The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are officially on the board in free agency, and have filled a need by signing former Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter the team announced on Wednesday. The deal is reported to be four-years, $20.5 million.
Carter is one of the fastest linebacker in the NFL and was timed at 4.39 at his pro day at North Carolina in 2011, and Bucs head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht are looking to add speed to the linebackers this offseason. Even after missing three games in 2014, Carter still had 75 tackles and led Dallas with five interceptions. Carter was also a special teams standout in Dallas, blocking a punt in 2014.
Tampa Bay most likely are looking at Carter to play the middle, although he could be viewed as a SAM linebacker position and Danny Lansanah, who filled in for Mason Foster last season at times, moving to MLB. The Bucs could also look to draft a middle linebacker in the upcoming NFL Draft as well.
Carter (6-1, 230) comes to Tampa Bay after spending his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2011-14). In his four-year career, Carter has started 32-of-49 games played, totaling 235 tackles, 14 passes defensed, five interceptions (returned 72 yards, one touchdown), 3.0 sacks and seven special teams tackles. Carter also started both postseason contests for the Cowboys in 2014, registering 14 tackles and three passes defensed. In 2014, Carter’s five interceptions led all linebackers and ranked as the third-highest total in the league.
Originally a second-round pick (40th overall) by the Cowboys in the 2011 NFL Draft, Carter played collegiately at North Carolina, where he earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a junior. As a senior, he was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given annually to the best linebacker in college football.
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, the beach and family time.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@example.com