As the commotion from the 2021 NFL Draft winds down, the Bucs are still making moves. On Wednesday, the team signed free agent linebacker Joseph Jones and safety Raven Greene to compete for spots on the team’s final roster.
Greene comes to Tampa Bay after three seasons in Green Bay where he mostly served on special teams. However, Greene did find his way onto the field last season on defense, playing 324 snaps over ten games. Greene picked up 44 tackles, an interception, two sacks and five pass breakups for the Packers, but also missed eight tackles and allowed over 72 percent of his targets to be completed, per Pro Football Focus. He played mostly around the box and was rarely used in deep coverage.
The fourth-year safety should enter into an immediate competition with Javon Hagan and undrafted free agents Augie Contressa and Lawrence White for the No. 4 safety spot vacated by Andrew Adams. Greene hails from James Madison, where he won an FCS Championship in 2016 with Bucs guard Aaron Stinnie. A shoulder injury cost Greene the rest of the 2020 season back in December.
As for Jones, he’ll compete with fifth round pick K.J. Britt and seventh round selection Grant Stuard for the Bucs’ fourth linebacker spot. That job will come down to special teams, with Jones impressing in that role for the past four seasons in Denver. The Northwestern standout hit 349 special teams snaps last season, but has just 38 defensive snaps in his career.
Linebacker and safety were two of the only position groups on the Bucs roster with room for added competition, so it’s no surprise the team has added a few legit options to the mix. Greene should immediately be the favorite over Hagan for the No. 4 safety spot, while Jones will put pressure on Britt to make the team if the Bucs carry only four linebackers.
Tampa Bay could still look to add competition at the No. 5 cornerback spot, as seventh rounder Chris Wilcox prepares to battle it out with Herb Miller and John Franklin III.