A familiar face is on its way back to Tampa Bay and two more are on their way out.
Multiple reports began surfacing Tuesday afternoon that former Bucs safety Major Wright has been signed by the team that waived him this past August. Wright’s NFL.com player profile already listed him as a member of the Buccaneers and the 28-year-old former Florida Gator and Lauderdale Lakes native posted this on his Twitter account at 3:27 p.m.
The organization released a statement at 4:18 p.m. to officially announce Wright’s signing and it included multiple transactions. Most-notable among those moves was the team parting ways with injured wide receiver Louis Murphy and running back Mike James. Murphy has spent the entire 2016 season on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list and hasn’t played since injuring his knee last fall.
The signing of Wright could be a sign that starting strong safety Chris Conte will not be available this weekend in San Diego. Conte suffered an undisclosed injury during Sunday’s win over the Seattle Seahawks. When asked about the injury during his Monday press conference, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said the team would wait until Wednesday to update Conte’s status.
Wright played three preseason games with Tampa Bay before being waived on Aug. 28. He’d been with the Bucs since 2014 after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears. He’s played 21 games and made nine starts as a Buccaneer, tallying 76 combined tackles, four pass defenses, and zero interceptions.
Conte’s 65 tackles make him the Bucs’ second-leading tackler behind linebacker Kwon Alexander (90). The sixth-year veteran has been playing his best football later in the season and intercepted two passes in the past three games, including his pick-6 against the Chicago Bears.
In addition to the signing of Wright and the waiving of Murphy and James, Tampa Bay also made a move to its practice squad. The team signed defensive tackle Rodney Coe and released defensive end Kourtnei Brown.