Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; A general overall view of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the British and the United States flags on the field during the playing of the national anthem before the  NFL International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs and Seahawks to play NFL’s first game in Germany

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 13 in the NFL’s first regular-season game in Germany.

The NFL announced the international schedule for the 2022 season Wednesday, including three games in England in October and one in Mexico in November.

The Buccaneers and Seahawks will play at 9:30 a.m. ET at Allianz Arena in Munich.

The New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings will meet on Oct. 2 and the Green Bay Packers will take on the New York Giants on Oct. 9, with both games at 9:30 a.m. ET at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars will play at London’s Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30, also at 9:30 a.m. ET.

On Nov. 21, the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers will clash on “Monday Night Football” at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Broncos-Jaguars game will be the first NFL contest broadcast on ESPN+.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebacker Devin White (45) reacts to a platy in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs picking up LB Devin White’s 5th-year option

As expected, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly are picking up linebacker Devin White’s fifth-year option.

The move guarantees his $11.7 million salary for the 2023 season.

White, 24, made his first Pro Bowl last season and posted 128 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one fumble recovery in 17 starts.

He has 359 tackles, 15 sacks, six fumble recoveries and one interception in 45 games (all starts) and helped the Bucs win Super Bowl LV.

White signed a four-year, $29.3 million rookie deal after being drafted fifth overall in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Logan Ryan of the Giants as the Denver Broncos came to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and beat the New York Giants 27-13 in the first game of the 2021 season on September 12, 2021.

The Denver Broncos Came To Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj To Play The New York Giants In The First Game Of The 2021 Season On September 12 2021

Reports: Logan Ryan files grievance against Giants for $3M

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Logan Ryan filed a grievance against his former team, the New York Giants, over a portion of his 2021 salary he believes should have been guaranteed, The Athletic and ESPN reported Friday.

Ryan, 31, had $5.5 million of his salary fully guaranteed and $8.5 million guaranteed for injury. Ryan had surgery on his finger in the offseason, and the Giants released him after the surgery, per the reports.

Ryan believes that entitles him to the $3 million difference between the guarantees.

The veteran played 15 games (all starts) for New York in 2021, compiling a career-high 117 tackles, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one sack. He was a defensive captain for the Giants.

After he was released last month, Ryan signed with the Buccaneers, re-joining Tom Brady after they were teammates in New England from 2013-16.

Ryan said in his introductory press conference in Tampa Bay that his release from the Giants “wasn’t my call.”

In nine seasons with the Patriots, the Tennessee Titans (2017-19) and the Giants, Ryan has totaled 705 career tackles, 18 interceptions, 95 pass breakups, 14 forced fumbles and 13 sacks while spending time at both cornerback and safety.

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a the ball during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs GM: No contract talks with Tom Brady amid Dolphins report

Following a report that the Miami Dolphins had concocted a plan to make Tom Brady both their quarterback and a minority owner, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said the Bucs have not engaged with Brady about his future beyond 2022.

In a pre-draft press conference with reporters Tuesday, Licht was asked if Tampa Bay had spoken with Brady about working out a new contract or even a deal with an ownership stake.

“No, we haven’t had those discussions,” Licht said. “The only discussions we’ve had with Tom is when he came back. We’re excited about this year and excited to get going.”

Brady announced his retirement from football Feb. 1 before un-retiring March 13 and returning for a third season with the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have one more season of contractual control with the seven-time Super Bowl winner.

The Boston Globe reported this month that the Dolphins planned to announce Brady as a minority owner and then bring him on as their starting quarterback in 2023 after a year of “retirement.” The plan also called for Sean Payton, who recently retired from the New Orleans Saints, to take over as their head coach.

The Dolphins pulled the plug on the plan, the report said, following former coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, Miami and other teams.

Licht dismissed the Boston Globe report as “chatter.”

“We’re focused on putting our team together here with the draft and we’re all excited. We’re all in lockstep here — Tom, Todd (Bowles), myself, Byron (Leftwich), the entire coaching staff on this season.”

Last month, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians stepped down and moved into a front-office role a few weeks after Brady’s unretirement. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was promoted to head coach. Licht denied rumors then that Arians leaving his post was a condition of Brady’s return.

“You can’t believe everything you hear and see and read,” Licht said. “There’s always going to be some friction between people on a staff and players and a coach. It’s just normal. And like you said, it can be healthy. We didn’t really think much about it.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady on return: ‘I just love the competition’

A competitive nature prompted Tom Brady to decide last month that retirement wasn’t for him.

Brady, 44, made rare public comments Monday about getting back into the game just 40 days after he called it quits. In particular, the NFC divisional playoff loss by his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in January weighed on him.

“At the end of the day, I just love the competition on the field,” he told ESPN on Monday. “And last year was a very bitter ending to a season and we’ve got to make a lot of corrections to try to improve and put ourselves in a better position to succeed moving forward.”

Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion and three-time NFL Most Valuable Player, is coming off a season in which he threw for a career-high 5,316 yards. He led the league in passing yardage and passing touchdowns (43).

“I knew my body, physically, could still do what it could do and obviously I have a love for the game/ I think I’ll always have a love for the game,” Brady told ESPN. “I do think physically I’ll be able to do it. I just felt like there was still a place for me on the field. …

“I know I don’t have a lot left, I really do. I know I’m at the end of my career. I wish you could go forever, but it’s just not and football comes at too high of a cost now. My kids are getting older and it’s just getting harder and harder to miss these things.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrate after beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski ‘not ready to commit’ to another season

Free agent tight end Rob Gronkowski said he still isn’t sure about his plans for the upcoming season.

“Right now, I’m not ready to get back out on the field,” the 32-year-old veteran told TMZ Sports. “I’m not ready to commit to the game of football right now.”

Gronkowski, who retired once before, sat out the 2019 season before returning to play the past two seasons with longtime teammate Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The two won a fourth Super Bowl together after the 2020 season but fell short of the goal in 2021 by losing in the NFC Divisional playoffs.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection said he won’t do anything halfway.

“Even in your 30s, I mean, you just can’t just slack it and just be 50 percent all-in, then you’re going to get caught off with the game and it’s going to just spit you right out,” Gronkowski said. “You’ve got to be fully dedicated. I’m not ready to do that yet, I’m not going to sign a contract if I’m not fully ready.”

Gronkowski caught 55 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns in 2021 despite missing five games to injury. In two seasons with Tampa, he caught 100 passes for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns in 28 games.

In 143 career games, Gronkowski has 621 receptions for 9,286 yards with 92 touchdowns. He has been selected as a first-team All-Pro four times and ranks third all-time in TDs among tight ends.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs shake-up: Todd Bowles replaces Bruce Arians as head coach

Just over a year after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a Super Bowl championship, the team announced a major leadership shake-up on Wednesday.

Bruce Arians retired as head coach to move into a front office job, with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles getting promoted to head coach. Arians’ new title is senior football consultant.

According to the Buccaneers’ website, Arians told the team’s players and coaches of his decision. The 69-year-old then released a statement that read in part, “I love football. I love the relationships, the strategy, the competition–everything. It has been one hell of a ride, but I know this is the right time for me to make this transition.

“So why now?

“The simple answer is that I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could during this incredible coaching journey. Winning Super Bowl LV at our home stadium, with my mom and family in attendance, was really the last item I wanted to check off my career bucket list. For me, this is about more than just trying to add more wins to my coaching record.”

Arians added, “I really began thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this offseason. I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed. So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn’t want that for Todd. (Quarterback Tom Brady’s) decision to come back, along with Jason (Licht, the general manager) and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd.”

Bowles, 58, had a largely unsuccessful four-year stint as the New York Jets’ head coach, never making the playoffs. He led the team to a 10-6 mark in 2015, his first season, then never won more than five games in the following three seasons. Bowles spent the past three years as Arians’ defensive coordinator.

Arians first took charge of an NFL team in 2012, when he guided the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record while filling in for head coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling leukemia. The next year, Arians took over as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and he led them to a 49-30-1 record and two playoff appearances in five seasons.

In his three seasons as the Buccaneers’ head coach, Arians produced a 31-18 record. Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl after the 2020 season, then was eliminated by the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC divisional playoffs after last season.

Buccaneers owner Joel Glazer said in a statement, in part, “When Bruce arrived in Tampa Bay three years ago, he spoke about establishing a winning culture and adding another Super Bowl championship for our community. He delivered on both of those promises, and our family is deeply appreciative for all that he has accomplished during his time as our head coach.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Fred Johnson (74) during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Report: OT Fred Johnson reaches deal with Bucs

Free-agent offensive tackle Fred Johnson agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ESPN reported Friday.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnson, 24, initially signed a one-year deal to remain with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday, however he was waived on Wednesday. The move came on the heels of the Bengals adding guard Alex Cappa, center Ted Karras and offensive tackle La’el Collins.

Johnson likely will compete for a backup position behind Pro Bowl selection Tristan Wirfs. The 6-foot-7, 326-pound Johnson appeared in 23 games (eight starts) in three seasons with the Bengals after entering the NFL in 2019 as an undrafted free agent.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) reacts after making a catch during the fist quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Untagged: Bucs sign WR Chris Godwin to 3-year deal

Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin signed a three-year contract to stay in Tampa Bay, removing the franchise designation he was given before the deadline earlier this month.

The team didn’t announce terms but ESPN reports it’s worth $60 million, with $40 million fully guaranteed.

Godwin, recovering from a torn ACL, had a career-high 98 receptions with 1,103 yards and five TD catches in 2021.

“I’m just grateful,” Godwin said at a press conference Monday. “We love to call Tampa our home. Excited to get back to work, excite to get back with my guys.”

Godwin said he was “gassed up” when quarterback Tom Brady sent a text message to a group thread that also includes wide receiver Mike Evans.

“We’re back and trying to make it back to the top of the mountain,” said Godwin.

Since he was drafted in the third round in 2017, Godwin has 342 receptions for 4,643 yards and 29 touchdowns. In 2019, he was named to the Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro.

General manager Jason Licht said Godwin was a priority. Tagged for the second year in a row, the two sides had until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal.

Last March, the Buccaneers applied the “non-exclusive” franchise tag on Godwin, meaning he was able to discuss a contract with other teams. Tampa Bay retained the right to match any contract offer.

Godwin, who is recovering from the season-ending knee injury, would have earned approximately $19.2 million on the tag in 2022.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots guard Shaq Mason (69) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs trade for Patriots G Shaq Mason

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired guard Shaq Mason from the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2022 fifth-round pick on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Bucs had a hole at left guard following the retirement of former Pro Bowler Ali Marpet late last month.

The Patriots shed some salary while, coincidentally, sending Mason to play for former teammate Tom Brady, who nixed his retirement plans and announced his return to Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Patriots remain over the salary cap after the move.

Mason, 28, played his first seven seasons with New England after the Patriots made him a fourth-round selection in the 2015 draft. They gave Mason a five-year, $50 million extension before the 2018 season.

Mason appeared in 103 games for New England, starting 98.

–Field Level Media