May 22, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles guard Julian Vandervelde (73) hits the blocking sled during organized team activities at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have claimed offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Julian Vandervelde himself then sent out a tweet to the same effect:
Philly, I love ya, but today this Eagle flies south to join Tampa Bay. Thanks for a great time.— Julian Vandervelde (@BirdNerdJV73) September 1, 2012
Vandervelde is a second-year offensive lineman and was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, but played just one game last year. He played guard at Iowa in college.
The Bucs haven't had to release anyone to claim Vandervelde, but the team did escort rookie offensive tackle Bradley Sowell and veteran defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry off the field, replacing them with an unidentified wide receiver and offensive lineman, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times and other beat writers. It seems the Bucs have decided that further weakening an already weak defensive tackle position is a very good idea.
It's possible that those two players are WR Bert Reed and
OL Bryan Gillette OL Brian Folkerts, who have been signed to the team's practice squad, as confirmed by Greg Schiano. Bert Reed was an undrafted free agent out of FSU this year. While I can't even find a trace of Bryan Gillette on the internet - unless the Bucs have somehow signed a varsity high school player. The Bucs have since corrected that tweet, noting that the player actually signed was Folkerts, not Gillette. If those two players are indeed the two who walked on to the field in place of Sowell and Gilberry, we haven't yet seen the actual replacements for those two likely released players. Brian Folkerts was an undrafted free agent out of Washburn this season and spent the offseason with the New Orleans Saints. In addition, Rick Stroud reports the Bucs have signed tight end Drake Dunsmore to the practice squad as well. Dunsmore was the Bucs' final seventh-round pick this year, and didn't make the 53-man roster. He'll get another chance to earn his way onto the team via the practice squad.
Finally, the roster moves aren't over yet. Greg Schiano in his press conference today said that the Bucs would continue to make roster moves through Tuesday to set their final roster. Schiano has a plan for the roster - but he's not sharing it, and for now the team has depth issues at a number of positions, like defensive tackle and offensive guard. The Bucs would do well to scour the waiver wire and the free agent market to fill those needs.