder Lamar Hunt coining the phrase Super Bowl. Three long-downtrodden teams — the Browns, Bills and Buccaneers — have made it to the divisional round this weekend and are certain they have as good a chance as the Chiefs, Packers, Saints, Ravens or Rams of winning Super Bowl 55. That’s heady stuff for a franchise that has never made it to the Super Bowl. I think Bills fans, including myself, didn’t think he was going to be this good this good this early. And he has proved a lot of people wrong.”No, there’s no comparing this Bills team to those of his playing days, Thomas said.
The Latest: Browns open 28-0 lead over Steelers
The Browns have raced to a 28-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns’ 28 points are the most by any team in the first quarter of a playoff game since the 1970 merger. So, this will be the first NFL playoff game ever pitting two quadragenarian quarterbacks. Drew Brees is trying to join Brett Favre and Tom Brady as quarterbacks to win a playoff game after turning 40. That was his third career playoff game with 150 or more rushing yards, one game shy of Hall of Famer Terrell Davis’ record.
Rodgers leads Pack to top of NFC after draft disappointment
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011, at Arlington, Texas. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014, at East Rutherford, N.J. Last year: No. The Bears’ leading tackler left in the first quarter of the Green Bay game with an elbow injury. DBs Buster Skrine, rookie Jaylon Johnson and Deon Bush missed the loss to Green Bay.
Tom Brady excited, ready to lead Buccaneers into playoffs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during an NFL football practice Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)TAMPA, Fla. – New team, same ole Tom Brady. Brady led New England to the Super Bowl nine times in 20 seasons, appearing in 41 playoff games and winning 30 — both records. “When he first signed I said, ‘OK, we’ll be a 40 (touchdown) and 10 (interception) team,’” Arians said. “It’s a never-ending thing with him, the perfectionist, to get everything right in practice,” Arians added.
Brady throws for 4 TDs, Bucs pull away from Falcons 44-27
Brady threw touchdown passes of 29 and 4 yards to Chris Godwin. Ryan scored on a 1-yard sneak and also threw scoring passes of 19 yards to Russell Gage and 1 yard to Hayden Hurst. The latter trimmed Atlanta’s deficit to 30-27 before Brady put the game away with two late drives. Brown had his most productive day since joining the Bucs midway through the season with 11 catches for 138 yards. Godwin had five receptions for 133 yards, while Evans had three catches for 46 yards before leaving the game.
Lions and makeshift coaching staff struggle against Bucs
Detroit Lions interim head coach Robert Prince on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Detroit. On the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first possession, they faced third-and-9 from their 19. Chase Daniel completed 13 of 18 passes, but for only 86 yards and never got the Lions past midfield. After a touchback on the kickoff to start the half, Lions running back D'Andre Swift fumbled on first down. That wasn't much fun.”The Lions allowed 588 yards, the second-highest total in team history and the highest in a regulation game.
Brady-led Bucs top Lions 47-7 to end 13-year playoff drought
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Detroit. The Bucs (10-5) set a franchise record with 588 yards and snapped the NFL’s second-longest postseason drought behind Cleveland’s 18-year run that can end Sunday. RECORD WATCHBrady has thrown a franchise-record 36 touchdowns and set a personal record with 348 yards passing by halftime. Tampa Bay set team records in points (34) and yards (410) in the first half. Lions: Stafford left the game with an ankle injury after he was 2 of 3 for 17 yards on his only possession.
Detroit Lions can’t get anything going in 47-7 blowout loss to Tampa Bay Bucs: Live updates recap
14:57 -- Detroit Lions drive starts on own 36David Blough is on after the defense forces the turnover on downs. Detroit won’t get blanked today -- Bucs 40, Lions 711:01 -- Tampa Bay Bucs drive starts on own 18Third-and-3, timeout Detroit. HALFTIME -- Tampa Bay Bucs 34, Detroit Lions 0Halftime analysis: This Lions defense could go down as the worst ever. 9:02 -- Tampa Bay Bucs drive starts on own 9Great tackle by Jamal Agnew to pin the Bucs deep. 14:15 -- Tampa Bay Bucs drive starts on own 49Tampa Bay is rolling thanks to the short field.mlive.com
Brady, Buccaneers bounce back with 46-23 win over Panthers
Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, Ronald Jones set a franchise-record with a 98-yard touchdown run, and the Buccaneers bounced back from a dreadful defeat with a resounding 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers. Panthers coach Matt Rhule described Brady’s play as “elite” and “fantastic.”The Bucs ran the ball just five times last week. Tampa Bay racked up 544 yards on offense and outgained the Panthers 322-35 in the second half and outscored them 29-6. Chris Godwin had 92 yards receiving for the Buccaneers (7-3), who swept the season series and handed the Panthers (3-7) their fifth straight loss. Rhule said the Panthers were unaware the ball had hit the ground or else he would have just had Bridgewater spike the ball.
Brees throws 4 TD passes, Saints rout Brady, Buccaneers 38-3
Brees was 26 of 32 passing, including first-half TD throws of 14 yards to Tre’Quan Smith, 8 yards to Adam Trautman and 12 yards to Sanders, who missed the previous two games while on the COVID-19 list. Brees regained the league career TD pass lead with 654, three more than the 43-year-old Brady, who had thrown for 17 touchdowns and just one interception over his previous six games. The Saints intercepted Brady twice in a 34-23 season-opening win, with Janoris Jenkins returning one for a TD. Jared Cook fumbled at the Bucs 2 with the Saints looking to build on an early 7-0 lead. The Saints outgained the Bucs 241 yards to 36 up to that point.
Brady's 4 TD passes lead Bucs past Raiders 45-20
(AP Photo/David Becker)LAS VEGAS – Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes to move past Drew Brees for the most in NFL history and ran for another to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 45-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Carr then connected on a 44-yard pass to Nelson Agholor to set up a 1-yard TD pass to Waller that cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-17. It also gave the Raiders their first opening drive TD since Week 16 of last season vs. the Chargers. FAVORITE TARGET IIBrady connected with Gronkowski for the second straight week with a 5-yard TD pass in the second quarter. Raiders: T Sam Young left with a knee injury in the second quarter and didn't return.
AP source: Antonio Brown agrees to 1-year deal with Bucs
TAMPA, Fla. – Suspended receiver Antonio Brown has agreed to return to the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the move. The addition of the volatile seven-time Pro Bowl selection bolsters an already formidable arsenal of playmakers for Tom Brady. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and running backs Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy have also joined Brady in Tampa Bay, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007. Brown is reuniting with the 43-year-old quarterback after playing one game with Brady during a brief stint with the Patriots in September 2019. In 131 regular-season games — all but one with Pittsburgh — Brown has 841 career receptions for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns.
Lions WR Golladay makes 2020 debut; Bucs' Godwin also active
Jeudy is active for the Bucs game as Denver quarterback Jeff Driskel makes his first start while Drew Lock recovers from a shoulder injury. Cardinals: QB Brett Hundley, WR Christian Kirk, RB Eno Benjamin, OL Mason Cole, OL Josh Miles, DL Leki Fotu. ___CHICAGO AT ATLANTABears: CB Duke Shelley, OG Arlington Hambright, NT Daniel McCullers, WR RIley Ridley, OLB Trevis GipsonFalcons: WR Julio Jones, CB A.J. Browns: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, CB Greedy Williams, LB Jacob Phillips, Olivier Vernon, Evan Brown and WR Rashard Higgins. Brown, CB Chris Jackson OLB Derick Roberson, C Aaron Brewer, TE Geoff Swaim, DT Matt DickersonVikings: WR Tajaé Sharpe, WR K.J.
The Latest: Hamstring injury sidelines Bucs WR Godwin
Earlier in the game, Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting was ruled out with a groin/hamstring injury. Brady threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans along with another to Chris Godwin. Golladay missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury and Detroit has missed his production. The injury woes for Dallas continued when starting center Joe Looney walked to the locker room also with an ankle injury. Out of 48 NFL games so far in 2020, 10 have included paying customers.
Brady, Fournette lead Bucs over Panthers 31-17
I think we’re still a long way from where we need to be," Brady said. Brady completed 23 of 35 passes, and Evans finished with seven receptions for 104 yards. “Nine penalties and four giveaways, but it’s a one-score game in the fourth quarter," Panthers coach Matt Rhule said. “I thought he competed and there will be days where you can’t get things flowing,” the Panthers coach added. In a twist, the Panthers also made a concerted effort to get wide receiver Curtis Samuel involved in the running game.