Bucs add Keanu Neal, re-sign Gabbert

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed safety Keanu Neal and re-signed quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the team announced Wednesday.

Neal, 26, played linebacker last season in Dallas, but he’s expected to go back to safety in Tampa. brings six years of NFL experience to Tampa Bay.

The six-year veteran appeared in 63 career regular season games, with 53 starts, while playing for the Falcons (2016-20) and Dallas Cowboys (2021), earning 2016 NFL All-Rookie honors and a 2017 Pro Bowl selection. During that time, Neal has tallied 402 tackles (19 for loss), 16 passes defensed, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 2.0 sacks.

In his rookie season in 2016, Neal was part of a Falcons team that won an NFC title and advanced to Super Bowl LI. He has started all five postseason games in which he has appeared, recording 41 tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.

After losing Jordan Whitehead to the Jets in free agency, they added former Giants safety Logan Ryan and now they add more talent to the backend of the defense in Neal.

The 32-year-old Gabbert has appeared in 10 games with the Buccaneers over the last two seasons in Tampa Bay (2020-21), completing 16-of-27 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, earning a 108.6 passer rating.

He originally signed with Tampa Bay on March 27, 2019, but spent his first season with the Buccaneers on Injured Reserve.  The 11-year veteran was a member of Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV championship roster.

Gabbert entered the league as a first-round pick (10th overall) of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft, spending three seasons with the Jaguars (2011-13) before playing for the San Francisco 49ers (2014-16), Arizona Cardinals (2017) and Tennessee Titans (2018). Gabbert has appeared in 66 career games, with 48 starts, completing 858-of-1,525 passes for 9,273 yards. He has thrown 50 touchdowns and 47 interceptions, for a 72.4 passer rating. He has also rushed 195 times for 640 yards and three touchdowns.

Chiefs-Broncos, Cowboys-Eagles set for Saturday

The NFL finalized today the schedule for Week 18, Season Finale on Saturday, January 8 and Sunday, January 9.

The week begins with a Saturday doubleheader:

At 4:30 PM ET, the Kansas City Chiefs will visit the Denver Broncos.

Then at 8:15 PM ET, the Dallas Cowboys will visit the Philadelphia Eagles.

The regular season will conclude with the Los Angeles Chargers against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football.

The Week 18 schedule (all times ET, pm):

Saturday, January 8

 

Kansas City at Denver

ESPN/ABC

4:30

 

Dallas at Philadelphia

ESPN/ABC

8:15

Sunday, January 9

 

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

CBS

1:00

 

Cincinnati at Cleveland

FOX

1:00

 

Green Bay at Detroit

FOX

1:00

 

Tennessee at Houston

CBS

1:00

 

Indianapolis at Jacksonville

CBS

1:00

 

Chicago at Minnesota

FOX

1:00

 

Washington at New York Giants

FOX

1:00

 

Seattle at Arizona

FOX

4:25

 

New Orleans at Atlanta

FOX

4:25

 

New York Jets at Buffalo

CBS

4:25

 

San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams

FOX

4:25

 

New England at Miami

CBS

4:25

 

Carolina at Tampa Bay

CBS

4:25

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas

NBC

8:20

 

 

Giants’ Judge: ‘You’re not going to win a lot of games in this league with four turnovers’

For the fifth straight season, the New York Giants(4-10) have lost 10 or more games as they fell to the Dallas Cowboys 21-6 at MetLife Stadium Sunday.

With the loss, the Giants have lost three straight and four out of their last five.

The Cowboys(10-4) forced four turnovers, which led to 15 points.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games in this league with four turnovers,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after the game. “That’s obviously something we preach and work on consistently. We’ve got to make sure that we eliminate the turnovers. Too many penalties today. Obviously, a lot of things we have to improve on as a team. The focus and the goal is the same as it always is; make adjustments now, come back in and be a better team than we were today to have success this week.”

Giants QB Mike Glennon was not very good Sunday. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 99 yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. Ultimately, he would get pulled in the fourth quarter.

Judge explained why he pulled Glennon and went with Jake Fromm.

“We got to a point in the game where I wanted to see what Jake(Fromm) could do, point blank,” Judge said. “We weren’t doing enough moving the ball otherwise, so I wanted to make sure I had the chance to see Jake, and that will obviously open up a conversation about what we’re going to do this week. We’ll talk about it as a staff, and we’ll make the best decision for the team.”

Fromm, who made his NFL debut Sunday, gave New York a spark, and if Jones is still out, the New York should probably go with Fromm. 

The Giants got more bad news on the injury front as they lost wideout Sterling Shepard to a torn Achilles late in the fourth. Saquon Barkley, who finished with 50 yards rushing Sunday but lost a fumble, discussed Shepard’s injury.

“It’s definitely tough,” Barkley said. “He’s a spark to this team; he’s a leader of this team. Just the energy that he brings every single day on the field and off the field. Anytime you see a guy go down, it’s a sad thing. One thing I know about Shep, he’s a fighter, so it’s a setback, but I know he’s going to attack this rehab.”

Next week, New York heads to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles. 

 

 

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WFT’s Rivera: ‘What’s gonna happen to the Washington Football Team is now in our hands’

Life is good when you control your own destiny, and at this point, the Washington Football Team control their own destiny. 

After being 2-6, Washington has won four straight to move to 6-6, including Sunday’s 17-15 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. From this point on, Washington plays only division foes, which starts next Sunday at home(8-4) in the first of their two matchups against the Cowboys. 

If the season ended today, Washington would be one of three wild card teams as the sixth seed in the NFC. However, if they sweep their final five games, Washington would win the NFC East for the second consecutive season.

On Monday, Washington head coach Ron Rivera discussed controlling their own destiny.

“We’re at the part where we control it,” Rivera said. “I mean, for ourselves, for us, what’s gonna happen to, to the Washington Football Team is now in our hands. We go out and play the way we’re capable of. We give ourselves a chance, and that’s where we wanted to be. That’s one of the things we talked about when the schedule first came out because you can get to this point, and you have a chance. You have an opportunity now; you’ve gotta make the best of it.”

Washington is playing well enough to win the NFC East, but the Wild Card is probably a little more realistic for Washington, especially when you consider they play Dallas and Philly twice in the next four weeks. It’s hard to beat a team twice in a season, and it becomes even more challenging to do when you play the team twice in such a short period. 

Rivera has this team playing very well, so we’ll see how the final five weeks will go for the Washington Football Team.

Giants’ Logan Ryan talks Dak Prescott

The last time Giants safety Logan Ryan was in Dallas to face the Cowboys; he was involved in a play that changed the course of the Cowboys 2020 season. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was running in the open field and was tackled by Ryan. Prescott fell awkwardly and suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle.

Almost one year later, Prescott is back, and the Cowboys(3-1) are on a three-game winning streak and are on top of the NFC East.

Ryan is happy for Prescott, who signed a four-year, $160 million deal in the offseason, and is excited to play against him and the Cowboys on Sunday.

“He looks really good. He looks healthy, which is great, and he looks like he’s operating as one of the best quarterbacks in football with just how they’re moving the ball and the command he has – great command at the line of scrimmage,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to root for a guy that’s a good guy and had a tough injury, obviously. You’ve got to root for stories like that.

“I just love playing against Dak because he’s a competitor, and I am, and we are. I think we have to lead our units. We’ll go out there, and we’ve got to play the game, but between me and him, I’m happy that he’s back, I’m happy that he’s operating at a high level because I think when you’ve played the game for years, and you’ve won some Super Bowls, and you’ve had some contracts, I think what keeps you in the game is the competition. You want to compete against the best. I think that’s why everyone wants to play against (Buccaneers Quarterback) Tom Brady and play against the best. Dak’s one of the best right now, so we want to play against him, and we want to play well. He’s a great challenge.”

While Prescott was recovering, Ryan sent him books and tried to help Prescott through the rehab process.

“I’ve just been in a similar situation breaking my leg and kind of a guy that’s always been go, go, go having some time (with the) injury, whatever it may be – they put you in a cast and say you can’t do anything for this many weeks, and you don’t want your mind to go stale,” Ryan said. “So, I had some books to help me get through it, and I sent him some books, and apparently it helped him get through it. That was obviously my goal and intention, and just wanted him to come back a great quarterback, and he is.”

Prescott’s injury was horrible to watch, and for some players, being the person who caused a serious injury could leave scars. According to Ryan, that was not the case for him, and he explained why.

“I think last year was just a freakish play, a gruesome injury, but it was a freakish play,” he said. “It was a tackle I’ve made over 500 times in my career, and that one just felt different. To me, I didn’t put much beyond the fact of just hoping that he – it was just unfortunate. But for me, it was just, if I had any ill intent or malicious (intent) or try to go hurt somebody, then I probably couldn’t sleep well at night. Knowing it was just a normal play between two competitors, we’ve got to call it what it is and move on and try to come back better from it.”

 

 

Brady on Prescott: ‘He’s a really talented player’

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be returning on Thursday night as the Cowboys travel to Tampa Bay to battle the world champion Buccaneers in the season opener.

Prescott, 28, will play his first game after he suffered a compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle in Week 5 against the Giants last October.

In the offseason, the six-year veteran signed a four-year deal with the Cowboys worth $160 million, so the hope for Dallas is that he can be the quarterback he was before the injury.

The quarterback Prescott will be facing on Thursday night, Tom Brady, knows very well what it’s like to miss significant time due to an injury. For Brady, that was 2008 when he suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Chiefs that caused him to miss the rest of that season.

On Tuesday, Brady discussed what it felt like for him coming back from a significant injury.

“I think we kind of feel invincible at times, especially playing a really physical sport,” Brady said. “I think the one thing about getting injured is that we’re not invincible. I think you have a different perspective when you come back. Sometimes, you’re really disappointed when you lose games. It’s more disappointing when you don’t get to play in games. I’d rather play and lose than not play at all, as crazy as that sounds. If you’re not playing, then it means you’re at home, and I remember that was a tough year just sitting and watching all my teammates. I mean a pretty conscious decision that I was going to do everything I could at that point to stay as healthy as I could my entire career.”

Before the injury, Prescott was playing well and led the league in passing yards, and Brady expects Prescott to be the same player he was before the injury.

“Last year, he played, I don’t know, four or five games and had a great four or five games,” Brady said. “He’s a really talented player. Really since the day he came into the league, he’s shown to be a great leader for the team. We’re just expecting him to play like Dak Prescott does – very talented, loose in the pocket, throws a good ball, they have a lot talented skills players.”

When asked what advice he has for young quarterbacks, Brady offered up his book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.

“I mean, I wrote a book on it,” he said. “I really did. It’s a good book too.”

Prescott got paid. Now, he can focus on staying healthy and leading the Cowboys to the playoffs and beyond, and if he’s right, the Cowboys very well could win the NFC East.

Buccaneers begin regular season against Cowboys

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2021 regular season schedule, released Thursday by the National Football League, is highlighted by five primetime appearances, marking the second consecutive season that Tampa Bay has been scheduled for the maximum number of primetime games.

The NFL also announced the preseason schedule on Wednesday, which features the Buccaneers hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 on Saturday, Aug. 14 followed by the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 on Saturday, Aug. 21. Both games will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys will kick off the 2021 NFL season with a Thursday night showdown on Sept. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. Tampa Bay will be making its first appearance in the NFL Kickoff game since its inception in 2002. The Buccaneers and Cowboys have played twice in Week 1, with the most recent meeting occurring in 2009.

Tampa Bay’s first divisional matchup of the year will take place in Week 2 when the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX). Bruce Arians will look to improve on his 12-4 record (includes interim year) against rookie head coaches as first-year head coach Arthur Smith comes to Tampa Bay.

In Week 3, the Buccaneers will hit the road for the first time, traveling to the West Coast to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in Tampa Bay’s first ever trip to SoFi Stadium – the site of Super Bowl LVI. The 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff (FOX) on Sunday, Sept. 26, will mark the Buccaneers’ first visit to Los Angeles since setting a franchise record for points scored in a 55-40 win over the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2019.

When Tampa Bay travels to play the New England Patriots in Week 4, it will mark quarterback Tom Brady’s first trip back to Foxborough as a visiting player, facing the team with which he won the first six of his NFL-record seven Super Bowl titles. The Patriots are the last remaining team that Brady has not beaten over the course of his historic 21-year career. He will get the chance to pick up that win on Sunday Night Football, with an 8:20 p.m. kickoff on NBC.

The Buccaneers will be looking for their fourth consecutive home win against the Miami Dolphins in Week 5 with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS. Overall, the Buccaneers have won five of their past six matchups with the Dolphins, and Miami has never beaten Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium.

Tampa Bay plays its third primetime game of the season in Week 6 on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) when the Buccaneers travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football at Lincoln Financial Field. Tampa Bay will be playing in Philadelphia for the first time since 2015, when the Buccaneers earned a 45-17 win.

The Buccaneers will attempt to win their third consecutive home meeting with the Chicago Bears in Week 7 at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS). The matchup will mark the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the two teams have played one another.

Tampa Bay and the division rival New Orleans Saints will go head-to-head for the first time in 2021 on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX). It will be the first matchup since the Buccaneers defeated the Saints, 30-20, in the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs. Tampa Bay will play on Halloween for the first time since 2010 when the Buccaneers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 38-35.

Following a Week 9 Bye, the Buccaneers head to FedExField to face the Washington Football Team. FedExField was the site of the Buccaneers’ 31-23 Wild Card victory on their path to a Super Bowl LV championship. Including the postseason, the Buccaneers have won three of their past four road meetings with Washington dating back to 2010. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET (FOX).

For the second consecutive season, Tampa Bay will play the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Buccaneers and Giants are matching up for the fifth time in as many years, marking the longest streak of consecutive seasons the two franchises have met.

The Week 12 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts marks Bruce Arians’ second trip back to Indianapolis since he served as the Colts interim head coach in 2012, and his first with Tampa Bay. Arians owns a 6-0 record all-time at Lucas Oil Stadium, including five wins as an interim head coach. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET (FOX).

After a Week 13 road meeting with the Falcons on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. ET (FOX), a pair of conference title game participants from last season will match up in Week 14, as the Buccaneers host the Buffalo Bills. The Bills most recent trip to Raymond James Stadium came in 2013 when Tampa Bay topped Buffalo, 27-6, earning the third consecutive home win against the Bills.

Tampa Bay will play back-to-back divisional games in Weeks 15 and 16, hosting the Saints on Sunday Night Football on Dec. 19, at 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) and visiting the Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 26, at 1 p.m. ET (FOX). The Week 15 game will mark Tampa Bay’s fourth appearance on Sunday Night Football over the past two seasons.

The Buccaneers will take on the New York Jets in Week 17 at 1 p.m. ET (FOX) on Sunday, Jan. 2, before concluding the season with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff (FOX) on Sunday, Jan. 9, vs. the Panthers in Week 18, as part of the NFL’s first 17-game season in league history.

 

Report: Prescott, Cowboys agree on four-year, $160 million deal

It took some time, but the Cowboys and Dak Prescott have finally agreed on a long-term deal.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a four-year deal worth $160 million($126 million guaranteed) and could go up to $164 million. Also, he gets a no-trade clause and no tag provision, according to Rapoport.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal includes a $66 million signing bonus and $75 million in year one, the most in NFL history.

After the Cowboys and Prescott could not come together on a long-term deal, the two-time Pro Bowler played under the franchise tag last season and made $31.4 million. In October against the Giants, the 27-year-old Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, which caused him to miss the rest of the season. 

Prescott was Dallas’ best option at quarterback and gives them the best chance to win games next season. In reality, the Cowboys probably win the NFC East in 2020 if the five-year veteran was healthy. However, he has his money, and now he can focus on being the best quarterback he can be for the Cowboys going forward.

Giants’ Ryan: ‘Regardless of what happens tonight, I feel like we run the division’

The New York Giants(6-10) handled their business on Sunday and defeated the Cowboys(6-10) 23-19 at MetLife Stadium. With the victory, the Cowboys are eliminated from playoff contention, and now they wait for the outcome of the Washington Football Team-Eagles game on Sunday night.

If Washington loses, the Giants win the NFC East, which would be a great accomplishment when you consider they were 1-7 after eight games.

No matter what happens with Washington tonight, Giants S Logan Ryan feels New York is the class of the NFC East.

“Regardless of what happens tonight, I feel like we run the division,” Ryan said after the game. “I feel like we swept Washington. I feel like at the first Cowboys game, they had a great play at the end of the game to get them in field goal range and we kind of let that happen. We came back and avenged that with a great play on our end. The Philly game, it was a similar thing; we failed in a dramatic fashion in the end. Our two-minute defense was being questioned. Our third down defense was being questioned, and we came back and pretty much handled Philly the second time. I can’t talk too bad about Philly because I’m a Philly fan today. I need all my South Jersey people to flap their wings tonight, so I won’t beat up Philly too bad. Other than that, I feel like we’re the best team in the division. We definitely deserve to represent the NFC East.

“It wouldn’t mean anything different, honestly. We won our last game. We did everything we could. I’m not going to hang my head if it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t make me think any higher or any lower of this team. It was an odd year for everybody. It’s an odd year for this division, but we fought our division well. I feel like we’re the best team in the division. We didn’t handle the games outside of the division all the time, so we’ll see what happens. Whether we make it or not, I know that’s great for the fan base, it’s great for the franchise, it great to have a division matter, but I’m not going to think about this team any differently based on the results tonight.”

The NFC East is the NFC East. It’s not a very good division. Maybe, the Giants are the best team in the NFC East, but at the end of the day, if Washington wins tonight, they are the NFC East champions. It’s that simple!

PhotoL @Giants/Twitter