The Buccaneers made their first roster moves to prepare for the 2019 season by signing eight players to future contracts.
Signing a large group of players to futures contracts have become commonplace in the NFL. Teams want to ensure that these players are on the roster once OTAs and the next league year rolls around.
Here is a list of the players that signed deals with Tampa Bay:
DE Patrick O’Connor
T Cole Boozer
WR K.J. Brent
G Ruben Holcomb
DE Farrington Huguenin
RB Dare Ogunbowale
LB Emmanuel Smith
Future contracts are useful for NFL teams because it allows them to hold on to players that may not be worthy of a 53-man roster spot in the present. However, they could find themselves on the roster next season with a good training camp.
All of these players will be around once the season kicks back up next summer.
Some of the more intriguing names include Ogunbowale, Demone Harris, Patrick O’Connor, and K.J. Brent.
Ogunbowale played in two games for Tampa Bay this season. He didn’t earn a carry, but he did return seven kicks for 137 yards. He was a popular name in preseason play and could be in line for a backup running back role in 2019.
Demone Harris also played in a pair of games for the Buccaneers. He received a handful of snaps but was a practice squad player for the majority of the season. He will be in the middle of training camp battles as a backup defensive end.
The same goes for Patrick O’Connor, who has been with Tampa Bay for two seasons. Next season is make-or-break for the Eastern Michigan product.
Lastly, K.J. Brent is another receiver with NFL experience. Although Bobo Wilson and Justin Watson are likely the front-runners for the final wideout spots next season, Brent could win the job next season.
With a long offseason ahead, this is just the first roster transactions as the Buccaneers try to return to relevancy.