NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes the ball as he uses a block from offensive guard Carl Nicks #77 against defensive tackle Peria Jerry #94 of the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Spends Big, Lands Vincent Jackson And Carl Nicks

The Bucs are big spenders in free agency. After signing Vincent Jackson, the team has inked Carl Nicks.

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Dallas Clark Signs With Bucs, According To Report

Free agent tight end Dallas Clark signed with the Buccaneers, according to a report.


Buccaneers Sign K Connor Barth To 4-Year, $13.2 Million Deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to cross an item off of their offseason "to-do" list on Thursday, as they inked their franchise tag recipient to a long-term deal.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Buccaneers have signed kicker Connor Barth to a four-year deal worth $13.2 million dollars. Of that contract, $4 million would be guaranteed. Connoir was given the franchise tag in March prior to the deadline.

The official Buccaneers Twitter feed had a comment from Barth on the signing. Barth called the deal "a dream come true" and "an amazing opportunity."

There were 21 players this offseason who were given the franchise tag by an NFL team. Connor becomes just the fifth to sign in 2012. Barth has been with the Bucs since 2010. Barth originally signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 as an undrafted free agent.

For all news and information regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, please visit Bucs Nation or stop by SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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Ronde Barber Returns To Bucs For 16th Season

Ronde Barber will make it 16 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Jay Glazer of, Barber and the Bucs agreed to a one-year contract. Barber was originally drafted by the team in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft. Incredible run for him that will last one more year.

Retirement was obviously an option that a lot of people speculated on following the season, but the Bucs told Barber last week that they want him back. New head coach Greg Schiano was expected to sit down with Barber sometime after he was hired.

Barber is coming off of an injury after fracturing his forearm in Week 17, but he should be good to go for OTAs.

The Bucs free agency has been highlighted by more than a few dollars spent, including a few on Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks.

For more on the Buccaneers in free agency, visit SB Nation's Bucs Nation. And for more on Tampa sports, visit SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Jeff Faine Released By Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been spending like nobody else thus far in free agency, signing Vincent Jackson to a five-year, $55 million deal and Carl Nicks to a five-year, $47.5 million deal. They'll now be releasing a player they once signed to one of those rich contracts. Center Jeff Faine has been released.

Faine signed a massive six-year, $37.5 million deal with the Bucs four years ago. He was a candidate to be released this offseason, so it's not a major surprise that he's gone.

The Bucs agreed to a longterm deal with Jeremy Zuttah, who will slide into the center spot. Faine's play simply wasn't worth his contract at this point in his career. He's also been dealing with injuries.

Faine is 30 years old. He'll get another shot someplace on a more reasonable contract.

For more on the Bucs in free agency, head over to Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


NFL Free Agency Recap: Bucs Spend Big, Mario Williams Visits Bills And Reggie Wayne Returns To Indy

As expected, the big money was flowing early in free agency as Vincent Jackson signed a $55 million deal and the Bills hope to make Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. Here's a run down of day one in free agency.


Carl Nicks, Bucs Agree To 5-Year, $47.5 Million Deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the 2012 NFL free agency period with $44.9 million in salary cap space, more than any other team in the league. They're not wasting any time spending it. After reaching five-year deals with Vincent Jackson and Eric Wright, the Bucs have inked Carl Nicks.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it's a five-year deal worth $47.5 million with $31 million guaranteed.

Nicks previously said he wanted to be the highest paid guard in the NFL which meant he needed to break Logan Mankins $8.5 million per year average. He did that with this deal, an average of $9.5 million per year.

The Bucs are the early winners of free agency (even if you don't really "win" free agency). It's clear their offense was a priority and by adding Jackson and Nicks they've gotten a lot better in the last 24 hours.

For more on the Bucs, head over to Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Eric Wright Joins Bucs On 5-Year Deal

Free-agent cornerback Eric Wright has signed a five-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to ESPN's Rick Stroud. Wright was coming off a standout year with the Detroit Lions, who had signed him to a one-year deal at the start of 2011 after spending the first three years of his career with the Cleveland Browns. Wright tied a career high with four interceptions, started 16 games and made 72 tackles.

Wright will be expected to help improve what was one of the worst defenses in the league last year. The Bucs allowed 394.1 offensive yards per game, which ranked 30th out of 32 teams. They also gave up 30.9 points per game, which was the highest total in the league.

Among the Bucs' problems on defense was an inability to create turnovers, something they did just 27 times. Wright's four interceptions would have led the a Bucs team that had 14 among them.

For more on Wright's signing, be sure to check out Bucs Nation.


Vincent Jackson, Bucs Agree To 5-Year, $55 Million Deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the early winners in free agency. Bucs GM Mark Dominik secured a five-year, $55 million deal for WR Vincent Jackson that includes $26 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Jackson was the No. 1 free agent on the market and he was fully expected to land a deal that paid him in excess of $10 million per year. Per Schefter, Jackson will receive $36 million of that in the first three years and $26 million in the first two years.

Jackson is the game-breaker receiver the Bucs offense needed. He'll provide a legitimate deep threat for Josh Freeman and really open up the entire offense. This is a solid move by the Bucs and a good deal for Jackson, who has been waiting a couple years for free agency.

The Bucs are also hosting free agent G Carl Nicks so this is a busy week for them.

For more on the Bucs, head over to Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Free Agent Carl Nicks Visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers, According To Report

Back in New Orleans, the Saints are hosting free agent guard Ben Grubbs for a visit. That's the team that free agent guard Carl Nicks just left and it appears that Nicks has one visit set up at this point. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Nicks is scheduled to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs have a ton of cap space and they've already been connected to one high-priced player in wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Nicks may not be as expensive as Jackson, but he's still going to cost a lot. He's on record as saying he wants to become the highest-paid guard in the NFL, which would put his salary demands up around $8 million per year.

Nicks was the Saints' fifth-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft. He has started all but three games in his four-year NFL career.

For more on the Bucs, head over to Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Vincent Jackson, Bucs Nearing A Deal, According To Report

Before free agency even started, there were rumors were connecting free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Barely an hour into free agency, reports are now saying Jackson, who has played for the San Diego Chargers for the last seven seasons, will be joining the Bucs.

It's not a done deal, but according to various reports, it's getting close. The Bucs are among the league leaders in salary cap space, so they can afford to get it done. Jackson could get a contract with average annual salary exceeding $10 million per season.

The Chargers selected Jackson out of Northern Colorado in the second round of the 2005 NFL draft. When the deal's done, he will immediately upgrade the Bucs receiving corps and become a deep threat for Josh Freeman. This appears to be a solid pickup for Freeman and the Bucs, who took a big step backwards last season to finish 4-12 after winning 10 games in 2010.

For more on Jackson and the Bucs, head over to Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Buccaneers Free Agency 2012: Receiver Help Needed

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a huge drop off from their 10-6 2010 season when they finished with a 4-12 record and lost 10 games in a row during the 2011 season. Their run defense was terrible, the defense as a whole was ranked 30th in the NFL, and the offense wasn't much better. New head coach Greg Schiano has some work to do if he wants the Bucs to be competitive in the NFC South along with the Saints, Falcons and emerging Panthers.

As far as free agents that could leave the team go, long-time cornerback Ronde Barber is an unrestricted free agent and may not be coming back to Tampa Bay. Also, safety Corey Lynch and running back Earnest Graham are also likely heading to new teams as well.

The Buccaneers have a decent amount of money to spend and if they want to be competitive again in 2011, they'll need to land a handful of good free agents to help the team along. The team could use a big play wide receiver to help quarterback Josh Freeman move the ball down the field. Guys like Mario Manningham or Vincent Jackson could be options. Also, to shore up the running defense, an interior defensive lineman like Pat Sims, who specializes in stopping the run, could be a good signing.

For more free agency updates, go to SB Nation's Buccaneers blog, Bucs Nation.


Vincent Jackson Expected To Be Pursued By Bears, Bucs And Redskins

Free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson is expected to get a lot of interest from teams once free agency starts at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Some of the teams expected to be big players for Jackson include the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bears plan to be serious contenders for Jackson's services, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Bears, Bucs and Redskins are thought to be the most aggressive bidders for two-time Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson. According to a league source, the Bucs have the inside track to land Jackson, with the Bears among the serious suitors who might come up short.

The two-time Pro Bowler is finally hitting free agency after receiving the franchise tag last offseason, and Jackson is coming off a 60 catch, 1,106 receiving yards and nine touchdown season in 2011. As Jensen mentions, Jackson will be in high demand in free agency and will likely garner a pretty massive contract.

For all news and information regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, please visit Bucs Nation. For more on the Chicago Bears visit Windy City Gridiron and visit Hogs Haven for everything Washington Redskins.


Connor Barth Is Another Kicker Who Gets Franchise Tag

Following a second straight excellent season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, kicker Connor Barth has been hit with the franchise tag. With no other players worthy of the tag, the Bucs used it to make sure they can keep Barth, who will make $2.65 million if he signs the tender. The 25-year-old Barth was fantastic in 2011 while making $1.99 million, and probably would have commanded more than the franchise tag salary on the open market.

The Buccaneers were absolutely terrible at the tail end of last season, but Barth was a consistent performer. He made 92.9 percent of his field goals, up from 82.1 percent in 2010, and also made 17 total field goals from 40 yards or longer. Barth was inconsistent in his first two years with the Bucs and the Kansas City Chiefs, but he's since established himself as one of the best young kickers in football.

For more on Barth and the Bucs, head over to Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay.


Jeremy Zuttah, Bucs Strike A Deal

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been trying to strike a deal with free agent offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah and avoid placing the franchise tag on him. The two sides seem to be on the verge of signing a new long-term contract on Monday, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times.

The Tampa Bay Times has learned Zuttah and the Bucs are putting the finishing touches on a contract extension that will keep Zuttah off the free agent market when the signing period begins on March 13.

Zuttah was originally drafted by the Bucs in the 2008 NFL Draft in the third-round out of Rutgers. The new Buccaneers head coach, Greg Schiano, was Zuttah's coach in college, so he should be very familiar with what kind of player he's getting on the field. Zuttah has proven to be a versatile offensive lineman for the Bucs during his tenure in the league.

For all news and information regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, please visit Bucs Nation.


Bucs Free Agency: 'Nothing Imminent' With Jeremy Zuttah

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have plenty of work to do in the offseason. As evidenced by their 10-game losing streak that closed out the 2011 season, the team has many areas that they need to address for the fall and many positions that need to be shored up or improved upon. One player that the Bucs would definitely like to see brought back for 2012 is guard Jeremy Zuttah. Tampa Bay would like to retain his services and Zuttah would like to stay in town, but he is set to become a free agent on March 13.

According to the Stephen Holder on the Bucs Beat blog at the Tampa Bay Times, the two sides have not begun significant movement toward a new contract just yet.

Yes, the sides have a common goal, which is to enable Zuttah to stay in Tampa Bay. But here's an important distinction that needs to be made here: Zuttah's agent, Noel LaMontagne, and general manager Mark Dominik, haven't had any substantive contract talks yet.

LaMontagne was optimistic earlier today when asked about the situation, but everyone knows that no deal can get done before the details of a contract are dealt with. In other words, the subject of money -- the most important in a contract negotiation -- hasn't yet been broached.

That's not to say those conversations aren't going to happen, and it's certainly not a suggestion that Zuttah won't be in a Buccaneers uniform in 2012. But don't go looking for news of a deal just yet.

There is still plenty of time for the two sides to hammer out a deal before free agency begins. Tampa Bay looks to have plenty of cap room to offer Zuttah a respectable deal.

For all news and information regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, please visit Bucs Nation.


Albert Haynesworth Released By Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After only a few months in Tampa Bay, Albert Haynesworth has been released, the Bucs announced.


Bucs Will Be 'More Active' In 2012 Free Agency Period

Following a dismal 2011 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in full rebuilding mode. The first step on their long road to respectability in 2012 will be to look at impending free agents.

According to Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune, the Bucs are rolling over $23.5 million from last year, which means that their current salary cap room will be over $60 million for the upcoming season, second only to the Kansas City Chiefs in available cap room with which to pursue free agents. Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik makes it clear that the team intends to look for help in the free agent market.

We'll be more active in free agency that we were last year. We purposely rolled every penny we could into this year's cap. Clubs didn't have to do that, but we wanted to. We have plans.

We'll be involved in free agency. To what capacity, it depends on what the list looks like. We're prepared, and that's the most important thing.

Dominik stated that the team would look to add at least two starters via free agency.

For all news and information regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, please visit Bucs Nation. For complete coverage of NFL free agency, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.


Buccaneers Free Agency 2012: Rebuilding Process Starts Here

In just a few seasons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went from an up-and-coming franchise to one of the league's bottom-feeders. Things bottomed out in 2011 with a 4-12 record and a ten-game losing streak to end the year. Head coach Raheem Morris was shown the door and now the Bucs must re-build from the ground up.

That will have a lot to with how they handle their free agents. They don't have many but longtime Bucs like Ronde Barber and Ernest Graham are among the crop. The team also has to sort out RB LeGarrette Blount.

Here is the full crop of impending Tampa Bay free agents via Mac's Football Blog:

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (2)

RB LeGarrette Blount
WR Preston Parker

Restricted Free Agents (3)

RB Kregg Lumpkin
OT Demar Dotson
DE Michael Bennett

Unrestricted Free Agents (12)

QB Josh Johnson
RB Earnest Graham
WR Michael Spurlock
OT James Lee
OL Jeremy Zuttah
DT Jovan Haye
LB Geno Hayes
CB Ronde Barber
CB Elbert Mack
S Sean Jones
S Corey Lynch
K Connor Barth

For more on the Bucs, visit Bucs Nation.

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