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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs choosing not to better themselves with moves is risky

Florida Football Insiders

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
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Trading deadline came and went and like many other teams, the Tampa Bay Bucs elected to stay put with the players they had and not add on by making a trade.

Time will tell if this was the right or smart decision. However, you couple not pulling the trigger on a deadline day deal with an earlier decision to pass on a prominent veteran running back-for not a lot of 2018 money and he’s now helping another NFC team? And there are eyebrows that will raise.

More on the running back signing coming up.

First to the trades and what didn’t happen Tuesday:

One, wide receiver DeSean Jackson had reportedly been asking to be traded, however that died down after Jackson caught a long touchdown pass from Jameis Winston in Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati. And, because the Bucs turned back to Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter and he rallied the team and got the game tied at 34, that will help, too. Fitzpatrick had success with Jackson early in the season, especially on deep downfield throws, and will be back starting for this week’s game with the Panthers.

Also, we put out there Sunday night the remote possibility that the Bucs would entertain trading Jameis Winston to another team that would want a quarterback. Whether Bucs GM Jason Licht ever seriously entertained this and/or fielded a legitimate offer phone call, we don’t know. And we may never know.

All we know is that Winston remains on the roster and is now on the bench again for this season.

Next, comes the other factor at trade deadline time: trying to acquire help at one of your needs.

Clearly, the Buccaneers have been in need at defensive back all season, as the inexperienced group that they’re trying to use continues to be riddled against the pass, game after game. This included Andy Dalton lighting them up a week ago in Cincinnati.

Yes, the Bucs were counting on former number 1 pick Vernon Hargreaves to line up opposite veteran and former Pro Bowler Brent Grimes. However, Hargreaves injured his shoulder in the week 1 win over the Saints and is likely going to miss the rest of the season. The Bucs have been mixing in rookie second round picks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, but they have struggled with consistency through the first seven games of the year. And they both have been repeatedly beaten in key situations. It happens…especially with rookies.

That leads us to Monday and the Bucs not pulling the trigger on a trade for a defensive back.

Clearly, Green Bay’s HaHa Clinton-Dix was available, and the Redskins grabbed him for only a 4th round pick.

You couple this with division rival New Orleans, also in need of a defensive back, making a trade with the Giants for former first-round pick Eli Apple last week, and you can see why Buccaneer fans are taking to sports radio and the internet to express dismay.

Yes, the Saints gave up  fourth and a seventh round picks for Apple, but clearly they understood they needed to be better in the secondary, now, and we’re willing to pay the price to win this season.

Licht, was either unable to get in on either of those deals above or was unwilling to sacrifice draft picks for the 2019 off-season. In either case, that’s not going to make Buccaneer fans feel any better headed into the critical part of the season on whether they can rally and maybe, make the playoffs.

They particularly won’t feel any better, because two of the teams that they are chasing, the Redskins and the Saints, did do deals to make themselves better in the secondary.

And while we are on the subject, of moves not made, the Bucs will be facing the Redskins at Raymond James Stadium in 10 days. And, that means they will see running back Adrian Peterson.

As the offseason was unfolding, we wondered if the Buccaneers,clearly in need of an established running back with only had third-year undrafted Peyton Barber, rookie second-round pick Ronald Jones and diminutive veteran running back Jacquizz Rodgers in their backfield, would go after Peterson.

Licht and the Bucs could have made the one-year deal for Peterson that Washington ended up making. The Skins signed him for a $600,000 signing bonus and $1 million at the start of the year. Chump change by starting running back money standards.

And, Peterson continues to show durability and flashes of his greatness, including his 26 carry 143 yard performance that included a 64 yard fourth quarter touchdown to help the Skins defeat the rival Giants last Sunday at The Meadowlands.

Meanwhile, Barber has been largely ineffective running the ball for the Bucs, and now the rookie Jones has a hamstring injury and may miss significant time. This is once again an area where critics will say: the Bucs did not act for the immediate season, when they could have or maybe should have, gotten Peterson.

Again, maybe time will determine that the Buccaneers secondary improves, they continue to win and did not need an effective running game to do it. That’s good for Licht, if so.

However, if the secondary continues to get beaten, Peterson continues to look like he does for Washington, including the upcoming game with the Bucs head to head, and the Bucs Run game struggles, it’s not good for the front office in Tampa Bay that they didn’t make moves that could have potentially helped.

Moves that others did make.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy Football “Start/Sit” for Florida players Week 14

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, that is if you had a good season. The fantasy playoffs are here, and if you made it, chances are some Florida players helped get there.

This week the Buccaneers will host the reeling Colts. The Jaguars will host the under-performing Chargers, and the Dolphins travel to play the ever-disappointing Jets.

The Buccaneers will entertain the Colts, who have the 13th overall defense. The Colts are 1-4 in their last five games and desperately need a win. Last week, they were torched on the ground by Titans RB Derick Henry. However, this was the first 100-yard rusher against the Colts this season.

The Bucs again surprised fantasy players last week, when Ronald Jones was benched in the first half for not picking up a blitz. This led to Peyton Barber scoring two touchdowns, while Jones had zero points. The Colts have surrendered two passing touchdowns in each of their last three games. Last week the Tampa Bay offense didn’t have to do nearly as much as usual.

This week, expect the Bucs vertical passing to be back throwing the ball at least 35 times. With a stout run defense, Jameis Winston will need to be at the top of his game in a big test for this Bucs team.

The Jaguars offense has been rough through the air with Nick Foles back. Now, Foles is back on the bench in favor of rookie, Gardner Minshew. The Chargers come into town with the 4th ranked pass defense, but let Drew Lock and Cortland Sutton connect for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers own the 18th ranked rush defense, and that is music to the ears of Leonard Fournette.

It has been a rough couple of weeks for the running back facing some stout run defenses. This weekend look for Fournette to get back on track. With the return of Minshew means the D.J. Chark becomes even more attractive. Chark was still the top guy with Foles in, but he and Minshew have a good connection.

The Dolphins are coming off one of the stunners of the year beating the Eagles in a 37-31 shootout. This week they set their sights on the Jets, who just gave the Bengals their first win. The Jets have the leagues’ best-run defense, which is usually significant. However, the Dolphins can’t run the ball effectively at all.

That means Ryan Fitzpatrick will be throwing a lot against the 19th ranked pass defense.

Last week Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker destroyed the Eagles secondary. This week they will have all the opportunities to do the same thing to the Jets. With the tight end position a mess, Mike Gesicki is an option again, who has scored in two straight games.

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Colts Kicker Adam Vinateri out for Bucs game

Abbey Radeka

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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The Colts are traveling to Tampa Bay but will likely take on the Bucs without their future Hall of Fame Kicker, Adam Vinatieri.

Before the matchup last week against the Titans, Vinatieri had began to experience a bit of pain in his left knee, the leg he plants to kick with his right leg. He told reporters that the pain began to increase through the week which led him to be placed on the Colt’s injury report for the first time this season.

Later Friday afternoon, Indy made Vinatieri’s “out” status official:

Vinatieri who is currently the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, has struggled to be consistent this season and has made a career-low 68% of his field goal attempts. He’s cost the Colt’s a couple of games in his missed eight field goals and six extra points.

Colts head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday that Vinatieri saw some doctors and got scans to figure out the severity of the problem. From there, they’ll consult with doctors and make a decision, which could potentially end his career. He’s currently sitting at 599 made FGs in his 24 seasons, just one shy of the 600 mark.

Earlier this week, Indianapolis secured rookie kicker Chase McLaughlin off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and the 45 year old Pro Bowler had said on Thursday that if he got the go ahead from everyone, he’d take the field on Sunday.

“Docs and trainers and everybody will put their two cents in and we’ll see if we can go,” Vinatieri said. “If I can go, I’ll go.”

Obviously, he did not get good news, and that means the rookie McLaughlin is in to kick at Raymond James Stadium.

The Colts are looking to stay in the race for the AFC wild card spot, in a similar situation as the Bucs, so this Sunday (and really every Sunday from here on out) is a do or die for both teams.

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