The Buccaneers have scheduled a visit with free agent defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson, who played the last five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, at One Buccaneer Place on Friday. At 6-foot-2, 290 pounds, Wilkerson would bring great size to Tampa Bay’s defensive line.
Wilkerson is known primarily as a run-stopping defensive end as he has produced 94 tackles and just one sack in his five seasons in the NFL. Last year, Wilkerson had two of his five career starts and finished the season with 23 tackles and half a sack.
With the Buccaneers releasing defensive ends Kevin Carter and Greg Spires on Wednesday, Tampa Bay has a need at defensive end where the team returns only Gaines Adams, Greg White, Patrick Chukwurah and unproven players such as Charles Bennett and Marquis Gunn. However, the Bucs are expected to meet with Carter to see if they can come to terms on a reduced salary. Carter was scheduled to make $5.2 million in 2007, including a $2 million roster bonus which the Bucs avoided paying by releasing him on Wednesday.
The 27-year old Wilkerson was drafted in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma. With the Sooners, Wilkerson had 130 tackles (66 solo), 35 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 24 starts. He also added 28 quarterback pressures, 13 passes defensed and four forced fumbles in his three years at Oklahoma. Wilkerson entered the 2003 NFL Draft as a junior.
BUCS WILL ALSO VISIT WITH TE GILMORE ON FRIDAY Tampa Bay is also expected to visit with former Chicago tight end John Gilmore on Friday. Gilmore, who was originally a sixth-round pick out of Penn State by New Orleans in 2002, has spent his entire career with the Bears where he caught 21 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns as a reserve player. He had one catch for 18 yards against the Bucs in a game in 2006. The 6-foot-5, 257-pound Gilmore is known primarily as a blocking tight end.
The Bucs have a need at tight end with the departures of Anthony Becht and Jerramy Stevens in free agency. Alex Smith returns as the lone tight end with starting experience. Stay tuned to PewterReport.com for more Bucs coverage during free agency.
MORE FREE AGENCY VISITS Keep track of all of the Tampa Bay's visits that PewterReport.com has been able to confirm on the Bucs Free Agency Tracker on the PewterReport.com message boards.
Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.