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February 9, 2012 @ 4:57 pm
Current rating: 2.25 Stars/4 Votes

LB Curran Among 8 Free Agents Signed By Bucs

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed eight players to futures contracts, including former Tennessee Titans third-round pick LB Rennie Curran.
Although the start of NFL free agency doesn’t begin until March, the Buccaneers have signed eight players to future contracts. Several of Tampa Bay’s new players spent some time on the team’s practice squad in 2011. Each of the free agent signees was signed to a two-year deal through 2013.

Wide receiver Ed Gant spent the entire year on the practice squad after starring in the preseason, catching five passes for 164 yards, including a 96-yard touchdown against Washington.

Tight end Colin Franklin also spent much of the year on the practice squad and was even signed to the active roster for a couple of weeks due to injuries to rookie Luke Stocker. Offensive tackle Chris Riley was added to Tampa Bay’s practice squad on October 5 when Miami signed tackle Will Barker off the Bucs’ practice squad.

Quarterback Brett Ratliff was signed to the practice squad on December 6, while offensive tackle Mike Ingersoll was added to the practice squad on December 13 and linebacker Mike Balogun was signed to the practice squad on December 19.

Gant, Franklin, Riley, Ratliff, Ingersoll and Balogun were all re-signed to future contracts for the upcoming season and 2013.

Two new additions to the Buccaneers are punter/kicker Jake Rogers and linebacker Rennie Curran, a former third-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2010 (97th overall). Curran may be the most intriguing signing as he had an extremely productive career at Georgia before leaving for the NFL as a junior.

Curran, who was a team captain at Georgia, played in just nine games in two seasons with Tennessee, totaling seven tackles before being released on September 2, 2011. He amassed 298 tackles, 34 QB pressures, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery during his Bulldogs career.

The knock on Curran is his size. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds and there aren’t a lot of linebackers in the NFL that have had a good deal of success with such a short stature outside of Redskins linebacker (London Fletcher 5-10, 245), former Cowboy Dexter Coakley (5-10, 236), former Dolphin Zack Thomas (5-11, 242), ex-Falcons legend Jessie Tuggle (5-11, 232) and former Saints and Panthers Pro Bowler Sam Mills (5-9, 229).

The Buccaneers linebacking corps was one of the weakest units on the team in 2011, and Geno Hayes, a three-year starter at weakside linebacker, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The addition of Curran could possibly bolster the unit depending on how well he competes in training camp.

Along with Curran and Balogun, Tampa Bay currently has seven linebackers on its roster, including Mason Foster, Quincy Black, Jacob Cutera, Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson.

Last modified on Thursday, 09 February 2012 20:14

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  • avatar

    What happened to TE Hardy who was a star in preseason for the Bucs last year and somehow the Bucs cut him and brought in other TE's for the practice squad who were never near as good as Hardy was, when they finally got an opportunity to shine with injuries to our TEs on the regular roster? PR has never explained the above bone headed move, who was responsible for it, and what were they thinking! Hopefully some of these nonames can play this time around. We have to have some high powered proven NFL talent brought in to fill the talent holes in this youngest roster. I think we are now getting the coaches we need to get the most out of our young players and optimize their performances, but we need proven leaders on the field to inspire the young ones, just the way another Hardy (Nickerson) did at middle linebacker so long ago for the Bucs to teach our young Bucs then how to play that position. We need a veteran middle linebacker to call the defensive formations on the field, so we can move Mason Foster to his weak side LB position he shone in at Washington in college and allow him to use his instincts!
  • avatar

    As far as the LB Curran, they may think he fits as a ST player. He may have an upside also. They could also wanna see him up close & personal and see him in our system. I am sure we are getting him for pennies so I don't see what all the negative stuff is about. Briscoe was a PS player and is serviceable. Just sayin.
  • avatar

    I reiterate...one or two of these guys may stick with the starters. To even be drafted or be a star in college requires a degree of talent beyond what most all of us have. I'm just saying...we can get "excited" about practice squad players all we want. But they are what they are...guys that haven't yet shown the ability to crack the roster of any NFL team....otherwise they would be on someones active roster already....unless you don't believe that other GM's are looking for talent in other teams practice squads. That isn't to say that they might not be someday.
  • avatar

    Curran came out same year as Dekoda Watson - PR Draft Preview had him rated as an OLB, #18, Watson #15. Curran measured at 5-10, 235, 4.75 40. PR comments: "This undersized linebacker is strong and tough for his size..... Should have stayed for his senior year.... really packs a punch when he hits."
  • avatar

    Embarrassment for signing off-season camp players like every other team?
  • avatar

    The point is that this has been the biggest part of the "FA" signing highlights the last few years. Hopefully, this year we sign some NFL ready FA's, that will translate into a better team that won't lose it's next 10 games by an average of 40 points, as we did in our last five games.
  • avatar

    I see that they sign for a two yrs instead of 1 yr. GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Scott, thank you for the information.
  • avatar

    Mark2001, I love it! You are exactly right! When practice squad signings are the most interesting then we are getting closer to the dream......when all of us fans actually have a shot at making the team! Can the PR team setup a tryout session to show the new coach our skills? I can guaran-damn-tee that we will have more heart than most of starters!
  • avatar

    Bucs have hired Butch Davis to be sr defensive assistant.
  • avatar

    Scrap Pile. My thoughts exactly. More embarrassment.
  • avatar

    Well these players don't have a good chance at a job just about any where else in the NFL... Just like once the coordinator candidates realize they have no shot as position coaches on other legit organizations, then we will fill our coordinator spots. That should be soon as most real teams have their staffs almost complete.
  • avatar

    Wait a sec...we cant get any coaches but we are signing players?
  • avatar

    Picking up some more guys off of the scrap pile. Hopefully one or two of them make it. And hopefully we will sign some proven talent during Free Agency. Nothing against any of these guys, but it is unfortunate that for the last few years, practice squad signings have been among the most exciting moves by Bucs management the last few years. That must change if the fans are to come back to the games.
  • avatar

    If he had any then he would have probably put out an article by now.
  • avatar

    ...any news on the progression of our OC/DC coach search, Mr. Reynolds ???
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