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Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer

Rick Stroud

Rick Stroud covers the Bucs and the NFL for the Times. He joined the paper in 1983 after graduating from Arkansas St., where he played baseball. He has reported on national sporting events including more than 20 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroud's stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. He began covering the Bucs in 1990. Since then, the team has undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum and a Super Bowl XXVII victory. He co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM.



Blog: Bucs Beat

Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): Listen live

  1. Bucs plan to lock up Evans but new deal may come after 2017


    The Bucs plan to lock up receiver Mike Evans for the long-term and he is eligible for a new contract after completing his third NFL season with a combined 3,578 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns.

    But that doesn’t mean a new deal is likely before 2017. In May, the Bucs will pick up Evans’ fifth-year option.

    It’s rare for players, even first round picks such as Evans, to be given long-term deals after only three seasons in the league....

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) warms up before the start of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016.
  2. Bucs GM Jason Licht is willing to take a very much calculated risk on players


    PHOENIX — Two years ago, Bucs general manager Jason Licht had a trail of microphones and reporters chasing him through the NFL annual meeting at the Biltmore resort. That's the kind of attention that comes with owning the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

    "I'm glad I'm not the popular guy this year," Licht said Monday. "Usually that means you're doing something right. We're picking 19th this year and our goal is to be picking a lot later in the future."...

    Bucs GM Jason Licht isn’t above an occasional doughnut bribe to get info.
  3. NFL owners approve Raiders move to Las Vegas



    Labor union member Geraldine Lacy celebrates Monday in Las Vegas. NFL team owners approved the move of the Raiders to Las Vegas in a vote at an NFL football annual meeting in Phoenix.
  4. Viva Las Vegas for Raiders, but Bucs happy at home in Tampa


    At the NFL annual meeting at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach in 1996, Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer was desperate for a stadium deal to keep his franchise from moving from Tampa Bay and time was running out. Roger Goodell, who held various positions in the league before becoming the league’s commissioner, was in charge of things like stadium financing and assisting in franchise relocation.

    Glazer was known to tap his watch and turn the heat up on negotiations, which was the case at this meeting and again weeks later when he sat with city and county leaders facing a midnight deadline during a contentious battle for a stadium lease....

    It's been more than 20 years since Malcolm Glazer went to an NFL owners meeting desperate for a stadium deal to stay in Tampa. The ensuing drama in 1996 cleared the way for the construction of Raymond James Stadium. Things may not turn out as well for Oakland this week with NFL owners poised to vote on the Raiders' proposed move to Las Vegas.
  5. NFL to consider tweaking OT rules


    TAMPA — You don't see too many ties in the NFL anymore, except for the ones worn by the suits in the league office.

    But ties come in many stripes. For instance, had the Bucs tied the Raiders instead of losing 30-24 in overtime last season, they would have made the playoffs at 9-6-1. Instead, they played nearly five complete quarters, then four days later they played a Thursday night game and lost to the Falcons 43-28....

    Dirk Koetter barks at a referee after a fourth-down penalty late in the fourth quarter vs. Oakland last year. The call extended a Raiders drive and led to the tying touchdown. The Bucs lost in OT.
  6. Bucs may have benefitted from a new OT rule proposal


    You don’t see too many ties in the NFL anymore, except for the ones worn by the suits in the league office....

    Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) checks on Jude Adjei-Barimah as Oakland's Austin Howard (77) and others celebrate their overtime win over the Bucs in October.
  7. Is the fun coming back to the No Fun League?


    In the season opener last year, the Falcons had the football near midfield trailing 24-13. On first down, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy sacked quarterback Matt Ryan for a six-yard loss.

    Excited by making such a big play, McCoy swayed his hands above his head and was joined in the motion by linebacker Kwon Alexander. The whole demonstration took only a couple seconds. But McCoy was flagged and the Bucs penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct in what was considered a choreographed celebration....

    Gerald McCoy celebrates after forcing the Falcons' Matt Ryan to fumble.
  8. Jameis Winston suffers loss of grandmother


    She called him the ’love of her life.’ Jameis Winston’s grandmother, Myrtle, was his biggest fan. And the feeling was mutual.

    Although she suffered from Type 2 diabetes and was in a wheelchair, she made the 4½ hour drive from Bessemer, Ala., to New Orleans two years ago to watch him get his first NFL win against the Saints.

    She was the reason Winston stayed home from the NFL draft in 2015 even though he was the No. 1 overall pick by the Bucs. His grandmother couldn’t travel and he wanted to share the experience with her....

    Jameis Winston's grandmother, Myrtle, called him the "love of her life.''
  9. Could Roberto Aguayo be back on the street in September?


    There’s been some discussion about how serious the Bucs are about potentially replacing struggling place-kicker Roberto Aguayo after dealing third- and fourth-round picks to move up 15 spots and take the Florida State star in the second round last year....

    Roberto Aguayo led the NFL with nine missed field goals and was only four-of-11 from 40 yards or longer.
  10. With Doug Martin questions, Bucs weigh options at running back


    TAMPA — Doug Martin is used to getting knocked down as a running back, but this time he needed some help getting back up.

    Suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy in December, one week after he was benched for a critical game at New Orleans that the Bucs lost, Martin voluntarily sought help at an undisclosed rehab center and completed his stay in February....

    Running back Doug Martin wouldn’t be able to return to the Bucs until Week 4.
  11. Ready to move on? Jets Nick Folk will compete with Roberto Aguayo for Bucs kicking job


    The Bucs over-drafted Florida State place-kicker Roberto Aguayo last year, selecting him in the second round. He felt the pressure. One of the most accurate kickers in college history made only 71 percent of his field goal attempts (22-of-31), the worst in the league.

    “Read the stats, he wasn’t very good last year,’’ Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “He wants to improve and he’s going to work at it. And we still have confidence in him but you’re always trying to get better.’’...

  12. Center Joe Hawley agrees to terms on 2-year deal with Bucs but will have a tough battle to keep his starting job


    Center Joe Hawley agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Bucs, but he will have plenty of competition for his starting job next season.

    Terms of the new deal were not released, but it’s expected to be south of the $3.5-million he earned in salary and playing incentives last season. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has said the Bucs have plenty of options at center. In addition to Evan Smith, guard Ali Marpet and guard/tackle Ken Pamphile also could play center. Koetter has said because of the versatility, the Bucs will try to put their best five offensive linemen on the field....

    The Bucs re-signed center Joe Hawley, right, to a two-year contract.
  13. How the Bucs free agent signings impact their NFL draft plan


    The Bucs signing of Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive lineman Chris Baker will ultimately have an impact on their approach to the NFL draft. 

    “To get two big needs that we have, we still believe in building through the draft and that helps you solidify how you’re going to draft,'' Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "This is a deep draft, and free agency isn’t over yet. Not only are we gaining some guys in free agency we’re also losing some guys, too, so it’s a process.''...

    The Bucs signing of Redskins free agent receiver DeSean Jackson, pictured, and defensive lineman Chris Baker will ultimately have an impact on their approach to the NFL draft.
  14. Bucs pursue and catch their target, free agent DeSean Jackson



    As Bucs general manager Jason Licht was getting ready to leave his home and head to the office Thursday morning, the free agent signing period just hours away, his 8-year-old son, Charlie, asked the question on the mind of every NFL insider. "What do you plan on doing today?"

    Licht didn't ask to go off the record. "Well, I hope to sign DeSean Jackson, but I don't know yet. I hope," he said....

  15. How Bucs whiffed on DeSean Jackson nine years ago and took the wrong D-Jax


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson should've been a Buccaneer from the very start. In fact, the Bucs did select a wide receiver named D-Jax in the second round of the 2008 draft.

    But they got the wrong guy, and in some ways it might have cost coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen their jobs. Here's what happened.

    The Bucs entered the 2008 season with a couple of glaring needs. With Ronde Barber turning 33 and Phillip Buchanon in the final year of his contract, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin needed a long-term solution at cornerback....

    Thanks to his small hands, drops were a common problem for receiver Dexter Jackson, who lasted one season with the Bucs.