This week has been great for NFL fans as training camps are starting to open up around the league, which means the start of the season is just a short seven weeks away. Buffalo and Las Vegas got things rolling by having rookies report last weekend (July 18). Every NFL camp will be in full swing by July 26.
The beginning of the football season does not only bring joy to NFL fans but also to handicappers. Betting on NFL games is big business, but if you like to gamble and can’t wait for the preseason to kick off, you can get your fix at any online casino.
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the teams that have yet to open training camp, they are still trying to improve their team. The Buccaneers, who got fantastic news earlier this offseason when quarterback Tom Brady unretired, have made headlines the past few days due to the signing of Kyle Rudolph and Leonard Fournette reportedly being out of shape. The Bucs are requiring rookies to report to camp on July 23, with the veterans to follow on July 26. They also have a new coach in Todd Bowles, who served as the team’s defensive coordinator for the last three seasons.
Kyle Rudolph To Replace Rob Gronkowski At Tight End
The Buccaneers found their replacement for Rob Gronkowski by signing veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph to a one-year deal on July 20. The Bucs started to show interest in Rudolph after Gronkowski reiterated his stance on staying retired in an interview with ESPN’s Mike Reiss on July 13.
While it’s been a while since Rudolph has put up comparable numbers that Gronkowski did last year, he is a solid run blocker and has good hands. The 32-year-old also provides the Bucs with another experienced player at the position to go along with Cameron Brate, as the Bucs also lost O.J. Howard this offseason. Rudolph should battle with Brate for time with the first unit during training camp, with 2022 draft picks Cade Otten and Ko Kieft competing for the third spot on the depth chart.
Rudolph used to be considered a top tight end in the league, but he has slowed down recently. Rudolph hauled in 26 passes for 299 yards and one score in 16 games with the New York Giants last year, marking the third straight he failed to reach 40 catches. The Notre Dame product recorded at least 49 receptions each season from 2015-2018 and totaled 24 touchdowns during that span for Minnesota.
Leonard Fournette Reportedly Gained 30 Pounds In Offseason
Running back, Leonard Fournette didn’t participate in the Buccaneers’ OTA’s this year and reportedly showed up to mandatory minicamp, weighing around 260 pounds, which is 30 pounds over his normal playing weight. This is not good news, as Fournette has battled weight issues before. But considering minicamp was over six weeks ago; it is better to wait and see what shape he is before getting too excited.
Fournette signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension –$9.0 million guaranteed – in the offseason after becoming the team’s starter in 2021. The 27-year-old is coming off a solid season last year, recording 1266 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns, tying a career-best. Fournette is expected to be the Bucs’ primary back this season with Ronald Jones’ departure. But Tampa Bay drafted running back Rachaad White in the third round (2022), and they still have veterans Giovanni Bernard, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and Kenjon Barner.
Tampa Bay is One Of the Favorites To Win the Super Bowl
Expectations are high in Tampa Bay once again as the Buccaneers have an outstanding group of wide receivers, a solid offensive line, and a strong defensive front seven, plus of course, Brady. The Buccaneers are listed at +700, just behind the Bills (+650). Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay round out the top five favorites.
Running back depth and the Bucs’ secondary are the Bucs’ biggest questions heading into camp. Bernard, Scotty Miller, and Breshad Perriman are the veterans in the biggest danger of not making the club this year.