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April 2, 2013 @ 1:07 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs' Recent Signing Frenzy Continues With WR Smith

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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The Bucs continue to add free agents to their 2013 roster, the most recent of which is WR Steve Smith, who was a second-round pick of the Giants in 2007. Smith, who signed a one-year deal, will compete for the third receiver spot in Tampa Bay with Tiquan Underwood and Kevin Olgetree.
The Buccaneers did very little outside of signing Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson at the onset of free agency.

However, over the past week, Tampa Bay has made a flurry of signings, including former Philadelphia and New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith on Tuesday, which pushes the number of the team’s offseason acquisitions to nine. In the span of a few days the Bucs have signed defensive tackle Derek Landri, running back Brian Leonard, defensive end George Selvie, kicker Nate Kaeding and Smith, who signed a one-year deal worth $715,000, in addition to a $65,000 workout bonus, according to Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times, and might be the most interesting addition of them all.

Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan coached Smith, a former second-round pick of the Giants in 2007, when he coached the wide receivers in New York and saw him explode for a career-high 107 catches for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009. Smith made the Pro Bowl that season and became the first Giant in team history to eclipse 100 catches in a season.

The Bucs hope that Smith can recapture his productivity in Sullivan’s offense, which is very similar to that of the Giants’. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Smith is expected to compete with Tiquan Underwood and new addition Kevin Olgetree for the team’s third receiver spot behind Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.

The Bucs now have seven receivers on their 2013 roster, including the aforementioned players, in addition to Chris Owusu and David Douglas.

As a rookie in 2007, Smith became an important weapon on third down for Eli Manning, catching four of his five passes in Super Bowl XLII on third downs to help the Giants beat the New England Patriots, 17-14.

Smith has battled injuries during his NFL career and has only played in all 16 games just twice in his five years in the league, which came during the 2008 season, in which he caught 57 passes for 574 yards and one score, in addition to his record-breaking 2009 campaign.

Smith played in just nine games due to a knee injury in 2010 that required microfracture surgery, catching 48 passes for 529 yards and three TDs.

Philadelphia signed Smith to a one-year, $2 million contract and started the 2011 season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list due to his recovery from microfracture knee surgery, but never regained his form from his days as a Giant, catching just 11 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown in nine games. He was later put on injured reserve with a bone bruise on the same knee he had microfracture surgery on.

Smith was signed by St. Louis on March 26, 2012, and caught 14 passes for 131 yards in nine games seeing limited duty.

The signing of Smith marks the ninth free agent signing by Tampa Bay during free agency. The Bucs have also signed Goldson, Landri, Leonard, Selvie, Kaeding, Olgetree, tight end Tom Crabtree and linebacker Jonathan Casillas over the past three weeks.

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 13:26

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    Not only do you get capable, experienced backups, but you also heighten the competition in camp and in the preseason, and both are good things for a team that has not had great depth, and it has really hurt when injuries strike. I happen to like Orlovski too and thought he showed better than Free in the preseason last year, but apparently Schiano did not agree because he never gave him a chance to really show what he could do for any period of time during the regular season with the offensive starters. I sure hope the Bucs pick up a decent third string QB to develop in the Preseason and also give Free some more competition to keep him sharp and motivated. There is a tall, capable NFL QB who made the Pro Bowl as a Rookie with the Titans but was never a favorite of their coach, who now is married and more mature and worked out at Texas University for Pro Day to show he has stayed in good shape. Since he has been out of the game for awhile, maybe the Bucs should add him as a third QB, if they don't want to give a draft choice for a good QB prospect in the draft. Just a thought. That would really get Free's attention.
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    I completely agree with you about Vince Young but unfortunately I don't think he fits Shiano's whole "Buccaneer men" thing which I think is BS. The reason why the Patriots are so good is because they will pick up any player that will help the team and understand that they have such strong leaders that they will change a guy with a bad attitude to think how they think not the other way.
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    I think Dom has been very clever to wait in free agency until guys get reasonable about their salary requirements to sign some interesting prospects. If a few of them emerge to make the final 53, we certainly benefit.
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    When I look at this list, it kinda makes me yawn. Nate Kaeding might be some competition, but I don't see him as any more than an extra leg for preseason, and not an upgrade over Connor Barth. The signing of Steve Smith's Shadow is about as thrilling as if we could bring in Terrance Copper. Not crazy about the $800,000 the Bucs will have to shell out for him either. Seems about $600,000 too high. Backup running backs, and backup defensive line is important, but not "exciting". Which is fine. But I think all these signing won't make any significant impacts. Thanks for the information Scott, like I said backups are important.
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    I will take an optimistic wait and see on all the recent signings. I am a firm believer in building a solid team over signing one or two superstars. Throughout a season, depth is key, so these signings appear good. Totally unrelated, I think Orlovski is a decent back up. one of his greatest strengths (see last year's pre-season games) was his quick decision making which was better than Josh's. I believe he only came in for Josh once last year (and sucked), but I think he would do better with time to prepare for a game.
  • avatar

    Wow, Steve Smith! Then I realized he wasn't the Panther's Steve Smith. Oh, well.
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    I like all the vets we've signed over the last week and Smith is no exception.
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    Now Orlovski has someone else to throw the ball to in training camp when the 2nd and 3rd stringers come in, lol
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    Well all of that talk about T Austin to the Bucs can now officially go out the window. Maybe I'm being a conspiracy theorist but the signing of Ogletree and Smith seems to me to be a ploy to get Mike Williams to resign for cheaper or possibly be shown the door. I really hope not as he has been very productive an nothing but a model citizen off the field.
  • avatar

    Nice signing. If this guy is healthy, he will be a playmaker.
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    For what we paid for him I am more then willing to take the chance he returns to pro bowl form! Good signing!
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