With the first day of free agency starting at 4 P.M. on Wednesday, teams can officially begin to sign free agents that they have agreed to terms with after negotiating with players during the legal tampering period. The Bucs were active in signing and re-signing players in a depth role. Here are the Bucs’ signings that have now become official:
Free Agent Signings:
S/LB Deone Bucannon – One-year deal worth $2.5 million
Bucannon played safety and the “moneybacker” linebacker role with the Cardinals. The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Bucannon was a first-round draft pick to Arizona in 2014 and has played in at least 12 games every season since. Bucannon can play linebacker in a 3-4 base scheme, but his real value comes in nickel defense as a the “moneybacker” role in sub packages.
WR Breshad Perriman – One-year deal worth $4 million
Perriman, who played at UCF in Orlando, was with Cleveland last year after spending his first two years in Baltimore. The speed receiver caught 16 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. He has caught 59 passes for 916 yards (15.5 avg.) and nine touchdowns in his three year career. Perriman was set to re-sign with the Browns for one year at $4 million, but balked at that deal once learning that Cleveland had traded for Odell Beckham, Jr. to play opposite Jarvis Landry.
P Bradley Pinion – Four-year deal
The punter spent four years on the 49ers and averaged 43.7 yards per punt during the 2018 season. Pinion also handled kickoff duties for the team, which is an important factor for the Bucs that will also be his role on Tampa Bay given Cairo Santos’ lack of power on kickoffs.
RB Peyton Barber – One-year deal worth $2.125 million
Barber, who was Tampa Bay’s leading rusher in 2018 with a career high 871 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 234 carries (3.7 avg.), is expected to be the starter for the Bucs again in 2019. He was heavily praised by new head coach Bruce Arians at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I love him,” Arians said. “When you watch him on tape you don’t see his 230 (lbs), you would think he’s a 205-pound running back because he’s got great feet. Not every back’s going to be a homerun hitter, but if he gets those 10-15 yard runs, breaking tackles, power runner, punishing runner, that’s kind of how I like to start. When we’re building something, that’s the kind I like to build around.”
LB Kevin Minter – One-year deal
Signed as a midseason addition to replace Kwon Alexander, Minter had eight tackles, three special teams tackles and one sack in limited duty in five games before ending the season on injured reserve with a calf strain in December. With the switch to a 3-4 base defense under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the team needs more linebackers and Minter is an ideal fit.
K Cairo Santos – One-year deal
Santos was signed by the Bucs midseason in November of 2018 to take over as place kicker after the team cut a struggling Chandler Catanzaro. In seven games with the Bucs, Santos went 9 of 12 on field goal attempts and a perfect 17 of 17 on extra points. He stepped in and played well at a position that has been considered cursed ever since Tampa Bay cut Matt Bryant back in 2009. Santos will continue to get a chance to defy the Bucs’ “kicker curse” in 2019 after a formidable, yet small sample size of play.
QB Ryan Griffin – Two-year deal worth $2.9 million
The quarterback has been with the team since 2015, but has yet to throw a pass in a regular season NFL game. The Bucs most likely will look for an experienced backup as well, with former starter Mike Glennon a possibility after his release from Arizona last week.