The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed safety Chris Conte, according to Gil Arcia, Jenna Laine, Roy Cummings and every other Bucs beat writer. The two parties agreed to terms on a one-year deal today, per the Tampa Bay Times.
The veteran safety played some solid football last year, and posted two interceptions, six passes defensed and two forced fumbles in thirteen games. He was a major part of the Bucs defense giving up the fewest 20+-yard passes in the NFL, though he was also part of the reason why quarterbacks found it hilariously easy to complete short passes against the Bucs. At 27, Conte's also young enough to continue to improve.
One problem: Conte has really only played well under Lovie Smith, having two good years under his old coach, two horrible ones once Smith was fired by the Bears, and then a solid one when he rejoined Smith in Tampa last year. This year he'll play under another Smith: Mike, the Bucs' defensive coordinator.
With Conte back, the Bucs' safety group looks exactly the same as it did last year: Bradley McDougald, Major Wright and Keith Tandy will all make their returns as well. McDougald and Conte are the most likely starters in that group, though that may change if the team adds another safety through the draft.
Re-signing Conte should also conclude most of the Bucs' free agency moves, as they've now brought in or re-signed players at every position of need In addition to addressing safety with Conte, the Bucs (re-)signed players at defensive end (Robert Ayers), cornerback (Brent Grimes), guard (J.R. Sweezy) and running back (Doug Martin). They've also been linked to right tackles Mitchell Schwartz (signed with the Chiefs) and Andre Smith (still out there), though that seems like less of a priority.