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Buccaneers to sign Chris Conte, hopefully as a backup

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are working on a contract with safety Chris Conteper Vaughn McClure. The former Chicago Bears free safety will reunite with his old head coach and his old defensive system. Conte is mostly known for not being a good safety, but apparently the Bucs think he'll be a good backup -- and potentially a starter, ew.

That's a little unfair to Conte, who has experience playing under Lovie Smith and is a capable backup, or a low-end starter at free safety. He should at minimum bring some offseason competition, and at best be a replacement for Dashon Goldson. Not the kind of player to get excited about, but a valuable addition to a team's roster. The kind of guy who will end up starting five games and possibly turn a loss into a win -- or vice versa.

In all, Conte has started 52 games since being drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft, notching nine interceptions. Those aren't bad numbers, but he's not been a very good safety. Still, for offseason competition purposes there's nothing wrong with him. Now if they pencil him in as the starter, we're going to have to fight.

What Conte's signing means for Dashon Goldson isn't exactly clear. Goldson was okay last year, but hardly a difference maker and cutting him can save the Bucs $4 million. I wouldn't expect Conte to replace him, but they may hold a competition  -- without Goldson.