Buccaneers add perfect free agent option to beef up defense

Keanu Neal, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Keanu Neal, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers finally make their safety free agent signing.

Everyone saw a move like this coming for the last few weeks. The Buccaneers looked like they would take a swing at an option like Tyrann Mathieu on the free agent market, but there were plenty of safety names that could still help out a Todd Bowles defense in year one without breaking the bank.

With the Honey Badger looking like he would sign elsewhere and make more money, Todd Bowles went out and found a perfect free agent fit for his defense.

The Bucs were able to add former Falcon and Dallas Cowboy Keanu Neal earlier today in a sneaky-great move.

Neal isn’t the most impressive player from a box score perspective, but what he brings to this defense could create a change in how the league sees him.

Dan Quinn and the Cowboys used Neal in some interesting ways last season. The result of Neal playing more in the box as a linebacker was not as great in practice as it looked on paper, and now Neal is making a move to a new defensive coordinator to see if he can get his career back on track.

The name of the game for Keanu Neal right now is staying healthy and on the field. Neal’s injury history doesn’t inspire much hope that he will be close to a full-time starter in Tampa, but he does bring an added level of depth as the third guy behind Antoine Winfield Jr. and Mike Edwards.

Assuming that Logan Ryan is going to be more competition for Sean Murphy-Bunting than anyone else, this looks like a cost effective way to minimize the loss of Jordan Whitehead without having to waste a draft pick on the position.

Neal can do a bit of everything, and we have all seen how Todd Bowles is able to get the most out of guys like that. This signing may go under the radar for some as just another DB to a popular defense, but fans can rest assured that Keanu Neal is about to have one of the best years of his career in Tampa.

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