NFL free agency doesn’t officially kick off until the second week of March, but the Buccaneers have already begun adding players to their roster. Players who were not on a roster at the end of the 2013 season are free to sign anytime and Tampa Bay took advantage of that on Friday adding former Bears cornerback D. J. Moore and tight end Steve Maneri.
The 5-9, 190-pound Moore played two games with the Carolina Panthers last season and was released in October. Moore signed with the Panthers as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 following four seasons with the Chicago Bears, and recorded five tackles with the Panthers before suffering a knee injury and being inactive for four games. The Bears under Lovie Smith drafted Moore out of Vanderbilt in the fourth round in 2009. Moore played in 45 games with three starts from 2009-12. His career totals include 123 tackles, one sack, 10 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and 22 pass breakups.
Bucs fans will remember Moore from his game-clinching interception in London in 2011 as the Buccaneers were driving late before eventually losing 24-18 to the Bears. Moore picked off quarterback Josh Freeman who was looking for Preston Parker with :37 seconds left in the game.Tampa Bay never won another game that season, finishing 4-12 and costing Raheem Morris his job.
Maneri, who is listed at 6-7, 280-pounds, is a converted offensive tackle and considered a strong blocker. Over his career, Maneri has played in 23 games and started 10, recording six catches for 52 yards. Maneri also played for the Chicago Bears last fall, appearing in four games with one start before being waived in October. He saw his most extensive action with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012, starting eight of 13 games, often in two-TE sets, and catching five passes for 51 yards. Maneri first came to the Chiefs in September of 2011 as a waiver claim from the New England Patriots after the final round of NFL roster cuts.
The former Temple standout first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in 2010, eventually splitting his rookie season between the active roster and the practice squad in New England.
So far this offseason the Buccaneers have added former Eagles QB Mike Kafka and released tackle Gabe Carimi, running back Michael Hill, defensive tackle Derek Landri and quarterback Jordan Rodgers.
– Part of this report was courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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