Free Agency-Buccaneers Capsule
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Brent Grimes, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, LB Kwon Alexander, WR Adam Humphries, S Chris Conte, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, LB Adarius Taylor, QB...
Buccaneers counting on Arians to help QB Winston blossom
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay is counting on Bruce Arians to help Jameis Winston realize his potential, however the young quarterback isn't the only component the two-time NFL Coach of the Year has to fix if the Buccaneers are going to end a long postseason drought.
A porous defense has been a problem for much of the team's decade-plus absence from the playoffs and needs immediate attention, too.
Buccaneers, Falcons not content with playing out string
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Dirk Koetter doesn't think it benefits him or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to wonder what might have been.
Win or lose Sunday's season finale against NFC South-rival Atlanta, the Bucs (5-10) will miss the playoffs for the 11th straight year.
The Falcons (6-9) have had a tough go of it, too, though they do have a shot at ending their disappointing season on a three-game winning streak.
Key penalties, turnovers cost Bucs in 27-20 loss to Dallas
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The big plays were there for Tampa Bay and its top-five offense on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. So were plenty of penalty flags and fumbles.
The result: Another prolific offensive performance, and another Buccaneers loss.
Take 2: Cowboys try to wrap up NFC East, this time vs Bucs
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys failed in their first attempt to wrap up the NFC East by losing to Indianapolis when the Colts badly needed a win for their playoff chase.
Now the NFL's rushing leader and his teammates will try again Sunday, this time facing an opponent with nothing on the line a week after Tampa Bay was eliminated from postseason contention with a loss in Baltimore.
Winston throws for 2 TDs, Buccaneers beat Panthers 24-17
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got after Cam Newton all game long, sacking the Carolina star four times and intercepting four of his passes.
"The 'D' was fantastic," coach Dirk Koetter said after Sunday's 24-17 victory over the reeling Panthers.
Truth is, though, the Bucs go as Jameis Winston does.
The fourth-year pro delivered another strong performance in his second start since regaining the starting quarterback job, outplaying Newton and fueling hope for a season-ending turnaround.
QBs looking to elevate Panthers, Buccaneers down stretch
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Cam Newton and Jameis Winston know there's no surefire way for a quarterback to lead a team out of a funk.
What works in one situation may not necessarily be the answer in another.
Newton's second-place Carolina Panthers (6-5) have lost three straight games following a 6-2 start, moving closer to the bottom of the NFC South than the top.
Bucs QB Winston nearing settlement in 2016 accusation
PHOENIX (AP) — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is in the process of settling a lawsuit filed by a female Uber driver in Arizona who accused him of sexual assault.
Documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix state that a settlement agreement should be finalized in 10 days. Details weren't disclosed.
The woman sued Winston in September and had been seeking $75,000 in damages.
Winston shines, Bucs beat 49ers 27-9 to end 4-game skid
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston is determined to make the most of his latest opportunity to prove he's Tampa Bay's long-term solution at quarterback.
The fourth-year pro sparkled in his first start in a month, throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers' 27-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Struggling Buccaneers, 49ers not giving up on themselves
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — With six games remaining in mostly disappointing seasons for Tampa Bay and San Francisco, both struggling squads are seeking answers that will help them beyond 2018.
The odds may be against either club salvaging the year with a playoff berth, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything meaningful the Buccaneers (3-7) and 49ers (2-8) can accomplish beginning Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.
Turnovers, leaky defense compound Buccaneers QB quandary
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick.
It doesn't seem to matter who's playing quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Turnovers and a leaky defense are hindering the team's chances of being successful.
The Bucs (3-7) have dropped seven of eight games following a 2-0 start, vacillating back and forth between Winston and Fitzpatrick, who've played well enough at times that Tampa Bay leads the NFL in passing yards and total offense.
Fitzpatrick benched for Winston as Bucs’ QB carousel spins
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback merry-go-round may be in motion again.
After starting Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first four games, switching to Jameis Winston for the next three and going back to Fitzpatrick for the last three, coach Dirk Koetter is at a crossroads again after the Bucs dropped a 38-35 decision to the New York Giants on Sunday.
Buccaneers sticking with Fitzpatrick as starting QB
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their No. 1 quarterback.
Coach Dirk Koetter said Monday that the 14th-year pro, who failed to produce a touchdown in the previous day's 16-3 loss to Washington, will start next Sunday on the road against the New York Giants.
Buccaneers lose again, Koetter mum on possible QB change
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick has been down this road far more times than the veteran quarterback cares to remember.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost for the third straight time Sunday, failing to score a touchdown in a 16-3 loss to the Washington Redskins despite gaining 501 yards total offense and only punting once.
Fitzpatrick topped 400 yards passing for the fourth time this season, yet he may be headed back to the bench after the team's sixth loss in seven games following a 2-0 start.
Buccaneers searching for answers to defensive woes
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — It doesn't matter if Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick is at quarterback for the Buccaneers. A porous defense keeps undermining Tampa Bay's chances of winning.
The Bucs (3-5) have lost five of six following a 2-0 start. Neither changing quarterbacks nor firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith has been an answer to ending a tailspin that's dropped the team into a familiar hole: last place in the NFC South, where they've finished six of the last seven seasons.
Fitzpatrick will keep starting QB job in Tampa Bay
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick played well enough to retain starting the quarterback job in Tampa Bay for another week.
Now if "Fitzmagic" can figure out how to keep the Buccaneers from digging themselves such a big hole early in games.
FANTASY PLAYS: Burning questions for Week 9 in football
A look at some key fantasy football questions going into Week 9:
WHICH UNDER THE RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR A BIG GAME THIS WEEK?
- Norfolk Daily NewsDallas Cowboys clinch NFC east, beating Buccaneers 27-20December 24, 2018
- Norfolk Daily NewsJameis Winston, Bucs 'D' shine as Panthers lose fourth straightDecember 3, 2018
- The Washington TimesRedskins-Buccaneers: How to watch and what to watch forNovember 11, 2018
- Star TribuneVikings' 2015 draft class impresses on league and team basisNovember 3, 2018
Panthers have stability at QB, Bucs seeking it in NFC South
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have stability at the quarterback position. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are desperately in search of the same.
The teams appear headed in different directions entering an NFC South showdown Sunday in Charlotte — and quarterback play is a big reason why.
Buccaneers-Panthers Preview Capsule
TAMPA BAY (3-4) at CAROLINA (5-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
OPENING LINE — Panthers by 5 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Buccaneers 3-4, Panthers 4-3
SERIES RECORD — Panthers lead 22-13
LAST MEETING — Panthers beat Buccaneers 22-19 on Dec. 24, 2017
LAST WEEK — Buccaneers lost to Bengals 37-34; Panthers beat Ravens 36-21
AP PRO32 RANKING — Buccaneers No. 25, Panthers No. 6
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (1), RUSH (28), PASS (1)
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (10), PASS (31)
Jets rookie QB Darnold aims for improvement in next 8 games
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Flashes of brilliance. Spurts of inconsistency. Steady progress.
The first eight games of Sam Darnold's NFL career have been marked by the ups and downs typical of a rookie quarterback playing his way through a crash course of a life as a pro.
Starting now, though, the face of the New York Jets franchise wants more.
Fitzpatrick in, Winston out as Buccaneers’ starting QB
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston's inability to cut down on turnovers has cost him his starting job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Without speculating on what the move means for the young quarterback's future with the team, coach Dirk Koetter said veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick will lead the NFL's No. 1 ranked offense against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Winston, 24, was benched after throwing four interceptions during last Sunday's 37-34 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bengals pick off Winston, hold on for 37-34 win over Bucs
CINCINNATI (AP) — When Jessie Bates returned an easy-as-it-gets interception for a touchdown, the Bengals seemed to have the game in hand. Ryan Fitzpatrick was just getting warmed up on the Buccaneers sideline.
Winston’s 4 INTs leave Bucs with a quarterback question
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick finished his postgame media session, turned the corner and saw Jameis Winston heading down the hallway. The two quarterbacks exchanged a supportive fist-bump.
It also might have been a passing-of-the-torch moment.
Bengals pick off Winston 4 times for 37-34 win over Bucs
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals had four interceptions, six sacks and a late 18-point lead. They needed all of it — and every last second on the clock as well — to salvage a win that was more relief than anything.
Jessie Bates returned Jameis Winston's fourth interception for a touchdown Sunday, and the Bengals overcame Ryan Fitzpatrick's late rally for a 37-34 victory that left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a question at quarterback.
FANTASY PLAYS: Players to start and sit during Week 8
Week 8 doesn't offer too many "can't miss" fantasy starts, but astute owners who have worked the waiver wires or patiently waited for a slow starter to finally gain steam will be rewarded, as the slate provides a handful of under-the-radar performers who will deliver quality numbers.
Ball finally bounces their way, Falcons beat the Bucs 34-29
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons finally got the ball to bounce their way.
They hope that's the start of more good fortune.
After a hugely disappointing start to season, the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak with a 34-29 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the game ending on a wacky play that nearly worked.
Jackson bemoans missed opportunities in Bucs’ loss
ATLANTA (AP) — DeSean Jackson wasn't looking forward to the film review of Tampa Bay's third straight loss.
He already knew the missed scoring opportunities would be the most painful part of the Buccaneers' 34-29 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Too many times, the Buccaneers (2-3) whiffed when given an opportunity to keep up with the Falcons' scoring pace.
Ryan throws 3 TD passes, Falcons hold off Bucs 34-29
ATLANTA (AP) — After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle.
But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way.
Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter.
Winston’s focus on helping Buccaneers improve on 2-2 start
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — While most of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used their bye week to get away from work and relax, Jameis Winston stayed closer to home and continued to prepare for his first start in nearly 10 months.
The No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft missed the first three games of the season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
FANTASY PLAYS: Starts and sits for a make or break week
After five weeks, fantasy owners of Dalvin Cook and Devonta Freeman are lamenting those draft picks, while those who gambled on Austin Ekeler and Tyler Boyd feel as if their fantasy IQs went up sharply.
Week 6 constitutes a make-or-break moment for a host of players who have yet to live up to their preseason projections, along with those labeled as breakouts who are still digging to see the light of the expectations placed among them.
Buccaneers search for answers on defense during bye week
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay's best start in eight years has dissolved into a .500 record that raises more questions than it answers about whether this finally will be the year the Buccaneers end their long playoff drought.
The Bucs (2-2) weathered Jameis Winston's suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy better than reasonably could have been expected, thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick becoming the first player in league history to top 400 yards passing in three consecutive games.
Winston in, Fitzpatrick out as Buccaneers starting QB
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The bye week is coming at a good time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who not only are trying to get acclimated to having Jameis Winston back in the lineup, but need to find a way to fix a leaky defense.
Coach Dirk Koetter made it official Monday, confirming Winston will start the team's next game — at Atlanta — on Oct. 14.
Winston looks like he’s ready to return to Buccaneers lineup
CHICAGO (AP) — The FitzMagic ran out on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jameis Winston returned from a three-game suspension in the second half after Ryan Fitzpatrick's record run came to a screeching halt in a 48-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday
"I was ready," Winston said. "These three weeks I took very seriously. I worked my tail off. I got all those guys around to help me so I can go out there and be good for my team."
Buccaneers start Fitzpatrick over Winston against Bears
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback over Jameis Winston.
Fitzpatrick started against the Chicago Bears on Sunday after Winston rejoined the team following a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Fitzpatrick has thrown for a league-leading 1,230 yards and 11 TDs. He is the first player in NFL history to top 400 yards passing in three consecutive games.
Bucs, Bears in 1st place? Who would have thunk it?
There is no way anyone outside Tampa or Chicago would have predicted the Bucs and Bears would both be in first place when they square off in Week 4.
Sure, it's still plenty early in the schedule. Yet there's no denying both teams are ahead of schedule.
Although the Buccaneers (2-1) come off a 30-27 home loss to Pittsburgh last Monday night, their offense behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been dynamic.
Winston practices, Bucs still mum on starting quarterback
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers insist they don't have a quarterback controversy.
Jameis Winston practiced Wednesday for the first time since serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, returning to a team that's ridden Ryan Fitzpatrick's arm to a surprising 2-1 start.
"I'm excited to be back," a beaming Winston said. "I'm so happy we had some success. ... We've got to keep it up."
Winston returns to work, Bucs not saying if he’s starter
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston is back on the job, though the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still aren't saying if it's as the team's starting quarterback.
Winston's three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy ended Tuesday, the first day the fourth-year pro was permitted to return to the team's training facility and have contact with coaches and teammates.
Bucs mum on whether Winston will start with suspension over
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't avoid questions about Jameis Winston's return much longer.
The young quarterback's three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy ended after Monday night's 30-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is unclear, however, if he's coming back as the starter.
Bucs ready to showcase potent offense against Steelers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — So much for struggling without Jameis Winston.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not only thriving in the suspended quarterback's absence, they're evolving into an offensive juggernaut that's set to perform on a national stage when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Monday night.
Dolphins’ FitzMagic says he’s willing to share nickname
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick wants to trademark his nickname but says he'd be happy to share it with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Both go by "FitzMagic," and the Bucs' QB has been making headlines while leading his team to a 2-0 start as a replacement for the suspended Jameis Winston.
That's not the reason Minkah Fitzpatrick recently filed for a federal trademark of the nickname, he said Wednesday.
Uber driver suing Bucs’ QB Winston over groping incident
PHOENIX (AP) — A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, accusing him of sexual assault.
Court documents say the woman filed the suit in Arizona on Tuesday and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. She said Winston grabbed her crotch in the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant in the Phoenix area in March 2016.
Improved Buccaneers insist fast start isn’t a surprise
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers scoff at the notion that their first 2-0 start in eight years is a surprise.
"I think that's where we expected to be," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said after throwing for 402 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday's 27-21 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Fitzpatrick shines again, Buccaneers stun Eagles 27-21
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Courtesy of DeSean Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick rocked a pair of sunglasses and a partially zipped warmup jacket revealing a couple of gold chains and a large pendant resting on his chest.
"It's nothing," the Tampa Bay quarterback said of the garb after throwing four touchdown passes and topping 400 yards for the second straight week, leading the Buccaneers to a 27-21 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Foles, Fitzpatrick prosper as backup QBs for Eagles, Bucs
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Gerald McCoy is puzzled when he hears people question the ability of fellow NFL players, particularly backup quarterbacks such as Nick Foles and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
"It's the NFL," Tampa Bay's six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle said. "Everybody's good."
Foles' success filling in for the injured Carson Wentz is one of the biggest reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) were able to win the Super Bowl after losing their starting quarterback late last season.
Foles to start for Eagles vs Bucs; Wentz not cleared to play
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles made the right choice when he picked the Eagles over the Buccaneers last season.
Foles has a Super Bowl MVP award to show for a tough decision that came down to familiarity. Now he'll get a chance to play against Tampa Bay on Sunday because Carson Wentz still isn't ready to return from knee surgery.
Fitzpatrick’s big game gets Bucs off to fast start
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers insisted all along that they weren't overly concerned about having to open the season without suspended quarterback Jameis Winston.
That's because Ryan Fitzpatrick not only is an experienced backup who's one of just four players in NFL history to throw touchdown passes for seven different teams, but he has proven he can win games, too.
Saints suddenly facing doubt after surprising upset
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bad memories came flooding back to Saints coach Sean Payton after a fifth straight regular season opener ended in defeat.
It wasn't just that the Saints lost, but how it happened.
An anemic pass rush and blown coverages helped an opposing quarterback look as spectacular as any point in his career as the Saints fell behind big. Prolific Saints QB Drew Brees orchestrated a frenetic rally to make it interesting, but ran out of time in a 48-40 loss.
Fitzpatrick, Bucs stun Saints 48-40
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick backpedaled giddily for about 20 yards as he watched DeSean Jackson come down with a 36-yard touchdown pass over the middle. The journeyman quarterback then turned toward the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sideline and triumphantly thrust his arm in an upward arc.
Time will tell if the Bucs are on a similar trajectory this season, but there's no denying they're off to an encouraging start.
TAMPA BAY (5-11) at NEW ORLEANS (12-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE - Saints by 7
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Buccaneers 6-9-1, Saints 8-9
SERIES RECORD - Saints lead 32-20
LAST MEETING - Buccaneers beat Saints 31-24, Dec. 31, 2017
AP PRO32 RANKING - Buccaneers No. 29, Saints No. 6
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (9), RUSH (27), PASS (4).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (20), RUSH (31), PASS (7).
SAINTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (5), PASS (5).
SAINTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (32), RUSH (23), PASS (32).