The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are re-signing safety Chris Conte and running back Jacquizz Rodgers, the team just announced.
Update: Conte’s getting two years at $5 million, with $7 million including incentives, per Adam Schefter. That’s the kind of money you pay a special teamer who gets a minor role on defense.
Conte started 24 games the past two seasons as one of the Bucs’ primary safeties, but lost his starting job toward the end of last season, in part because of injury, when Keith Tandy took over. He’s not likely to be a primary starter this year, but will add some versatility and depth to a position lacking both, as the Bucs’ only starting-quality safety right now is Keith Tandy.
Buccaneers are giving RB Jacquizz Rodgers a two-year, $3.3 million contract, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2017
As for Rodgers, the Bucs have talked about wanting to re-sign him for months, but were not allowed to actually do so until free agency officially opened at 4:00 p.m. ET today because of an obscure CBA rule on minimum salary veterans. Rodgers took over for an oft-injured and ineffective Doug Martin last season, rushing for 560 yards and two touchdowns on 129 carries.
With Rodgers in place, the Bucs don’t necessarily need to make any more moves at running back, and they’re likely to stay out of the free agent market at that position. Whether they draft someone will depend more on how they view Doug Martin, who will serve a three-game suspension to start the season and who is recovering from a stint in rehab. It seems likely but not quite a foregone conclusion that the Bucs move on from Martin, and they could very well add a back in the 2017 NFL draft, which features a very deep group of running backs.