After seeing Anthony Becht and Jerramy Stevens hit the free agent market on Friday, the Buccaneers had a need for a blocking tight end to complement starter Alex Smith. That need appears to have been addressed with the addition of Chicago reserve tight end John Gilmore.
PewterReport.com first reported that Gilmore would visit the Bucs on Friday, but Brad Biggs at the Chicago Sun-Times has reported that Gilmore is expected to sign a three-year deal upon his arrival in Tampa.
“I was asleep and I really was not expecting to hear anything until the weekend,” Gilmore told the Chicago Sun-Times. “My agent called me after 11 and woke me up. He said he had thrown a number out at Tampa Bay and they were going to get right back to him.
“The next thing I know I was on the phone with Gruden. He told me, ‘I don’t think you realize how excited we are to have you. You definitely figure into what we’re doing, we’re going to get you very involved in a lot of two-tight end sets.’ He wants me to do what I do and it sounds like I’ll get to catch more footballs. He was a little bit more fired up than I probably sounded at the time.”
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 for his blocking ability.
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