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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Insider Peter King- “McCoy wanted out”

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On this Memorial Day, a prominent NFL media number has weighed in on Gerald McCoy’s departure from the Buccaneers.

McCoy was released a week ago, as the Buccaneers saved $13 million (his 2019 scheduled salary) and later in the week used that money to sign fellow 2010 top pick defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a one-year deal for less money.

On Monday morning, ProFootballTalk and former NBC NFL Insider, Peter King, weighed in briefly on what he knows about the situation in his “Football Morning in America,” column:

While King wrote the words “McCoy wanted out,”  he didn’t complete the entire picture on the situation.

McCoy had made it clear throughout his playing career in Tampa Bay that he wanted to finish it as a Buccaneer, and he signed a lucrative six-year contract three seasons ago to make sure of that.

Further, we at F.F.I. have learned and written multiple times this offseason, that McCoy was being pressured to reduce his salary significantly, if he wanted to remain a Buccaneer. So much so, that McCoy was essentially being told in the last two months that he could not be back in the Buccaneers building working out without agreeing to the pay cut/restructure.

So, it was not so much of a case of him “wanting out,” as it was the Bucs “wanting him for less” or them “wanting him out.”

Suh agree to a one-year deal and reportedly will receive just over $9 million in base salary or about 75% of what McCoy was going to make. Suh could make more with certain incentives being met, and there is obviously a low-risk long-term for the Bucs on the one year deal.

As for McCoy, he visited the Cleveland Browns on Friday and is scheduled to talk with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday. We continue to repeatedly write that the New Orleans Saints are the most logical landing spot for McCoy due to his relationship with Drew Brees. The two have worked out together repeatedly in multiple off seasons in San Diego, including this Spring.

The Saints do have room under their cap, and even could create more space releasing or restructuring other players’ deals. Plus, McCoy has already made over $100 million in salary in his nine year career and could elect to take less in 2019 from a contending New Orleans team that plays the Buccaneers twice this season.

If you are looking at what is the most likely scenario? The Saints would be it.

Still, McCoy is going to take his time and weigh all the offers.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs WR Mike Evans still not practicing

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs were back on the practice field Wednesday morning getting ready for their third preseason game on Friday night with the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium. However, once again, they are without their top receiver, Mike Evans, who remains sidelined with an injury.

Buccaneers beat reporter for The Athletic, Greg Auman, tweeted that Evans was not out on the practice field during the portion that is open to the media:

Evans pulled up during a drill in Sunday’s practice and head coach Bruce Arians made mention of the injury on Monday:

“Mike tweaked yesterday…it’s nothing serious,” Arians told the media.

It is reportedly a leg injury to Evans’ quadriceps that is hampering him.

The Bucs are not required to talk about injuries, much less the severity of them, at this stage. And, it’s not believed that there will be any further updates on Evans this week.

However, it’s easy to conclude the Tampa Bay will not risk playing him in the third preseason game and is Auman tweeted, the starters never play in the fourth preseason game which will be next Thursday in Dallas.

So clearly, Tampa Bay is resting and rehabbing Evans for the season opener with the 49ers.

Evans, a Pro Bowl wide receiver from a year ago, is the top target of QB Jameis Winston. A year ago he caught for a career high 1,524 yards and also career high 17.7 avg with 8 TDs.

Evans had 86 receptions, which were the second most of his five year career, in 2018, and he’s one of three receivers in NFL history to have 1,000+ receiving yards in each of his first five seasons. Hall of Famer, Randy Moss and A.J. Green are the other two.

Evans previously dealt with a hamstring injury in the 2015 preseason and missed the season opener with Tennessee but returned the following week. However, he’s been very durable since then, playing in 47 of the 48 games the last three years, having missed only a 2017 game while suspended for his role in a fight against the Saints.

This info comes on Evans’ birthday, as he turns just 26 today.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs RB Ronald Jones back at Tuesday practice

Florida Football Insiders

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs fans can exhale on the knee injury for running back Ronald Jones, at least for now.

Jones was seen at the portion of practice open to the media Tuesday afternoon with his left knee heavily wrapped but, most importantly, participating in drills in full pads.

Tampa Bay radio host, J.P. Peterson, tweeted the video evidence here:

Jones had not practiced the last two days of Bucs training camp with what was described as a swollen knee suffered after playing in Friday night’s preseason game with the Dolphins.

As we wrote yesterday, coach Bruce Arians provided a brief update after practice into Jones’ situation,

“Ronald’s knee swelled up a little bit and just trying to take it day to day with him.”

Traditionally, the third preseason game is the final time, where starters for the regular season play significantly. The Bucs are set to host the Cleveland Browns Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.

When asked about Jones’ chances to play or whether the team would play it safe, Arians briefly said:

“We’ll see how it is. We still got a few more days. I think Ronald’s gonna be ok.”

Jones appeared to have suffered some kind of left knee hyper-extension returning the opening kickoff on a rain-slicked turf against the Friday night. That’s what can be seen this photo on social media from Tampa Bay sports reporter Kevin O’Donnell showing Jones knee clearly in an awkward spot when he planted:

Jones did carry the ball twice for 7 yards later in the first quarter of the game before being shut down for the night.

Jones has been one of the standouts of the Bucs offseason and training camp with glowing updates repeatedly from Arians about his progress and his chances of seeing significant playing time. He missed three games with a hamstring injury in a disappointing rookie year.

However, he is expected to challenge incumbent starter from last year Peyton Barber for playing time/carries, once the regular season gets underway in two weeks.

Another obvious point, if his knee was sprained or worse, the Bucs would not have had on the field in full uniform trying to run and cut, even at a reduced speed. So, that’s also a positive.

For now, we await Arians’ and the teams plans for using Jones, or not, against the Browns later today and tomorrow.

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