NFC South: Mike Ingersoll

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping they can get at least half a season out of defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.

The Bucs just announced they’ve placed Bowers on the physically unable to perform list, which means he can begin practicing any time after the season’s sixth week and the team then has three weeks to decide whether to activate him or put him on injured reserve for the entire season.

The fact the Bucs aren’t writing off Bowers for the entire season now is another sign they believe he might be able to return and help them this season. Bowers suffered a torn Achilles tendon in May and the instant assumption was that he would miss the entire season. But Bowers has said he believes he can return around mid-season and team officials have said in recent weeks that might be a realistic goal.

A second-round draft pick last year, Bowers seemed to be a strong candidate for a starting job before his injury. With Bowers out, Michael Bennett is expected to start at defensive end opposite Adrian Clayborn, but there’s not a lot of depth beyond that.

As expected, the Bucs also placed Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph on injured reserve. Joseph suffered a torn patellar tendon in Friday night’s preseason game against New England.

The Bucs also made a bunch of other moves to get down to the league-mandated 75-player roster Monday afternoon, but there were no surprises. The Bucs waived running back De’Anthony Curtis, long-snapper Andrew DePaola, receiver Greg Ellingson, tight end Collin Franklin, receiver Ed Gant, punter Eric Guthrie, offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll, linebacker Brian Smith, safety Tramain Thomas and cornerback Marquese Wheaton.

More injuries for Buccaneers

August, 1, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. -- I’m out at One Buccaneer Place, where the already-banged-up Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be a little more banged up.

Offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll and linebacker Jacob Cutrera each went down on a play about three quarters of the way through practice. Ingersoll stayed down and was carted off the locker room. Ingersoll appeared to have a leg injury. Cutrera was down for a bit, but limped off the field.

The Bucs already are without starting left tackle Donald Penn, who has been sidelined by a calf injury.

Coach Greg Schiano will meet with the media shortly and, hopefully, we’ll get some sort of update on Ingersoll and Cutrera. I’ll be back with that and some other stuff on the Bucs in just a bit.

NFC South links: Falcons O makes progress

June, 25, 2012
Atlanta Falcons

With changes at offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, it's been an offseason of transition for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter examines how the installation of the new offense has gone during organized team activities and minicamp.

Ryan hopes the extra seven pounds he's added this offseason in the weight room will help him weather the pounding of a full season, writes USA Today's Jim Corbett. "My frame could have used the extra seven pounds for a couple of years," Ryan said. "I've gotten stronger and hopefully more durable."

Wideout Roddy White approves of the direction the new offense is going, according to the team's official website. “We look real good right now, I’m not going to lie,” White said of the offense. “The past three or four years, this is the best I’ve been around since I’ve been here and seen the cumulative group on the field.”

Carolina Panthers

Back in January, Steve Smith became the NFL ambassador for Samaritan’s Feet, a Charlotte-based non-profit that provides shoes to needy children. On Saturday, the Panthers wideout was in his hometown of Los Angeles to help wash the feet and put new socks and shoes on more than 500 of the city’s homeless.

New Orleans Saints

Former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita said he sees elements of a "smear campaign" in the investigation into the Saints bounty scandal, reports the Associated Press.

The bounty scandal has "roiled the Who Dat Nation like nothing before, stirring the defiant streaks seemingly embedded in the DNA of its constituents," writes Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers were often undone last season due to "poor execution of fundamentals," writes The Tampa Times' Stephen F. Holder. So, not surprisingly, the Bucs have focused this offseason on brushing up on those fundamentals, particularly on tackling and ball security.

The team has signed offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll -- a 6-foot-5, 300-pounder out of North Carolina. To make room for Ingersoll, the team released linebacker Antonio Leak.
Tampa Bay kicker Connor Barth, who had been carrying the franchise tag, now has a new four-year contract.

The Bucs just announced the news.

“For the Bucs organization, [general manager] Mark Dominik, coach [Greg] Schiano and everyone to believe in me, to know that I'll be their kicker for the next four years, is awesome,” Barth said. “It's just an amazing opportunity and I want to continue to perform like I have and live up to their expectations. I want to thank everyone -- the fans, everybody, the team behind me -- and I'm looking forward to getting back on the field.”

Barth finished second in the NFL last season with a 92.9 percent accuracy rate on field goal attempts (26 of 28) and that also set a franchise record for a single season. Barth ended the season making 15 consecutive field goals and has the longest active streak in the NFL.

The franchise tag was costing the Bucs $2.6 million in salary-cap space. We don’t know the exact terms of Barth’s new deal yet. But it’s likely worth more than $3 million per season. There were eight kickers in the league that averaged at least $3 million per year last season.

The Bucs also announced they have signed wide receivers Wallace Wright and Ahmad Lewis. The team has waived offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll and tight end Tyler Urban.

Buccaneers sign seven players

January, 6, 2012
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were firing Raheem Morris and beginning their search for a new head coach, they very quietly signed seven players.

No official announcement has been made by the team, but contract records obtained by show the Buccaneers have signed quarterback Brett Ratliff, linebacker Mike Balogun, linebacker Rennie Curran, tight end Collin Franklin, offensive lineman Mike Ingersoll, offensive lineman Chris Riley and punter/kicker Jake Rogers to futures contracts.

Balogun and Curran got two-year deals. The other five received three-year deals.

Balogun, Franklin, Ingersoll, Ratliff and Riley ended the season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad.

Buccaneers adjust roster

December, 13, 2011
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made a series of roster moves in the past 24 hours. Let’s bring you up to speed.

The latest news came just a few minutes ago as the Bucs announced they have signed defensive end Nick Reed. He spent part of this season with Chicago, before getting released Nov. 14. The Bucs also announced Monday that they had promoted defensive tackle Frank Okam to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.

The Bucs have placed linebacker Jacob Cutrera and defensive tackle John McCargo on injured reserve.

The Bucs also have signed defensive tackle Lamar Divens, offensive lineman Mike Ingersoll and fullback Austin Sylvester to the practice squad. They released running back Nic Grigsby from the practice squad.