NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Rams, Seahawks

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht received a four-year extension in January despite the lack of on-field success in Tampa Bay because of his ability to lure HC Bruce Arians out of retirement. Arians confirmed that Licht is the reason he joined the team.

“It was huge for me, because I trust him,” Arians said via the Athletic’s Greg Auman. “I respect him. He’s the reason I’m here.”

  • Arians said the team will be looking at other teams’ cuts to fill out its offensive line depth: “It’s still something we’re looking at, whether it’s somebody else’s team or our team. There’s 31 other teams out there, so don’t count numbers on our team. There’s other guys on that waiver wire.” (Auman)
  • According to Arians, UDFA’s Emanuel Hall, Damarkus Lodge, Anthony Johnson, Scotty Miller and Spencer Schnell are battling for the fifth wide receiver spot with Bobo Wilson and Justin Watson: “Those guys are battling for that fifth spot. Bobo’s having a heck of a camp.” (Auman)
  • Arians pushed back against any thought that Watson had locked up the No. 4 receiving spot: “I would not say that.”
  • Tampa Bay could be trying to hide Schnell for a practice squad spot after giving him only six snaps a week after he recorded a 100-yard receiving game. (Auman)
  • Arians also had more praise for Wilson, who has stuck around for a couple seasons as an end-of-the-roster player: “We’ve kind of limited him. He was playing three positions (within receiver), now he’s just playing one and he’s excelling at it.” (Auman)
  • Buccaneers RB Dare Ogunbowale seems entrenched as the third running back, working with the first-team offense on Sunday while Ronald Jones was limited. (Auman)

Rams

Seeking to make a name for himself and with injuries to the backups at outside linebacker hurting the Rams, rookie UDFA Natrez Patrick jumped at the chance to switch from inside linebacker to the outside. The move paid off in the game for Patrick, who recorded three tackles and half a sack. 

“They just came and told me the plan and honestly, I just handled it and adapted,” Patrick said via the Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore. “… You have to be adaptable at this level. And I just rolled with it.”

Also at outside linebacker, 2018 fifth-round LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo finally made his Rams debut after a broken foot cost him his rookie season and quad injuries held him out so far this preseason. 

“It felt amazing,” Okoronkwo said. “It’s been a long time coming…just had some bad luck with injuries but so thankful to (trainer) Reggie (Scott) and the rest of the training staff. They do such a great job. They were patient with me. The coaches kept telling me to keep my spirits up. We have a great support system here. It’s a family here and they just kept me into it and every day I just kept on doing what I had to be doing. And I finally got a chance. I had a lot of fun.”

Seahawks

  • According to the Seattle Times’ Matt Calkins, it doesn’t make sense for the Seahawks to trade for Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney and his $16 million franchise tag if they already elected to trade away DE Frank Clark after using the franchise tag on him this offseason. 
  • The Seahawks traded Clark to the Chiefs for a first and third-round pick, using the first to select DE L.J. Collier who they hope will replace Clark. 
  • Calkins adds the Seahawks’ negative experience trading for DT Sheldon Richardson in a similar situation could color their opinion in a potential trade for Clowney.
  • Calkins thinks the only way a trade could happen is if Clowney continues his holdout into the regular season and the Texans lower their price. 

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