Number 9: Greg Spires – DE (2002-2007)
Greg Spires had something of a nomadic journeyman’s career before finally finding a home in 2002 with the Buccaneers. Perfect timing on both party’s parts. The Buccaneers had signed Simeon Rice the previous offseason and were looking for a complementary piece on the edge to rush the passer to go along with Rice. Enter Spires.
Nicknamed “The Crane”, Spires would go onto have 26 sacks, including one in Super Bowl XXXVII, with 256 total tackles, six forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries in his seven years with the Buccaneers. His career-high sack total was only 8.5, but his strength was in his versatility.
Spires was not just a good pass rusher, but he was also very good against the run. A big factor in this was his ability to line up in different spots along the line, including as a defensive tackle, which made legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s job a lot more enjoyable. The Buccaneers rewarded Spires with an extension in 2005 worth $17.1 million over five years. While he would only play three seasons of that contract, the amount of production and versatility Spires provided for the money he earned was a total bargain and makes him deserving of this list.