Bucs Cut Johnson, Collins; Sign Conte, Melton
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a busy 48-hours after a relatively slow start to free agency. The team took the first few days of the tampering period to re-sign their own guys such as Major Wright and Leonard Johnson while tendering young running back Bobby Rainey.
After those moves were made the team moved towards overhauling a roster that went 2-14 a year ago. Quarterback Josh McCown was cut the other week and two 2014 Free Agency prizes joined him this week. The team cut ties with defensive end Michael Johnson and offensive tackle Anthony Collins. Those two moves will save the team roughly five million dollars in cap space this year though there is dead money involved. Neither player was particularly productive as Collins was benched and Johnson only managed four sacks on the year with two coming in the same way.
Coach Lovie Smith quickly moved to bring in some of his guys from his old Chicago Bears days as the team signed defensive tackle Henry Melton and is moving to signing safety Chris Conte. Melton and Conte both had their best career seasons under Lovie Smith before Smith was fired from Chicago and Melton eventually moved on to Dallas where he recorded two sacks a season ago. Linebacker Bruce Carter comes over from Dallas as well after hauling in five interceptions last season. Carter is expected to take over at inside linebacker for the departed Mason Foster, who is still a free agent.
Reports also have the team tied to Greg Hardy, Derrick Morgan, and Adrian Peterson as free agency progresses. General Manager Jason Licht however will be in Eugene Oregon for Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota's pro-day.