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

Nov 14, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians (L) talks with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) during warmups prior to the game against the Washington Football Team at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians giving TB12 time, bearish on free agents

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Monday that Tom Brady will “take all the time he needs” while giving a bearish outlook on being able to bring back all of their free agents.

Fresh off a loss to the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC divisional playoff game on Sunday, Arians said the team will reload – not rebuild – and take a run at bringing back as many of its free agents as possible.

“I think of it as a reload like it is every year. … We’ll see how many we can get back and then build the team from there,” Arians said.

While Brady is under contract for 2022, there’s speculation that he might call it a career.

“I haven’t talked to him yet. (He’ll) take all the time he needs. We’ll see,” Arians said.

Arians said he’s “comfortable” with the Bucs’ stable of quarterbacks if Brady does retire while allowing for a wild card. Blaine Gabbert and rookie Kyle Trask are the other two QBs on the roster.

“I’d be comfortable if it is. I like what we have,” Arians said of his quarterbacks room. “Again, you never know what’s behind door No. 2. We kind of went down that road and it was Tom Brady. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Arians isn’t as comfortable with the list of impending unrestricted free agents, including wide receiver Chris Godwin, center Ryan Jensen, running back Leonard Fournette, defensive backs Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead, among others. The Bucs currently have $19.4 million in salary cap space for 2022, per Overthecap.com.

The Bucs were able to bring back all of their players after last year’s Super Bowl victory, a feat Arians doesn’t think they can repeat.

“Each year, it’s so different and so new. Last year, to get everybody back, was amazing. I doubt we can do it all again this year, but we’re still gonna give it our best.”

It’s also possible Arians could lose both coordinators. Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles both have interviewed for head coaching openings around the league.

Leftwich has called plays under Arians, a departure from when Arians was the head coach in Arizona. However, Arians said he might assume that role again if he loses Leftwich.

“There would be a really good chance (of me calling plays), yes,.” Arians said.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians to appeal $50K fine for slapping own player

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he will appeal a reported $50,000 fine from the NFL for slapping the helmet of one of his own players in Sunday’s wild-card game.

Arians incurred the fine, first reported by NFL Network on Wednesday, after smacking Tampa Bay safety Andrew Adams in the defending champions’ 31-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I’ll appeal it,” Arians told reporters Wednesday. “It ain’t got nothing to do with the game, so we’re good.”

The incident occurred in the third quarter during a scrum near the Bucs’ sideline. The Eagles’ Jalen Reagor fumbled on a punt return and Tampa Bay recovered it in the ensuing pile.

Arians went after Adams to make sure he didn’t pull other players off the pile, which would have drawn a penalty. Arians slapped Adams in the helmet and followed with an elbow to the shoulder.

The incident sparked a lot of activity on social media. But Arians was unmoved when asked about it Monday.

“I’ve seen enough dumb — you can’t pull guys out of a pile,” he said. “We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile, and I was trying to knock him off of that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”

Adams is mostly a special teams player for the Bucs. He played 82 percent of the special teams snaps against the Eagles.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) huddles up with offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs (78) against the Carolina Panthers prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs All-Pro RT Tristan Wirfs (ankle) has ‘chance’ to play

All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs has a chance to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their next playoff game, despite sustaining an ankle sprain in Sunday’s wild-card win over the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Bruce Arians said.

Arians told reporters Monday that Wirfs’ right foot was in a walking boot but that he couldn’t be counted out in the NFC divisional round this Sunday.

The Bucs will host the winner of Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals.

Wirfs, selected by the Bucs with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, was injured in the first quarter. He attempted to return in the second quarter but was pulled after three snaps.

He had not missed a snap in any game since joining the Buccaneers.

Also sustaining an ankle sprain was center Ryan Jensen, who was injured as Tampa Bay scored a touchdown with 25 seconds left in the first quarter. He hobbled off after the play but returned for the next offensive series and played the rest of the game.

“His mental toughness is off the charts,” Arians said of Jensen. “He’s as tough a dude as there is playing this game. That thing was gonna be broken for him not to go back in.”

The 30-year-old Jensen, a first-time Pro Bowl selection in 2021, played 97 percent of the snaps for the Buccaneers this season. Both he and Wirfs started all 17 regular-season games.

Wirfs, 22, was named a first-team All-Pro last week.

Arians also said backup offensive tackle Josh Wells has a “pretty good” quad injury. His availability for Sunday is unclear.

Behind the makeshift offensive line, the Eagles sacked quarterback Tom Brady four times. The Bucs allowed just 23 in the regular season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) on the field before the game against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians: Antonio Brown’s departure not an ‘if’ but a ‘how’

In the wake of wide receiver Antonio Brown’s public outburst during his team’s game last Sunday against the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said that the mercurial player was “no longer a Buc.”

Three days later, Brown is still on the official roster, so Arians addressed the discrepancy Wednesday.

“It’s a management decision, what’s happening right now,” Arians said. When asked if Brown’s departure was imminent and if it was more a question of “how” rather than “if,” Arians responded, “Right.”

Brown, 33, who threw his equipment into the stands in the middle of the Jets game and left the field shirtless, did not practice with the team Wednesday. He was listed on the injury report as “not injury related — personal.”

The seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All Pro has 42 receptions for 545 yards and four touchdowns this season in seven games. He’s second among active players with 928 career receptions.

The Buccaneers (12-4) end their regular season when they host the Carolina Panthers (5-11) on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians to coach Sunday; more Buccaneers might return, too

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have their head coach back when they play the Jets in New York on Sunday, as the Bucs announced Saturday that Bruce Arians had cleared COVID-19 protocol.

Arians, as well as wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, had spent most of the week in isolation before being cleared to return Saturday.

The Buccaneers (11-4) also might see the return of cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, as both players were activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and are listed as questionable for the game.

Fellow cornerback Richard Sherman is listed as doubtful with an Achilles tendon injury.

Four players were elevated from the practice squad: punter Sterling Hofrichter and outside linebacker Elijah Ponder (standard elevation), as well as running back Kenjon Barner and wide receiver Cyril Grayson (COVID-19 replacements).

For the Jets, cornerback Bryce Hall has been activated from the COVID list and will be eligible to return for a secondary that has struggled with youth this season.

The Jets (4-11) also elevated defensive end Ronnie Blair, tight end Dan Brown, wide receiver D.J. Montgomery and cornerback Lamar Jackson.

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians looks on against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians positive for COVID

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, possibly keeping him out of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

Assistant head coach and run-game coordinator Harold Goodwin will lead the team during Arians’ absence.

“I tested positive for COVID-19 this morning but have only experienced mild symptoms to this point,” Arians said in a statement. “Harold Goodwin will take over my duties during my absence. I have complete confidence in him and the rest of our coaching staff to prepare the team for this week’s game against the Jets. I look forward to rejoining the team and being back in the facility as soon as I can test back in.”

Arians, 69, took over as Tampa Bay’s coach in 2019 and won Super Bowl LV with the team last season. He is a two-time winner of the AP NFL Coach of the Year award — in 2012, when he took over the Indianapolis Colts’ coach job while Chuck Pagano underwent cancer treatment, and in 2014 while coaching the Arizona Cardinals.

The Bucs also announced that cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting were added to the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Dean has made 13 appearances (11 starts) in 2021 and has 40 tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions. Murphy-Bunting has started all seven games he’s appeared in this year after missing an early chunk of the season with a dislocated elbow.

Both players are in their third season in the NFL.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on against the Washington Football Team during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs have reached out to Richard Sherman

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached out to free agent Richard Sherman in a play to shore up their defensive secondary.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians, responding to questions about an NFL Network report, confirmed Monday that Bucs general manager Jason Licht has been in contact with Sherman, who’s facing criminal charges and an NFL investigation.

“We’ve got to see,” Arians said. “Just a matter of I coach the ones we got and let (Licht) handle the rest of that. We’ll kick the tires on some other guys, too. … If it’s the right fit, we’ll move on it.”

Sherman’s former teams — the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers — also have reached out to the cornerback, per the report.

Tampa Bay cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting suffered an injury in Week 1.

Sherman pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanor charges in mid-July following his arrest for allegedly attempting to break into his in-laws’ house. Sherman was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, endangering roadway workers and two domestic violence counts — second-degree criminal trespass and third-degree malicious mischief.

Sherman, 33, has been in therapy since the incident, per NFL Network.

Sherman missed a career-high 11 games last season with the 49ers because of a calf injury. He recorded 18 tackles and one interception in five games before being released in February.

In the 2019 season, Sherman collected 61 tackles and three interceptions and defended 11 passes in 15 games while making his fifth Pro Bowl.

Sherman’s first seven seasons were spent with the NFC West rival Seahawks, with whom he made two Super Bowl appearances (winning one) and grabbed 32 interceptions. Sherman earned his three first-team All-Pro selections from 2012-14 as part of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” defense.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs the ball against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs coach: Ronald Jones II ‘struggled mentally’ to get over fumble

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II did not return to Thursday’s season-opening game against the Dallas Cowboys after losing a fumble in the second quarter.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians on Friday explained why Jones was glued to the bench after losing the ball following a 1-yard gain.

“‘Ro’ was running really, really well until the fumble, and then he struggled mentally to get over it,” Arians said of the 24-year-old Jones. “That was too big of a game and go out there and not be focused, so (Leonard Fournette) got the rest of the way.”

Fournette had nine carries for 32 yards while Jones had four rushes for 14 yards in the Buccaneers’ 31-29 victory over the Cowboys. Fellow running back Giovani Bernard had a pair of catches for 12 yards on the team’s final possession.

Jones led the Buccaneers in carries (192), rushing yards (978) and rushing touchdowns (seven) last season. He did not lose a fumble in 14 games for the Super Bowl champs in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) at AdventHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Bruce Arians: Tom Brady to play in preseason

Tom Brady will have a chance to shake off some offseason rust when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the Cincinnati Bengals in their preseason opener on Saturday.

Bucking the trend of keeping starting quarterbacks on the sideline this preseason to guard against injury, coach Bruce Arians said “everybody” — including the 44-year-old Brady — will step on the field. He doesn’t have a number of plays set in stone for Brady.

“We’ll just wait and see how it goes,” Arians said. “It’s normally a drive or two. It won’t be many.”

Brady signed with Tampa Bay before the 2020 NFL season, and preseason was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He has yet to wear a Bucs uniform in the preseason after 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.

In his first season in Florida, Brady led the Buccaneers to a 31-9 win over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV in February.

It was the second franchise Super Bowl win for the Buccaneers. For Brady, it was his record-setting seventh.

–Field Level Media