The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they have signed free agent linebacker Jon Alston. Alston (6-0, 235) spent his first NFL season with the St. Louis Rams after being drafted in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. After one season in St. Louis, Alston played with the Oakland Raiders for the past three years. Oakland did not tender Alston a contract so he became an unrestricted free agent.Terms of Alston's contract with the Buccaneers were not disclosed.
Alston, 26, projects as a backup for starting Will (weakside) linebacker Geno Hayes. Alston is a speed linebacker that would help fortify the Bucs special teams. The Buccaneers lost special teams captain Will Allen in free agency to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Alston played collegiately at Stanford, and he has started eight games in four seasons.
In his career he has played a total of 39 games. He has recorded 66 tackles, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles in his career. The past three seasons Alston has totaled 20 special teams tackles. In 2009, Alston played in nine games with four starts and notched 23 tackles.
Free agency started a week ago and Alston is the first free agent signed by the Buccaneers. Earlier in the week the Bucs traded a 2010 sixth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Reggie Brown. Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris said before the signing period started that the Bucs would not make many moves.