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Buccaneers tender four exclusive rights free agents

Super Bowl LV
Tight end Tanner Hudson celebrates on the field following Super Bowl LV.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In addition to the Buccaneers placing the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin Tuesday, the team also announced they’ve tendered the following exclusive rights free agents: tight end Tanner Hudson, defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter, defensive lineman Pat O’Connor and long snapper Zach Triner.

Hudson (6-5, 239) has appeared in 20 games, making one start, for Tampa Bay over the past two seasons, recording five receptions for 67 yards (13.4 avg.). He originally entered the league as a college free agent with the Buccaneers in 2018 before spending his first season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad. The Camden, Tennessee, native played collegiately at Southern Arkansas. He wears No. 88 for Tampa Bay.

Ledbetter (6-3, 295) has tallied 18 tackles (one for loss), six quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks over 20 career games since entering the league as a sixth-round selection (No. 205 overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 2017 NFL Draft. After playing his rookie season in Detroit, Ledbetter has spent time on Tampa Bay’s practice squad or active roster in each of the past three seasons (2018-20). The Gainesville, Georgia, native played collegiately at Arkansas. He wears No. 95 for the Buccaneers.

O’Connor (6-4, 270) has played 27 games with the Buccaneers from 2017-20, recording five tackles (one for loss), two quarterback hits and 1.0 sack, while being a core contributor on special teams where he has five tackles and one blocked punt, which he recovered. The Eastern Michigan product is a native of Chicago and wears No. 79 for Tampa Bay.

Triner (6-2, 245) has played in all 32 games for Tampa Bay since signing with the team in 2019, recording three special teams tackles. The Marshfield, Massachusetts, native, played collegiately at Assumption College. He wears No. 97 for the Buccaneers.

Via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com, the exclusive rights process is explained below.

Exclusive rights free agents are players with expiring contracts who have accrued two or fewer seasons of free agency credit. If they do not receive a qualifying offer, they essentially become unrestricted free agents who can sign with any team. If they do receive a qualifying offer, they can only re-sign with their current team, and if they sign that one-year offer it becomes their contract for the upcoming season.

(Parts of this report comes courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department.)