Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers finalizing deal to keep OL Jeremy Zuttah

TAMPA — Bucs coach Greg Schiano has formed a solid opinion on at least one of his new players. Then again, Jeremy Zuttah isn't so new to Schiano.

Zuttah, 25, and the Bucs are putting the finishing touches on a contract extension that will keep the offensive lineman off the free agent market, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed. Zuttah, capable of playing all line positions, was drafted in the 2008 third round after playing for Schiano at Rutgers. He was scheduled to become a free agent with his rookie contract expiring.

Zuttah's considered the Bucs' top priority among their impending unrestricted free agents. Kicker Connor Barth is a close second, with his fate expected to be decided prior to today's franchise-tag deadline. General manager Mark Dominik has said he will franchise tag Barth if a multiyear deal isn't reached by today, thereby keeping Barth off the market.

Zuttah has started 44 games and is almost as likely to play center as he is guard. He started 14 games in 2011, mostly at left guard. When injury-prone center Jeff Faine has gone down, Zuttah has performed well as the starter there.

Terms of the deal weren't available.

Coaching hire: The Bucs hired Ron Turner as quarterbacks coach, FoxSports.com reported. He reportedly interviewed for the offensive coordinator job, which ultimately went to Mike Sullivan. Turner, brother of Chargers coach Norv Turner, coached the Bears' quarterbacks while also serving as offensive coordinator from 1993-96 (Schiano was on the staff for part of that time). Turner, 58, has been on the Colts' staff the past two seasons, including as quarterbacks coach in 2011 before being let go at the end of last season.

NFL: More bounties?

NEW YORK — The NFL's investigation that found the Saints paid bounties to players for knocking opponents out of games is far from over.

The NFL will be "addressing the issues raised as part of our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of the game," league spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday.

Those issues could include previous seasons, too.

Several players around the league have said the Saints and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams weren't the only ones with such a system. Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen said Williams had a similar bounty scheme when he was in Washington.

Aiello would not comment on other reports. He added that the NFL will look at "any relevant info regarding rules being broken," saying that is "standard procedure."

Williams has been summoned to New York to meet today with league officials and possibly commissioner Roger Goodell, ESPN reported.

The Saints maintained a bounty pool of up to $50,000 the past three seasons, the NFL said. Payoffs came for inflicting game-ending injuries, among other events. All payouts for specific performances in a game, including interceptions or causing fumbles, are against NFL rules.

The league said 22 to 27 defensive players were involved in the program and it was administered by Williams, with the knowledge of coach Sean Payton.

Williams was hired in January by new St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher to lead the Rams defense.

Seahawks: Running back Marshawn Lynch signed a four-year, $31 million deal, with $18 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp, a former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer, has been accused of sexual harassment while a working as an analyst with NFL Network, according to a lawsuit.NFL Network has suspended analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor "pend...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Piling on Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter

Rick and Tom podcast: Piling on Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter

Is there a rift between Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter as the 4-9 Bucs are eliminated from the playoffs for a 10th straight season?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss what impact this has going forward for the Bucs and whether...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

Bucs journal: Brent Grimes matches Richard Sherman for INTs since 2013

TAMPA — CB Brent Grimes picked up his third interception of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, tying him for the Bucs’ team lead and with another, more impressive group.Since the start of the 2013 season, Grimes has 20 interceptions, tying him...
Published: 12/11/17
Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winston’s damaged brand?

Could report of rift relate to Jameis Winston’s damaged brand?

TAMPA — What we have at One Buc Place is a game of Clue. The whodunit in this case is the person(s) who put out the information that quarterback Jameis Winston’s relationship with coach Dirk Koetter is on cracked ice.Was it Winston in the weight room...
Published: 12/11/17
Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Greg Auman looks back on the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions.
Published: 12/11/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions.
Published: 12/11/17
The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

  TAMPA — There are lies, damn lies and statistics, none of which are working in favor of Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter avoiding a split in the near future. Even before the Bucs turned the football over five times and lost to the Detroit Li...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Jameis Winston is displeased with how coach Dirk Koetter has handled Winston's shoulder injury and the Bucs offense, according to an NFL Network report Sunday. “The relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Koetter is not in a good p...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

Jones: Why Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won’t survive this

  TAMPA — Dirk Koetter isn’t going to return as coach of the Bucs next season. That’s not official. No announcement has been made. No press conference is scheduled. It’s not an absolute fact. Not yet. And this isn’t a...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17