While most expected new Bucs head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht to be active in free agency, no one could have predicted the frenzy of movement that started on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
The transactions actually started last weekend with the release of long-time guard Davin Joseph, freeing up $6 million dollars in cap space that was promptly used to start the rebuilding of the team’s roster. Although things are beginning slowing down somewhat, there is bound to be more free agent signings, and possibly more releases over the next week.
Below is a recap of the transactions and links to PewterReport.com’s stories covering every thing that happened over the last seven days.
3-8 Bucs Release Veteran JosephIn a cost-cutting move, the Buccaneers released Joseph, a former Pro Bowler who struggled in 2013 in his return from a knee injury. Releasing the former Sooner standout saved the Buccaneers $6 million in cap space and the purge and revamping of the roster was underway.
3-11 Tampa Bay Signs Bengals Free Agent DE Michael JohnsonDesperately needing a speed rusher, the Buccaneers made a big splash in free agency, signing Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson to a five-year deal worth $43.75 million. Over the past two seasons, Johnson has produced 15 sacks and two forced fumbles. Smith made it clear that Johnson would be the Bucs starting right defensive end and Adrian Clayborn will be in the mix with the other roster defensive linemen for the left DE spot.
3-11 Buccaneers Sign Seahawks DT Clinton McDonaldTo bolster the team’s depth at defensive tackle and give the Bucs a starting nose tackle, Tampa Bay signed Seattle defensive tackle Clinton McDonald to a four-year, $12 million deal. McDonald had 5.5 sacks for the Super Bowl champions Seahawks last year.
3-11 Tampa Bay Adds TE Brandon MyersThe Buccaneers added some firepower to the tight end position in free agency, landing Brandon Myers of the New York Giants with a two-year, $4.25 million contract. Myers will compete with Tim Wright and Tom Crabtree for the right to start in 2014.
3-11 Bucs Bring In A Replacement For Revis, Sign Alterraun VernerWith Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis’ upcoming release by Tampa Bay on Wednesday, the Buccaneers found his replacement with the acquisition of Tennessee CB Alterraun Verner. The Pro Bowl defensive back signed a four-year, $26.5-million contract with the Bucs.
3-11 Tampa Bay Releases Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis After Failing To Find Trade PartnerA year after acquiring Darrelle Revis in a blockbuster deal with the Jets, Tampa Bay released the Pro Bowler to free up $16 million in salary cap space and draft picks. The Bucs signed Alterraun Verner and most likely are still in the market to add some defensive backfield depth. The Buccaneers saved $16 million in salary cap space and now will only lose a fourth round draft pick instead of a third had Revis still been on the roster on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
3-12 Bucs Sign Bear Free Agent McCown; Smith Names Him StarterThe Buccaneers continued to be active in free agency, adding veteran Josh McCown with a two-year deal worth $10 million. Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said McCown will go into the offseason as the team’s starting quarterback over Mike Glennon, who started 13 games last year as a rookie.
3-13 Bucs Cut Ties With PennAnother long-time Bucs offensive lineman was released on Thursday as left tackle Donald Penn joined guard Davin Joseph as players cut as a cost-saving measure by new head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht. Penn joined the Buccaneers in 2006 and has started over 100 straight games since 2007.
3-13 Tampa Bay Tabs Collins As Starting Left TackleThe Buccaneers’ overhaul of their offensive line continues with the expected signing of Cincinnati’s Anthony Collins, who has the versatility to play left or right tackle. The signing of Collins to a lucrative long-term deal meant the end of left tackle Donald Penn’s tenure in Tampa Bay.
3-14 Bucs Continue Overhaul, Sign Packers Center Dietrich-SmithThe Bucs continue to make a splash in free agency by overhauling the team’s offensive line. On Friday, Tampa Bay added former Green Bay center Evan Dietrich-Smith with a four-year, $14.25-million deal. Does the acquisition of Dietrich-Smith puts Jeremy Zuttah’s future with Tampa Bay in question?
3-14 Reynolds Offers Up Risk And Rewards Of 2014 Free Agent HaulThe Buccaneers were one of the busiest teams at the start of the 2014 NFL free agency period, signing nine unrestricted free agents, including their of their own. PewterReport.com’s Scott Reynolds analyzes the risks and rewards of each signing by Tampa Bay.
3-14 SR’s Fab 5 Offers Latest Scoop And Thoughts On BucsLots of Bucs free agency insight and analysis, plus scoop on Tampa Bay’s draft, the team’s interest in Fresno State QB Derek Carr, the reality of the Darrelle Revis trade and how Lovie Smith’s faith has been a huge selling point to free agents is all found in this edition of SR’s Fab 5.
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 email@example.com
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