The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Kansas City tight end Billy Baber to their 53-man active roster Wednesday.
The addition of Baber gives the Bucs four tight ends — Baber, Ken Dilger, Nate Lawrie and Dave Moore — on their active roster.
Baber originally entered the NFL in 2001 with the Kansas City Chiefs as a fifth-round draft pick. He caught three passes for 30 yards and a touchdown in the 29 career games (two starts) he’s played in. Kansas City placed Baber on injured reserve earlier in the season and waived him on Nov. 2. He spent roughly three weeks on San Diego’s active roster before being released on Nov. 20.
“He came in a few weeks ago and had a good workout,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Baber. “He can run. He had a pretty good career at Virginia. He’s been in a passing system at Kansas City. He’s an athletic guy; I kind of like him and obviously we’re in need at that position right now given the fact that Ricky Dudley and Will Heller are out for the year.”
In order to make room for Baber on their active roster, the Bucs released defensive Corey Smith, who originally joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2002.
In addition to those roster moves, the Bucs made a couple of practice squad moves Wednesday, signing TE Robert Johnson and releasing defensive back Kalvin Pearson.
Johnson entered the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 as an undrafted free agent.
Pearson spent last week on Tampa Bay’s practice squad. He originally joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2004.
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