Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Jordan Whitehead (33) during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders 45-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs place Jordan Whitehead on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put safety Jordan Whitehead on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday.

Multiple outlets reported that Whitehead was not present during the Buccaneers’ trip to the White House on Tuesday or the team’s ring ceremony two days later.

Whitehead, 24, played a large role in leading Tampa Bay to glory last season before undergoing shoulder surgery after Super Bowl LV.

He sustained a shoulder injury in the third quarter of the Buccaneers’ 31-26 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 24.

Whitehead started all 16 games during the regular season and recorded 74 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

He has 219 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in 45 career games (41 starts) since being selected by the Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Jul 20, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady speaks at the podium as President Joe Biden (left) and Buccaneers owner Bryan Glazer (middle) react during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House to honor the team for their Super Bowl LV Championship. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady in attendance as champion Bucs visit White House

The White House welcomed the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a visit with President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

It marked the first visit by an NFL team to the White House since 2017. Then-President Donald Trump revoked the Philadelphia Eagles’ invitation in 2018, the New England Patriots chose not to attend in 2019 and the Kansas City Chiefs never made it to Washington, D.C., in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also represented seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady’s first visit to the White House since 2005. He skipped the Patriots’ trips in 2015 and 2017, the former while Barack Obama was in office and the latter with Trump.

Brady, who has described Trump as a “good friend” but has tried to avoid revealing his political alignment, joked with President Biden during Tuesday’s visit about Biden defeating Trump in the 2020 election.

“Not a lot of people think that we could’ve won. In fact, I think about 40 percent of the people still don’t think we won,” Brady said, a reference to some Republicans’ efforts to investigate voter fraud and even overturn the election result.

“I understand that,” Biden interjected.

The Buccaneers won their second Super Bowl in franchise history the same season they added Brady, 43, who entered free agency after 20 seasons with New England. Brady will be 44 when he leads the Bucs into the 2021 season.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is handed the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs to visit White House on Tuesday

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will celebrate their Super Bowl title won in February at the White House on Tuesday, multiple media outlets reported.

Neither the Buccaneers nor the White House confirmed the celebration will take place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., however.

Should it come to fruition, it would mark the first time since 2017 that a defending Super Bowl champion visited the White House.

Then-President Donald Trump rescinded the invitation to the 2018 Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, claiming the team didn’t show the proper respect for the country during the playing of the national anthem in the previous season.

The title-holding New England Patriots in 2019 and Kansas City Chiefs the following year did not attend the traditional celebratory ceremony. The Chiefs’ plan to visit was abandoned because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers visited President Joe Biden at the White House earlier this month to celebrate their 2020 World Series championship.

The Buccaneers posted a 31-9 victory over the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Seven-time champion Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP.

–Field Level Media

Jun 9, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Tom Brady played 2020 season on fully torn MCL

The legend of Tom Brady continues to grow.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback underwent knee surgery in February, with Brady calling it “pretty serious” in May. That much is known.

But Thursday, competing reports only added to the mystery and intrigue of Brady’s left knee.

The Tampa Bay Times opened with a report that Brady played the entire 2020 season on a partially torn MCL, only to be outdone with an NFL Network report that said it was actually fully torn.

Further, Brady reportedly sustained the injury in his final season with the New England Patriots in 2019.

“It was an injury I dealt with really since last, you know, April, May,” Brady said last month, following the Bucs’ mandatory minicamp. “I knew I would have to do something at the end of the year and happy I did it. It was probably something that certainly needed to be done and there was a great outcome so I’m very happy about that. I feel like there’s some things I’ll be able to do this year that I wasn’t able to do last year.”

Brady threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns against 12 interceptions during the regular season, adding another 1,061 yards with 10 TDs in the postseason, including the Super Bowl victory.

–Field Level Media

May 14, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner back Cameron Kinley (26) practices during rookie mini-camp at AdventHealth Training Center Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Sen. Marco Rubio asks for military delay for Bucs’ rookie

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is appealing to President Joe Biden and other Washington officials, asking them to allow Naval Academy graduate Cameron Kinley to delay his military service and pursue an NFL career.

Kinley was a starter at cornerback and the Naval Academy class president in his senior season, but went undrafted and accepted a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His request to be allowed to play this season with the Bucs was denied on June 7.

Kinley is due to report Monday, as things stand.

“Here’s the bottom line. People got to do it last year,” Rubio said on “Fox & Friends.” “There are people playing in the NFL now — Malcolm Perry, that came out of Navy, plays for the Miami Dolphins — so last year they were allowed. So this sounds arbitrary … He’s not saying he’s not going to do his service. He will.”

Instead of lining up against Tom Brady in training camp, Kinley could be an ensign and serving as an information warfare officer.

“It’s definitely tough,” Kinley said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.” “Kinda living a double life where I’m preparing to be an NFL player still just in case things get reversed and I’m also preparing for my career as an officer in the Navy.”

On Sunday, Rubio sent a letter to Biden asking for his assistance.

“Mr. Kinley is not seeking to terminate his commitment to the Navy. Far from it. He wishes to promote service to our great nation from one of the country’s largest stages. I implore you to right this wrong,” Rubio said.

“Grant Mr. Kinley’s waiver to play in the NFL, and send a message to future academy graduates that the United States is a country where Americans can follow their dreams and be true to their commitment.”

Kinley said he has passion for both careers.

“I definitely made the commitment … and I’m still willing to honor that commitment,” Kinley said. “I just want to be able to delay my commission to play in the NFL first and be that ambassador for the Navy and help recruit. And after my time in the NFL, go serve as an officer in the Navy. I’m definitely looking forward to that career.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 1, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Joe Tryon (9)  during organized team activities at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs sign first-round draft pick Joe Tryon

Linebacker Joe Tryon signed his rookie contract with the Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

Tryon, who was selected with the 32nd overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, inked a four-year deal worth $11.17 million, per the report. He received a signing bonus of approximately $5.48 million from the Buccaneers, who hold a fifth-year option on his contract.

Tryon, 22, opted out of the 2020 college football season at Washington after recording eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in the previous campaign.

He is coming off an arthroscopic procedure on his knee shortly after the draft, however he was available for the Buccaneers’ mandatory minicamp earlier this month.

–Field Level Media

Jun 9, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady on playing until 50: ‘That’s a long time. Even for me’

Tom Brady has been getting the better of Father Time over the past few seasons.

With that said, the 43-year-old quarterback recently was asked if he could play until he’s 50. That number came up courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, who said last month that if Brady “wants to play ’til he’s 50 and he’s still playing and he feels like he can still play, then he’ll play until he’s 50.”

Brady, however, said he has his doubts about that.

“Fifty? That’s a long time. Even for me, that’s a long time,” Brady told USA Today in advance of his 22nd NFL season. “I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal. This year I’ll be 44, so next year I’ll be 45. I got a two-year contract.

“I’m going to be able to obviously play this year and God forbid anything happens but play next year and then see what happens after that. If I still want to keep playing, I might be able to do that. And if that’s enough, then that would be enough.”

Brady, who turns 44 on Aug. 3, won his seventh Super Bowl title in February while playing in his first season with the Buccaneers after 20 with the New England Patriots. He threw three touchdown passes in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs to win Super Bowl MVP honors for the fifth time.

Brady threw for 4,633 yards last season and tossed a team-record 40 touchdown passes, the second-highest total in a single season in his career.

–Field Level Media

Feb 10, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (left) poses for a photograph at a private event for players, family, and friends at Port Tampa Bay during the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade to celebrate their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown passes physical, makes Bucs deal official

Wide receiver Antonio Brown passed his physical Tuesday morning and officially signed on for a second season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The exam had been delayed by Brown’s recent knee surgery.

Brown agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $6.25 million with the Buccaneers last month, but the deal had been on hold until he passed his physical.

Brown, 32, played in eight games for the Bucs during the 2020 regular season, catching 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns. A knee injury in the playoffs kept him out of the NFC Championship Game, but he returned to catch five passes for 22 yards and a touchdown in the 31-9 Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

For his career, Brown has 886 catches for 11,746 yards and 79 touchdowns over 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-18), New England Patriots (2019) and Buccaneers.

A lawsuit was filed against Brown last week related to an altercation with a moving truck driver in January 2020.

He recently settled a civil suit with his former trainer, Brittany Taylor, who accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2017 and 2018.

Also Tuesday, the Bucs added cornerback Dee Delaney, who has been out of the league since March 2020 after being released by Washington. The 5-11, 200-pound Delaney played just three defensive snaps and 11 special teams snaps for WFT in one game in 2019. The 26-year-old entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018 and appeared in two games for them that season. He also spent time with the Jets and Dolphins that did not include any regular-season action.

Tampa Bay held its first organized team activities (OTAs) on Tuesday without most veteran players, including quarterback Tom Brady. On Monday, Brady reportedly worked out with teammates across the street from the Bucs facilities at the New York Yankees’ baseball complex.

Following Tuesday’s session, coach Bruce Arians reportedly told the Tampa Bay Times he’d prefer to see his players on team grounds: “Last year was so different because of the pandemic,” he said. “This year they can be here. Like I said, they wouldn’t be practicing but they could be working on this field. I’d love to see them all out here together.”

Arians said earlier in the offseason that he was OK with players skipping the voluntary sessions, but on Tuesday added one caveat: “I talk to them every day about doing it for their own protection,” Arians said, according to ESPN.com.

Players injured while working out at the team facility would not risk having their contract guarantees voided, which could happen if they are injured off premises.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown has knee surgery, expected to re-sign soon with Bucs

Antonio Brown underwent minor knee surgery on his knee earlier this week, NFL Network reported Wednesday, and the wideout is still expected to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly.

Brown’s agent said last month that Brown was signing a one-year deal worth up to $6.25 million, with incentives, to return to Tampa.

Coach Bruce Arians has said Brown’s deal will be official once he passes his physical.

Brown had the surgery to clean out the knee, per the report.

Tampa GM Jason Licht said on a podcast Wednesday that he’s not “concerned” about Brown re-signing with the team.

“The plan all along is to have him come in — I think he is coming in Monday to sign,” Licht told the “Eye Test for Two” podcast.

After serving an eight-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, Brown joined the Buccaneers and caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games (four starts) last season. He added eight receptions in the playoffs, including a touchdown in the 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Brown, 32, is a four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection with 886 receptions for 11,746 yards and 79 touchdowns in 139 games (107 starts) with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-18), New England Patriots (2019) and Bucs.

–Field Level Media

May 14, 2021; Tampa Bay, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Jaelon Darden (1) and corner back Cameron Kinley (26) practice during rookie mini-camp at AdventHealth Training Center Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers sign draft pick Jaelon Darden

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed wide receiver Jaelon Darden to a four-year deal on Wednesday.

Darden, a fourth-round pick by the Bucs in the 2021 draft, caught 74 passes for 1,190 yards and 19 touchdowns in nine games for North Texas last year. Overall, he had 230 catches for 2,782 yards and 38 touchdowns over four years.

Tampa Bay now has four of its seven draft picks under contract, including linebacker K.J. Britt, cornerback Chris Wilcox and linebacker Grant Stuard.

–Field Level Media