The worst team in the NFL The 10th head coach in the history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was no real surprise as former Bucs assistant Lovie Smith returned to the sidelines after a year out of the game to take over the reins in Tampa. Having posted a 81-63 mark with the Chicago Bears including a trip to the Super Bowl. It was a popular choice although after two seasons of Greg Schiano, there was always going to be a honeymoon period. Unfortunately the 16 games of the season soon saw the leeway quickly slip and the Bucs fell to the very bottom of the NFL standings for the first time since 1986. An 0-8 home slate was the first imperfect performance in front of their own fans since the expansion team of 1976 and the only two wins were recorded on the road in Pittsburgh and Washington. The off-season has seen a whole host of free agent signings with big money being spent on both lines with Michael Johnson and Clinton McDonald arriving on the defense, and Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith for the offense. A pre-season trade saw veteran Logan Mankins also arrive from New England. The draft was an offensive indulgence with the seventh overall pick being utilised on the highly-rated Mike Evans at receiver with Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Charles Sims also being selected to boost the passing game. All six selections were on the offensive side of the ball with the coaching staff going with the holdover players to re-implement the famous Cover-2 defense. The 2014 Buccaneers also found new and interesting ways to lose games. The St.Louis game was lost when Evans was injured inside the final seconds of the game leading a 10-second run-off and no time to attempt a winning fieldgoal. The Bengals game was lost after a challenge found 12 men on the field on the play that set up the potential fieldgoal winner and both the Saints and Vikings games were lost in overtime. There were two absolute blowouts including a nationally-televised game in Atlanta that was 56-0 Falcons after three quarters and seriously threatening the all-time NFL scoring mark. But ultimately it was usually the lack of offense that caused the Bucs to keep coming up short and led to loss following loss. Individually both Evans and Mike Jackson went over 1,000 yards for the season, the first pair of Tampa team-mates to achieve the milestone. Gerald McCoy led the team in sacks and was once again selected to the Pro Bowl although he would be the lone Buccaneer recognised on the year. The season ended with a strange home loss to the Saints that secured the No.1 overall pick ahead of Tennessee, the Bucs losing a 20-7 fourth quarter lead to strange reactions from the Buc fans as they realised what would be at stake with a victory in the game. But the 39th season of Buccaneer football ended with the Bucs once again on the clock and bottom of the NFL heap.
PLAYERS OUT S Ahmad Black TE Nate Byham OL Gabe Carimi TE Tom Crabtree LS Andrew Economos DT Gary Gibson CB Danny Gorrer LB Adam Hayward (UFA - WAS) G Davin Josesph DL Derek Landri FB Spencer Larsen G Ted Larsen (UFA - ARI) RB Brian Leonard K Rian Lindell FB Erik Lorig (UFA - NO) S Kelcie McCray (Trade - KC) G Jamon Meredith G Carl Nicks QB Dan Orlovsky (UFA - DET) T  Donald Penn CB Darrelle Revis DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim WR Tiquan Underwood (UFA - CAR) LB Dekoda Watson (UFA - JAC) WR Mike Williams (Trade - BUF) TE Tim Wright (Trade - NE) G Jeremy Zuttah (Trade - BAL)
PLAYERS IN TE Cameron Brate OL Anthony Collins (UFA - CIN) G Oriel Cousins (UFA - CLE) LS Andrew DePaola LB Dane Fletcher (UFA - NE) OL Garrett Gilkey CB Mike Jenkins (UFA - OAK) DE Michael Johnson (UFA - CIN) G Rishaw Johnson (Trade - KC) FB Jovorskie Lane LB Orie Lemon G Logan Mankins (Trade - NE) QB Josh McCown (UFA - CHI) DL Clinton McDonald (UFA - SEA) WR Louis Murphy K Patrick Murray TE Brandon Murphy (UFA - NYG) C Evan Dietrich-Smith (UFA - GB) DE Jacquies Smith CB Alterraun Verner (UFA - TEN) DB Major Wright (UFA - CHI)
TRADES 23 Mar - Traded C Jeremy Zuttah to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2015 5th round pick. 5 Apr - Traded WR Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills for a 2014 6th round pick. 9 May - Traded a 2014 7th round pick and a 2015 5th round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a 2014 5th round pick. 20 Aug - Traded DB Kelcie McCray to the Kansas City Chiefs for G Rishaw Johnson. 26 Aug - Traded TE Tim Wright and a 2015 4th round pick to the New England Patriots for G Logan Mankins. 28 Oct - Traded S Mark Barron to the St.Louis Rams for 2015 4th and 6th round picks. 28 Oct - Traded LB Johnathan Casillas and a 6th round pick to the New England Patriots for a 2015 5th round pick.