The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to add weapons to the new offense under head coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski. Stevens played for the Bucs the past two seasons, and was the team's primary pass receiving tight end in 2008. On Wednesday, Buccaneers general manger Mark Dominik said the team remained interested in signing to Stevens to a contract extension. Those negotiations came to fruition with a new contract for Stevens in Tampa Bay.
"With Stevens there is ongoing discussions," Dominik told WDAE 620 on Wednesday. "We are working to see if there is a deal that can be struck. Generally, we don't talk a lot about our negotiations, but there is a thought with we have offensively with Jerramy that if you take a Jerramy Stevens and put a Kellen Winslow on the other side and ask a defense, ‘Okay, what are you going to do? Play nickel defense, and if you put a defensive back out there we might run it at you. Or if you stay in base we might throw it.' So if we do wind up putting both of those big men on the field along with Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton it will create mismatches for us. That's why we're still in discussions with Jerramy. We'll see what happens here."
Dominik pulled the trigger on a trade for Cleveland Browns TE Kellen Winslow on the first day of free agency. That trade required the Bucs to surrender their second-round draft pick this year and a fifth-round selection in 2010 to Cleveland in exchange for Winslow's services. The Bucs also have blocking tight end John Gilmore, tight end Jason Pociask, and 2005 third-round draft pick Alex Smith under contract.
Stevens, 29, has caught 184 career passes for 2,044 yards (11.1 avg.) and 21 touchdowns since entering the NFL as a first-round pick with Seattle in 2002. Last season Stevens caught 36 passes for 397 yards and two touchdowns. In Stevens debut as a Buccaneer in 2007, he caught 18 passes for 189 yards and four touchdowns.
The past two seasons has caught some important touchdowns for Tampa Bay. In 2007, Stevens caught the game-winning touchdown with 0:14 left in the Bucs victory over the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 2. That victory sealed a division championship for the Bucs. Last season, Stevens caught a touchdown to force overtime in the Buccaneers Week 3 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Interestingly, three of the four touchdowns that Stevens caught in 2007 came from quarterback Luke McCown. The favorite to be the starting quarterback for the Bucs in 2009.