HOUSTON - AUGUST 18: Chris Owusu #81 of the San Francisco 49ers can't control the ball as Brandon Harris #26 of the Houston Texans defends on the play at Reliant Stadium on August 18, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Houston defeats San Francisco 20-9. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Stanford wide receiver Chris Owusu, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as the Bucs already made a move at the wide receiver position today, signing Tiquan Underwood and releasing Preston Parker. Owusu adds more speed to an already very speedy group of wideouts, as he ran a 4.36-second 40-yard-dash at the combine. He's a little undersized at 6'0", 196 lb, but he proved to be a very reliable receiver and kick returner in college. He was Andrew Luck's go-to target for much of his career, catching a total of 102 passes for 1,534 yards and 10 touchdowns over his four-year career.
Unfortunately, Owusu went undrafted this year, in part as a result of three concussions suffered during the final 13-months of his Stanford career. Teams shy away from players with a history of concussions, and Owusu isn't the kind of game-breaking talent to rise past those red flags. Owusu signed with the San Francisco 49ers after the draft, but didn't manage to stick after a lackluster preseason. He's spent the past weeks with the San Diego Chargers on the practice squad.
For the Bucs, he should add value as a possible return man and a slot receiver, as well as being yet another deep threat. Suddenly, it feels like the Bucs are trying to emulate the Raiders of old: speed, speed and more speed. Hopefully this strategy will work better for them than it did for the Raiders the past, oh, ten years or so.
The Bucs do have to make one roster move to sign Owusu to the roster, and the Tampa Bay Times reports it's likely that the team moves Sammie Stroughter to injured reserve with a foot injury to get Owusu on the team. If they decide to do that, the team could designate Stroughter as a player to return later in the season under the new injured reserve rule.