The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may not have more talent at cornerback than they had in 2013 with Darrelle Revis no longer around, but they certainly have more depth thanks to a signing made on Thursday.
The team announced that they have agreed to terms with former USF Bull Mike Jenkins on a one-year contract.
Jenkins, who went to high school in Bradenton, was most recently with the Raiders after spending his first years in the NFL in Dallas. He was a Pro Bowler in 2009, and has 10 career interceptions to go with 49 career pass breakups.
Jenkins figures to compete for the second corner spot, but will likely wind up as a third corner and provide depth behind Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks. This means role players who have been pressed into action in recent seasons (Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer) will be able to shine in reserve roles rather than being pressed into duty as full-time players as nickel and dime corners.
The USF product didn’t have a great year in 2013 in Oakland as a coverage man, but did step up his run defending, according to Pro Football Focus. In a better system with better talent around him in Tampa (and with a lesser role than what he had in Oakland), he figures to bounce back in coverage in 2014.
A one-year deal means that the Buccaneers may still look to draft a cornerback in summer at the NFL Draft, but for 2014 at least, they have some reliable depth at defensive back.