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Buccaneers re-sign Larry English, waive Steven Means

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to bolster their pass-rush by re-signing Larry English.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed defensive end Larry English and waived defensive end Steven Means, the team has announced.

English was signed during the preseason and proceeded to produce quickly with two sacks in three appearances. But while he showed up on the stat sheet, he wasn't consistent during the games and his being released during final cuts was hardly a surprise. Apparently the Bucs liked him enough to bring him back, after the hoped-for pass rush failed to materialize in their first game against the Carolina Panthers.

By keeping English off the roster for the first game, the Bucs avoided his salary becoming guaranteed: vested veterans, like the former first-round pick, can claim their full salary at the end of a season in which they were cut, provided they were on that team's roster during the first regular season game.

Waiving Means is a bit of a surprise, though. The former fifth-round pick had admittedly not done much during the preseason and didn't get on the field during the first game, but Lovie Smith praised his physical gifts and it seemed like the Bucs liked him as a developmental prospect.

The Bucs have to get more out of their pass rush to be effective, and English might play a small role in attaining that goal. But the key factor will be improved play from the starters, including Michael Johnson, whose effectiveness was limited due to an ankle injury, and Adrian Clayborn.

The Bucs also placed cornerback C.J. Wilson on the practice squad, replacing Brandon Dixon who was promoted to the 53-man roster. If Means passes through waivers, the Bucs could place him on the practice squad, too.