NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Lions, Packers

     

Buccaneers

  • According to the Athletic’s Greg Auman, Buccaneers’ CB Ryan Smith‘s four-game suspension hurts his chances of making the final roster, as he was already likely battling for the No. 5 corner spot behind Vernon Hargreaves, Carlton Davis, second-round pick Sean Murphy-Bunting and third-round pick Jamel Dean
  • Under the NFL’s Proven Performance Escalator, Smith had his base salary for 2019 bumped to $2 million, which also makes it harder for him to make the roster, per Auman.
  • Tampa Bay would have only $148,040 in dead money if they cut Smith before the final year of his rookie contract.

Lions

Lions DB Jamal Agnew made the All-Pro team as a rookie for his contributions as a returner, as he averaged 15.4 yards per punt return with two touchdowns. Injuries hampered Agnew last year, but he’s looking to return to form in 2019. 

“He certainly has been (dynamic) in the past,” Lions ST coordinator John Bonamego said via Tim Twentyman of the official team website. “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be (moving forward).”

If Agnew isn’t healthy, the Lions have other options. Veteran WRs Danny Amendola and Tommylee Lewis have experience returning punts, while WRs Brandon Powell and Tom Kennedy took reps there during the spring. Sixth-round RB Ty Johnson was also working kickoff returns with Agnew. 

Packers

Packers S Raven Greene made the team last year as an undrafted free agent, but an ankle injury ended his year. Now that he’s come back, Greene is noticeably bulkier in his upper body.

“Naturally, I just really like to work hard in the weight room,” Greene said via Wes Hodkiewicz of the official team website. “And being that I couldn’t work legs for a really long time, it just balanced out that way.”

In his limited playing time, Greene showed an ability to play both safety and in the box as a dime linebacker. That flexibility should help him secure a role in his second season. 

“Yeah, Raven, he’s a smart football player,” Packers HC Matt LaFleur said. “Again, (he) has shown some versatility whether we line him up as a dime (DB) or at safety. So, I’m excited about him moving forward.”

  • Former Packers and current free-agent DL Muhammad Wilkerson turned down a plea deal for a June DWI, which would have included a $500 fine, 90-day suspension of his license and a requirement to take an impaired driving program. 
  • Wilkerson spent the 2018 season with the Packers, but broke his ankle in Week 3.

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