With Dekoda Watson now wearing the gold and teal of the Jaguars and Adam Hayward set to suit up in the nation’s capital for the Redskins, the Buccaneers were in need of some depth at the linebacker position.
On Sunday Tampa Bay added Patriots free agent Dane Fletcher who appears will fill the Watson and Hayward role as special teams contributor and backup linebacker. Reports say it is a one-year $1.2 million dollar deal.
According to ESPNBoston.com’s Field Yates, Fletcher played primarily on special teams and in sub defense for New England, logging just over 18 percent of the defensive snaps during the regular season.
The 27-year old Montana State product signed as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots in 2010. Fletcher played defensive end in college then made the switch to middle linebacker after entering the NFL. For his career, Fletcher had recorded 81 tackles, four sacks and has forced three fumbles.
Tampa Bay re-signed linebacker Jonathan Casillas prior to the opening of free agency to a one-year contract. The former Saint is expected to head into training camp as Tampa Bay’s starting strongside linebacker. The Bucs will have Mason Foster manning the middle most likely and superstar Lavonte David handling the weakside.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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