TALLAHASSEE — Jameis Winston made 102 pass attempts at Florida State's pro day Tuesday, about twice the amount of throws by some quarterback prospects.
"He threw a full nine innings," Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. When it was over, Winston made one more pitch:
Why should he be the No. 1 overall pick of the Bucs?
"Because I'm the best player in this draft," Winston said....
TAMPA — It didn't start with Jameis Winston. It won't end with him, either. Lovie Smith has a history of gambling on a few players capable of creating mayhem on and off the field.
Since the last preseason alone, the Bucs have looked closely at signing, trading for or drafting Richie Incognito, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson and Winston, who despite several tawdry events at Florida State could become the face of the franchise if the Bucs use their No. 1 overall draft pick on him next month....
PHOENIX — Seemingly poised to take Florida State QB Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick in the April 30 draft, the Bucs have been getting plenty of inquiries from teams wanting to trade for Mike Glennon.
Coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday discussions about Glennon, who is 5-13 as a starter, could continue until the draft.
"We've had the first pick and we've been taking calls for a long period of time, and I assume that would go right up until the draft," Smith said. "Yes, specifically on Glennon."...
PHOENIX — Bucs coach Lovie Smith fessed up to what is the worst-kept secret in the NFL: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the team's favorite to become the No. 1 overall pick.
When asked at the owners meeting Wednesday if it would be an "erroneous assumption," to believe the Bucs will choose Winston over Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or another player, Smith shook his head....
Coach Lovie Smith confirmed what many have assumed for weeks: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the 'leader' to become the Bucs' No. 1 overall draft pick.
But he warned that the process is not over even if they are entering the final stage of evaluation.
When asked at the NFL owners meeting Wednesday if it would be an "erroneous assumption,' to believe the Bucs will choose Winston over Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or another player, Smith shook his head....
PHOENIX — They're okay with Jameis Winston's past. They're confident Marcus Mariota has a bright future.
The Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, has signed off on both quarterbacks who are waiting for a coronation as the team's No. 1 overall pick.
Despite a 2-14 record in the first season under coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht, co-chairman Joel Glazer has not lost faith in either man to make "one of the most important decisions'' in franchise history....
They are okay with Jameis Winston's past. They are confident Marcus Mariota has a bright future.
The Glazer family which owns the Bucs has signed off on both quarterbacks who are waiting for a coronation as the team's No. 1 overall pick.
But winning still matters, even though over the past few years, Bucs games have been considered more entertainment than competition.
Despite a 2-14 record in the first season under coach Lovie Smith and general manger Jason Licht, co-chairman Joel Glazer has lost not faith in either man to make ‘one of the most important decisions,' in franchise history....
PHOENIX — Marcus Mariota might not be the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year's draft.
But Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt says he would put the Oregon Heisman Trophy winner under center immediately if they took him with the No. 2 overall pick.
"It's been great spending time with him," Whisenhunt said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "I'm very impressed with what he's done with us so far. Obviously, it's hard not to be impressed with what he did in college....
Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt made it clear they are focusing a lot at quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Most of their time has been spent with Oregon's Marcus Mariota.
If Mariota is their pick, Whisenhunt says he would expect him to start the first game of the 2015 season. But he admits it's too early in the evaluation process to know which direction the Titans will go. Whisenhunt says as many as six players are in the discussion for Tennessee's first round pick....
PHOENIX — Jameis Winston wants to stay home with his family rather than attend the NFL draft in Chicago.
He's made worse decisions.
It's not like he put out Chief Osceola's flaming spear with a kitten or went Bo Jackson and told the Bucs he's playing baseball if they pick him. No crabs were even harmed in this announcement.
Winston just wants to celebrate his entrance into the NFL with some of the people who are the most responsible for it....
PHOENIX — Every team would love to have the first overall draft pick. Nobody wants to endure what it typically takes to earn it.
"We never want it again," GM Jason Licht said Monday at the NFL owners meetings. "I feel privileged, and so does Lovie (Smith), that we are able to make this decision and to set the tone of this franchise hopefully for years to come."
Has Licht recovered from going 2-14 in his first season with the Bucs? "Never. Never get over that," he said. "I'll never get over it. It'll be a driving force for years to come. I never want to go through that again."...
It was a nightmare scenario. Coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht took over the Bucs and ran them aground with a 2-14 record in their first season.
But having the No. 1 overall pick is something many teams can rarely dream of.
"We never want it again,'' Licht said Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. "I feel privileged, and so does Lovie, that we are able to make this decision and to set the tone of this franchise hopefully for years to come.''...
Where quarterback Jameis Winston spends the NFL draft -- he plans to be at home in Alabama with his family -- will have no affect on whether the Bucs select him No. 1 overall.
General manager Jason Licht, stopping short of saying Winston will go first to begin with, says the Bucs know how to reach him.
"I don't see what the big deal is,'' Licht said during a break at the NFL owner's meeting in Phoenix. "(Browns tackle) Joe Thomas went fishing (on draft day) and he was a pretty good player....
If Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the No. 1 overall pick by the Bucs, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the selection to kick off the draft.
But Winston may not be in Chicago to shake hands with Goodell, put on a Bucs hat and hold a Tampa Bay jersey.
That's okay with Goodell.
Winston related his plans to remain home in Alabama with his family on draft day during his visit with Goodell in New York several weeks ago....
TAMPA — Gerald McCoy lobbied for him. Certainly, they could use another dominant pass rusher like him. Agent Drew Rosenhaus leveraged one team against another for him. But the Bucs decided Wednesday that Greg Hardy's talent wasn't worth the trouble.
"At the end of the day, we didn't feel good about it," general manager Jason Licht told the Tampa Bay Times.
Shortly after confirming the Bucs had lost interest in Hardy, the Panthers defensive end signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Cowboys. The deal could be worth up to $13.1 million, which is what he made last season as the Panthers' franchise player....