The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added two more veterans to their roster, who will compete this summer for a spot on the final 53-man squad.
Lovie Smith tapped into his Chicago connections to add depth at defensive back, while he and Jason Licht brought in another former Bear to bolster the tight end position.
Scott Smith of the Buccaneers’ official website broke the news today that the Buccaneers added cornerback D.J. Moore and tight end Steve Maneri to the team. Both were free agents at the end of the season, meaning they were free to be signed at any time, rather than upcoming free agents who cannot be signed until the new league year begins next month.
D.J. Moore was a nickel back for Lovie Smith in Chicago, and provided Smith with ten interceptions from 2010 to 2012. Moore only started one game at corner, but saw plenty of action as a sub package defensive back. Pro Football Focus gave Moore positive grades in both 2010 and 2012, but not in 2011.
Moore was most recently a member of the Carolina Panthers, but he was released during the season and did not catch on with any other team. The former fourth-round pick from Vanderbilt is a bit short, but otherwise seems like a capable corner for depth, should he remain healthy.
Steve Maneri is a converted tackle who shifted over to tight end, but has failed to deliver much as a pass catcher in his career. Maneri spent two seasons with the Chiefs before moving to the Bears in 2013 (when Lovie Smith was no longer the coach), and totaled only six catches over that time for a total of 52 yards. He has never scored a touchdown.
Run blocking is Maneri’s strong suit, according to his past PFF grades. He’s undersized for a tackle, but playing as a tight end, he has more than sufficient size and strength to be a force as a blocker.
Unlike the team’s first signing this offseason, Mike Kafka, both of these players stand a reasonable chance to make the final roster. Moore competes at a position where the Buccaneers lack veteran depth, and Maneri plays a position where the Buccaneers lack all sorts of depth.