NFL News: Buccaneers Accused Of Breaking Draft Promises

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht
Google | NBC Sports

Tristin McKinstry

The 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, and many in the football world are looking ahead to the new season. However, the discussion about the draft hasn't completely gone away—even among those actively involved in the draft process.

On Tuesday, Minnesota Vikings draft pick Lewis Cine accused the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of breaking a promise that they'd select him if he was there. Then, on Wednesday morning, player agent Whitney Holtzman also accused the Bucs of the same thing.

Cine Speaks Out

Cine appeared on the Richard Sherman Podcast on Tuesday, and while he didn't name the Bucs explicitly, he made the following accusation:

"I had a team at 27," Cine said. "They know who they are. I ain't gonna say no names. It was at 27. The whole process—if you there—we're gonna pick you...OK. They move down to the first pick of the second round. I'm like, damn, they did me just so dirty."

The Bucs originally had the 27th pick in the draft, but traded down with the Jacksonville Jaguars, picking up the 33rd pick along with others. The 33rd pick is the first pick of the second round.

Holtzman Chimes In

Holtzmann added her accusation the next morning. Quote tweeting Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud, Holtzman tweeted, "They did the same thing to me with one of my clients. You are not alone, @LewisCine!!"

Holtzman has worked with many NFL players throughout her career, including former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

In Defense of Tampa

This story caused a lot of people to make a similar argument in defense of Tampa's practices: it's the nature of the business in the NFL. The Draft Network's Carmen Vitali also provided the following insight into why the Bucs made the move down:

Holtzman responded, tweeting to Vitali, "They didn’t have to tell him it was a done deal they were going to pick him. Could’ve said strong possibility."

Was Tampa In The Right?

Bucs huddleon field
Shutterstock | 249825454

Vitali isn't incorrect. This type of thing happens in the NFL all the time. Whether it be things said directly to the player, or league sources putting out "smokescreens" to potentially influence how the board falls.

Teams will always try to do what they can to manipulate the draft board so they can get their guy. It also doesn't hurt that the Bucs were able to essentially address two positions with one move.

However, Holtzman also isn't incorrect. Promising a player that you will select him if they're there at your pick is a bit much, and making that promise to multiple players when you know you can only take one can, understandably, leave a sour taste in some people's mouths.