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Tampa Bay signs first-round draft pick O.J. Howard

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Tight end O.J. Howard has signed his rookie contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Howard, who was the 19th overall pick in last month’s NFL draft, signed a four-year deal on Monday that includes a team option for a fifth season. He is the first of Tampa Bay’s six draft picks to sign. Howard, who is 6-foot-6 and 251 pounds, was a third-team Associated Press All-America selection last season. He started 12 of Alabama’s 14 games last season and had…

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Buccaneers take O.J. Howard in 1st round; UF’s Jarrad Davis goes to Lions

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the 19th pick in the NFL draft, providing young quarterback Jameis Winston with another playmaker for an improved offense. Winston threw for more than 4,000 yards each of the past two seasons, however the Bucs have struggled to score points. General manager Jason Licht and coach Dirk Koetter are counting on him to be able to get the ball in the end zone with more regularity after adding Howard,…

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Roster for title game all boils down to trust

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Time for a little game before your big game. It’s called “Trust or Don’t Trust” and is designed to offer a little helpful insight — hopefully helpful, anyway — on who to start for your fantasy team in championship week. Everyone knows you can trust Cam Newton — he’s gotten you this far — but what about banged-up receiver DeSean Jackson, who’s been inconsistent all season? Or the New England ground game, which seems to have a different tailback stepping…

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Some well-known NFL players face inevitable decline in 2015

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Whether it’s switching teams, losing teammates, injuries or just getting old, every year some well-known NFL players take a step back. That’s not even counting players who were one-year wonders. It’s tough to follow up record-setting seasons. It’s also difficult to keep performing at a high level year after year. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to a different offense or a new coaching staff. Whatever the reason, decline is inevitable. Some players whose stats might trend downward in…

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