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

Sep 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets center Ryan Jensen (66) before the start of the game against the  Atlanta Falcons  at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs re-sign C Ryan Jensen to 3-year, $39 million deal

With Tom Brady back in the fold, Ryan Jensen wasted little time re-committing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Pro Bowl center has agreed to a three-year deal with the Buccaneers, according to a tweet from agent Mike McCartney on Sunday night. The contract reportedly is for $39 million and includes $23 million in guaranteed money.

Brady announced earlier in the day that he is coming out of retirement to play a third season for Tampa Bay. The legendary quarterback will continue to benefit from playing behind Jensen, who made his first Pro Bowl this past season.

Jensen, 30, was originally a sixth-round pick of Tampa Bay in 2013. He helped Brady and the Bucs win the Super Bowl after the 2020 season.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A locker room exhibit of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) at the Super Bowl LVI Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady puts off retirement, announces return for 23rd season

Tom Brady announced Sunday that he is eschewing retirement and returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 23rd NFL season.

Brady wrote a social media post saying his place “is still on the field.”

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now,” Brady wrote.

“I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa.”

Brady announced his retirement on Feb. 1. Just a week later, the seven-time Super Bowl champion said “never say never” about playing again.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that the “door was never closed” on a Brady return, and “whenever Tom wants back, he’s back.”

Tampa Bay restructured defensive tackle Vita Vea’s contract Saturday to create $7.64 million in cap space, perhaps with an eye toward bringing Brady back.

Brady, at 44, led the NFL in passing attempts (719), completions (485), yards (5,316) and touchdown passes (43) in 2021 with the Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet (74) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers LG Ali Marpet retires at age 28

Tampa Bay Buccaneers left guard Ali Marpet announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday over social media.

Marpet, 28, was named to the Pro Bowl this past season. He started 16 games in 2021 and 101 in his career since being selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Hobart College, a Division III program in upstate New York.

“After seven formidable years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I’ve come to the decision to retire from the game that has given me so much,” Marpet wrote on Instagram.

“This organization and the people surrounding it have helped not only fulfill a dream, but also helped build me into the person I am today. I’ve made Tampa Bay my home and I look forward to serving this community in the coming years. To the coaches and teammates, family and friends, an Instagram post simply can’t express the profound impact you’ve had on me. I’m eternally grateful. Thank you Tampa Bay,” he wrote.

Marpet became the Buccaneers’ second high-profile player to retire after the season. Star quarterback Tom Brady announced he was hanging up the cleats on Feb. 1.

Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians praised Marpet for all that he has done for the team.

“I can’t say enough about what Ali has meant to our team over the three seasons since my arrival,” Arians said.

“He has been the consummate professional and has been a rock for us in the interior of our offensive line. We will miss him on the field and in the locker room, but I am happy that he gets to go out as a Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowler. It is never easy saying goodbye to a player who has meant so much to our success, but I support and respect his decision and wish him a great life after football,” Arians said.

The Buccaneers’ offensive line could be in for a major overhaul this season. Right guard Alex Cappa and center Ryan Jensen are set to be free agents.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet and ball during the first quarter between the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Buccaneers to play 2022 home game in Munich

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the home team this fall when the NFL plays its first-ever regular-season game in Germany, Sports Business Journal reported Friday.

An official announcement is due Monday, at which time the Bucs’ opponent will be announced, per the report.

The NFL announced earlier this month that Munich will host one of five international games this upcoming season. One will be played in Mexico and three in London.

The Buccaneers have home games set in 2022 with their division opponents — the Falcons, Panthers and Saints – as well as with the Ravens, Packers, Chiefs and Seahawks. The Bengals and Rams, who met in Super Bowl LVI, also are on Tampa Bay’s home schedule.

In December, the NFL granted four teams access to Germany for marketing, commercialization and fan engagement as part of the NFL International Home Marketing Areas initiative. The teams were the Buccaneers, Chiefs, Patriots and Panthers.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and 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 honors Tom Brady over social media

Tight end Rob Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady have been teammates for 11 NFL seasons.

So when Brady announced his retirement from the league on Tuesday, perhaps it was only a matter of time that Gronkowski honored his teammate with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That day was Wednesday, as Gronkowski posted a 1-minute, 42-second video tribute over Instagram with Brady’s top moments set to Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend.”

Gronkowski, 32, also took to Twitter to share his thoughts.

“Tommy Boy!!! This football journey with you has been nothing short of special,” Gronkowski tweeted.

“Thank you for your dedication to the game, putting the team in the best possible position to win every year, all the records that were broken, the Super Bowls, the memories, and your friendship through the last 12 years.

“If you commit even just 10% of what you committed to football in whatever you do next, you will be super duper successful. I witnessed greatness for so many years and got to learn from the best to ever do it. You’re a legend and always will be.”

–Field Level Media

January 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) congratulates San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) after the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Trask, Jimmy Garoppolo among favorites to be Bucs’ next QB

Tom Brady made his retirement from the NFL official Tuesday morning after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl victories. While the 44-year-old’s departure from the playing field had to come sooner or later, it leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a question mark at quarterback in 2022.

The Bucs signed Brady as a replacement for Jameis Winston in the 2020 offseason, and it immediately paid dividends with a title in Super Bowl LV. Tampa Bay lost in the divisional round of the playoffs this year before saying goodbye to Brady.

SportsBetting.ag released probabilities Tuesday for who Tampa Bay’s Week 1 starting quarterback will be this year, listing a number of NFL quarterbacks — including two retired players.

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers opened as the favorite at +400. But as of Tuesday evening, he had been eclipsed by someone actually on Tampa Bay’s roster: Kyle Trask.

The Buccaneers selected Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. A Florida product, Trask sat behind Brady as a rookie and did not see any game action. Trask opened at +650 but saw his odds quickly shorten to +400, ahead of Garoppolo at +450.

Garoppolo, coincidentally, spoke to reporters Tuesday and did not hide the fact that he expects the 49ers will trade him this offseason. San Francisco drafted quarterback Trey Lance third overall in last year’s draft and is keen on starting a new era with him under center.

“I just want to go to a place where they want to win,” Garoppolo said. “That’s really what I’m in this game for. I’m here to play football, win football games and as long as I’ve got that and good people around me, I think the rest will take care of itself.”

Following Garoppolo on the list of possible Bucs newcomers is Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz at +550. Wentz just completed his first season with Indianapolis, which missed out on a playoff berth by losing to Jacksonville in Week 18. His turnover issues seemed largely behind him until that game, when he tossed an interception and lost a fumble to the worst team in the league. It’s hard to say whether the Colts would entertain moving Wentz after just one year.

Green Bay Packers three-time MVP Aaron Rodgers is tied for fourth favorite at +750. Rodgers made it known last offseason that he was unhappy in Green Bay, and after a tumultuous but productive season, he’s expected to be the biggest piece of the offseason quarterback carousel whether he’s traded or stays in town.

Other notable options on the board include Cam Newton (+1200), who returned to the Carolina Panthers in 2021 but did not have much success; a reunion with Winston (+1400); Russell Wilson (+1600), who is potentially disgruntled in Seattle; and Blaine Gabbert (+2500), also presently on the Bucs’ roster.

Houston Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson, who sat out 2021 while embroiled in sexual assault and misconduct lawsuits, appears at +2500. Former Chargers and Colts quarterback Philip Rivers, who retired after the 2020 season, is at +5000, tied with fellow retiree Andrew Luck, a former Colt.

–Field Level Media

In 2002, Tom Brady at  media day at the New Orleans Superdome as both the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams answered questions from media personel as the field was being prepared for this Sundays Superbowl game.

Tom Brady thanks Pats after initially omitting them in retirement post

Tom Brady has covered a lot of ground throughout his legendary career, from winning seven Super Bowl titles to routinely writing his name throughout the NFL record book.

A thorough competitor on the field, Brady had one omission during his lengthy social-media post that announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

Brady did not acknowledge the New England Patriots in his statement. Yep, not one time did the 44-year-old mention the team with which he won six of those Super Bowl titles and spent the first 20 years of his NFL career.

Brady’s initial statement lived on social media for approximately three hours before he returned to address the Patriots. After all, Brady and Bill Belichick own the record for Super Bowl appearances (nine) as a player and coach combination.

“Thank You Patriots Nation (heart emoji) I’m beyond grateful. Love you all,” he wrote on Twitter.

In his initial statement, Brady thanked his past teammates and coaches, and told his current Tampa Bay teammates he loved them in the multi-part post that included personal thank yous to Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, head coach Bruce Arians, personal trainer Alex Guerrero, agent Don Yee, Brady’s parents and wife, Gisele.

Brady initially did not mention the Patriots, however that didn’t stop the club from showing its respect for their longtime quarterback.

The Patriots posted an illustration of Brady riding a duck boat off into the sunset with the caption: “It was quite the ride. Thank you and congratulations.”

New England also released a statement from franchise owner Robert Kraft.

“Words cannot describe the feelings I have for Tom Brady, nor adequately express the gratitude my family, the New England Patriots and our fans have for Tom for all he did during his career. A generation of football fans have grown up knowing only an NFL in which Tom Brady dominated,” Kraft said.

“… You didn’t have to be a Patriots fan to respect and appreciate his competitiveness, determination and will to win that fueled his success. As a fan of football, it was a privilege to watch. As a Patriots fan, it was a dream come true.”

The Patriots drafted Brady with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft out of Michigan. He won three Most Valuable Player awards and earned 14 of his record 15 Pro Bowl selections with New England.

–Field Level Media