Update: The Bucs have indeed signed Hughes, waiving wide receiver Freddie Martino as well as linebacker Josh Keyes — so they have another spot open on the 53-man roster.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sign defensive tackle John Hughes (no relation to famed director John Hughes) today, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. The sixth-year veteran played his career so far for the Cleveland Browns, appearing in 53 games, starting 10, racking up 108 total tackles and 5.5 sacks.
At 6’2”, 304 lbs., Hughes is versatile and played all over the defensive line for the Browns. He should be able to play nose tackle or three-technique for the Bucs.
This signing is probably bad news for Gerald McCoy, who had to leave yesterday’s game with a calf injury and was seen with a walking boot on his foot afterwards. The Bucs have not commented on how serious that injury is.
With Hughes, the Bucs would have some added depth at defensive tackle. Right now, assuming McCoy is out for a while, they’ll be relying on Akeem Spence and Clinton McDonald — and that’s about it.
Undrafted rookies Davonte Lambert and Channing Ward are also available, though they’re both more hybrid players, and starting defensive end William Gholston could play inside — but that would obviously affect the already depleted defensive end group, too.