According to The Athletic’s Greg Auman, the Bucs and offensive tackle Josh Wells have agreed to terms on a new contract. The key backup returns after inking a one-year, $1.12 million deal. Wells enters his eighth year in the league and his fourth with Tampa Bay. He’ll compete to re-assume his role as the swing tackle backup to both Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith this season.

Wells was originally an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of James Madison. He spent the first four years of his career in Jacksonville, appearing in 39 games with nine starts. Over the past three seasons in Tampa Bay, Wells has appeared in 45 games with eight starts.

The Bucs backup was pressed into starting duty late last year after Wirfs was sidelined with an ankle injury. Then Wells was subsequently injured a few plays later against the Eagles. He finished the game in pain, allowing one sack. The next week against the Rams in the Divisional Playoffs, Wells gutted it out despite a leg injury which caused him to struggle mightily.

This signing will help the Bucs establish depth on the offensive line. Wells rejoins a unit comprised of Smith and Wirfs, along with center Ryan Jensen, right guard Shaq Mason and re-signed guard Aaron Stinnie. Wells will likely compete for a roster spot with newly signed offensive lineman Fred Johnson. Center Robert Hainsey, guards Sadarius Hutcherson and John Molchon and utility lineman Nick Leverett round out the current group.

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About the Author: Joshua Queipo

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danielob
danielob
3 months ago

Wonder if this means we pass on a good O-Line man in the first round? D line and corner are a bigger concern IMO. Look for Jason L to load up on corner in the draft, positions we were hit hard on last season.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  danielob
3 months ago

I hope not! We need a stronger starter at Right Guard. I’m still hoping Marquette sees it differently soon; if not, we either have to draft one, or find an older free agent for a year.

SenileSenior
SenileSenior
Reply to  danielob
3 months ago

I’m guessing that the Bucs’ brain trust is also building in as much decision flexibilty as possible for our draft. You know, best guy available regrdless of position rather than need. I am sure they would hope to do that every year. That’s what I think happened last year with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.

geno711
geno711
Reply to  SenileSenior
3 months ago

.

Last edited 3 months ago by geno711
Horse
Horse
3 months ago

Like the competition for the OT back up.

Dman
Dman
3 months ago

Solid signing. If TB could only whisper in Ali Marpet’s ear one more time…. Probably don’t have the cap space, but how great would that be.

SenileSenior
SenileSenior
Reply to  Dman
3 months ago

Man, I loved Ali! I did not realize how many concussions he had. We will miss him for more than one reason.

geno711
geno711
Reply to  SenileSenior
3 months ago

Ali was seen by a friend of mine at a local gym. He had already dropped 30 to 40 ibs, That sounds like a guy that right now is still feeling like he wants to stay retired

Theydidwhat
Theydidwhat
3 months ago

I guess the price is right. You get what you pay for. Spend $1.12 million on a drafted tackle to swing, back up and replace Smith. One injury and it’s the same situation as last year. Don’t settle, keep upgrading or watch the playoffs from the living room.