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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chargers and QB Rivers announce he’s free agent

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Danny Medley- USA Today Sports

One of the most recognizable, gun -slinging quarterbacks in pro football is now officially a free agent come this March. And, he might end up drawing interest from at least one team in our state. This after mid-day Monday, the Chargers and 16 year veteran quarterback Philip Rivers mutually announced that he will not brought back for the 2020 season:

This announcement had been long rumored after reports that Rivers had moved his family from Southern California to Florida earlier in January after the conclusion of the 2019 season.

Rivers was emotional after the Chargers final game of the year (above), when they lost at Kansas City 31 – 21. That’s where he basically made it known that he believed his time in San Diego / Los Angeles was done.

The eight-time Pro Bowler had led the Chargers to the playoffs six previous times, including most recently two seasons ago. That’s when L.A. won 12 games in the regular season with Rivers firing 32 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. L.A. then upset the Baltimore Ravens on the road in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.

There has been much speculation as to where Rivers might end up? And, many fans and media are reading into his move to Florida as being a potential signal that he might want to try to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and noted “quarterback guru,” coach Bruce Arians.

Arians led the Arizona Cardinals to am immediate turnaround with veteran Carson Palmer, who had been given up on by the Bengals and then the Raiders, before flourishing for a couple of seasons in Arizona.

The Bucs are still trying to decide what to do with their free-agent-to-be quarterback Jameis Winston? Winston just came off his fourth losing season in five years and dubiously, became the first quarterback in NFL history to have 30 interceptions in a season where he also threw 30 touchdown passes.

As for Rivers, he has also been interception proned throughout his career. This includes six of his seasons, where he’s thrown at least 15 or more, as he did with 20 picks coming in 2019.

If the Bucs are not interested, there is also speculation that the Miami Dolphins might be.

However, Miami already has veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who performed well down the stretch of the season, including leading their dramatic last-minute drive victory at New England in week 17. The Dolphins have also hired Chan Gailey, as their new offensive coordinator, as he previously worked with Fitzpatrick as head coach of the Buffalo Bills and offensive coordinator with the New York Jets.

There are several other possible destinations for the former 2004 first-round pick out of N.C. State.

Rivers could end up potentially in Indianapolis after the abrupt retirement on the eve of last season by Andrew Luck the team might welcome the veteran Rivers to battle last year’s starter Jacoby Brissett to help get them back in the playoffs for 2020.

The Carolina Panthers may also be very interested and obviously, Rivers is from that region.

Carolina still has to decide whether they’re going to keep or release injured quarterback Cam Newton who played in only two games last season due to a foot problem? The Panthers can save over 17 million dollars by cutting Newton.

If you are wondering about Rivers’ cost, it will be an interesting QB market come March, and his last Chargers deal averaged $20 million per year with his actual salary having been $16 million for 2019.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.

Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?

Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.

Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,

Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:

“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”

“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option? 

The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.

After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”

While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.

Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.

The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?

First, the team released another video with clues about them intending to change their uniform and potentially alter their logo:

The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:

“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”

As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.

This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,

The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.

NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.

It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.

The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.

Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.

So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.

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