The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to bolster the team’s linebacker corps as they are expected to re-sign veteran inside linebacker Kevin Minter to a 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.
Tampa Bay saw four linebackers wind up on injured reserve last year, including Alexander, Minter Jack Cichy, the team’s sixth-round pick in 2018, who also tore his ACL against Cleveland, and Kendell Beckwith, who missed the entire 2018 campaign after suffering a broken ankle during the offseason. 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.
Drafted in the second round in Arizona by head coach Bruce Arians and Bucs general manager Jason Licht when he worked with Cardinals, the former LSU linebacker played under Bowles for two years in Arizona before reuniting with him in New York last year when Bowles was the Jets head coach after spending the 2017 season with Cincinnati. Minter didn’t make the Jets’ 53-man roster due to his lack of special teams experience, but Licht signed him halfway through the 2018 season and he recorded three special teams tackles in his first two games before seeing time on defense.
Minter, 28, has played in 75 games and logged 265 tackles, six sacks, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and a safety in his six seasons in the NFL. His best season came in 2015 for the 13-3 Cardinals when he notched 94 tackles, two pass breakups, one forced fumble, one safety and half a sack.