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Buccaneers start making moves ahead of new league year

Tuesday was a busy day for the Tampa Bay front office.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After a quiet day on Monday, the Buccaneers got busy with some moves on Tuesday. They didn’t do anything to steal headlines away from Landon Collins signing or the massive Odell Beckham Jr. trade, but they made some solid moves nonetheless.

The first move for Tampa Bay was the re-signing of quarterback Ryan Griffin to a two-year deal. The 29-year-old Tulane product has yet to take a snap in an NFL regular season game, but he could be in line to back up Jameis Winston in 2019.

The next move came in the form of a one-year agreement with hybrid safety/linebacker Deone Bucannon, who played under Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles in Arizona. The 26-year-old has played 70 games (56 starts) in the last five seasons, racking up 404 tackles (311 solo), 27 tackles for loss, two interceptions, seven forced fumbles, seven sacks and 14 quarterback hits. The hybrid position, referred to as the “moneybacker,” was first created for Bucannon by Arians, Bowles and the staff in Arizona.

Shortly after the Bucannon news, it was reported that the Bucs were signing former 49ers punter Bradley Pinion to a four-year deal.

Along with the signing of Pinion, the Bucs announced the release of Bryan Anger. The switch at punter should help the cap situation, while also adding some help on kickoffs. The 2015 fifth-rounder has a career average of 43.7 yards per punt, and 174 of his 244 career kickoffs have gone for touchbacks. He is set to turn 25 in June, so he also helps Tampa Bay get a bit younger at the position.

Then, on Tuesday night, it was reported that the Bucs were bringing linebacker Kevin Minter back on a one-year deal.

Minter also played under Arians in Arizona after being drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft. In six NFL seasons, the former LSU Tiger has played 75 games (44 starts), totaling 266 tackles (199 solo), six sacks, 23 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits. In limited action with Tampa Bay last year, he picked up 10 tackles (eight solo) and a sack.

Tampa Bay rounded out the night with a pair of moves. The more minor of the two moves was the re-signing of kicker Cairo Santos, who was with the team for part of the 2018 season.

With the Bucs last season, Santos made nine of his 12 field goal attempts (75 percent) and connected on all 17 of his extra point tries. He was six-for-six on attempts between 20 and 39 yards out, but was three-for-five on kicks between 40 and 49 yards out. His lone attempt from over 50 yards out was a miss.

The bigger of the two late-night moves for the Bucs was the signing of wide receiver Breshad Perriman.

As reported by Schefter, Perriman was set to return to Cleveland for 2019 before the team’s trade for Beckham. The deal was abandoned after the trade, so the 2015 first-rounder decided to come to Tampa Bay. The UCF product hasn’t yet lived up to his first-round billing. He missed his rookie year with an injury, then caught 33 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns with the Ravens in 2016. He had more injury trouble in 2017, limiting him to 10 catches for 77 yards, before finding a new home with the Browns in 2018. In the limited looks he got, he brought in 16 passes for 340 yards (21.3 yards per catch) and two scores.

When the 2019 league year officially begins Wednesday afternoon, these moves will become official. There should be more moves coming, of course, with the team likely looking to add some more help on defense and possibly at right guard. Corresponding moves will be made to clear cap space, so it should be another busy day for the Bucs.