Buccaneers quietly sign former Giants starting WR and add some potentially key depth

The move also reunites Baker Mayfield with a former college teammate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

It hasn't been the busiest offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the team has spent more time bringing players back than trying to add new ones.

That doesn't mean the Bucs haven't gone out and added free agents, rather their reluctance to spend has only made the moves the team has made stick out even more. Tampa Bay signed Jordan Whitehead, who counts more as a reunion than a new guy coming in, as well as Randy Gregory and took another calculated high-upside swing this week.

On Thursday the Buccaneers signed former New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard. It's a low-risk one-year deal, but one that could end up paying off huge and adds to a sneaky free agency haul for Jason Licht.

It's also a move that fits the offseason theme of reunions, as the deal reunites Baker Mayfield with one of his college teammates from their Oklahoma days.

Buccaneers sign Sterling Shepard and add some potentially key wide receiver depth

There's two layers to this move, one of which is the obvious fit Shepard has in the offense now that he's back with Baker Mayfield. When the two were together at Oklahoma, Shepard caught 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns which is production the Bucs offense very much could use.

It's also the definition of a low-risk, high-upside deal as Tampa Bay is giving Shepard a veteran minimum salary of $1.21 million and at most a $167,500 bonus.

What it also does is add some key depth to an area of the roster that is already strong. Tampa Bay brought back Mike Evans this offseason to contiue pairing him with Chris Godwin, but also drafted Jalen McMillan to compete with Trey Palmer as WR3. That's four solid receivers, and adding Shepard in is an elevated version of what the team tried to do with Russell Gage and David Moore last year.

The Bucs haven't made many splashy moves in free agency, but the swings they have taken are deeply intriguining. As training camp nears, it's looking like the Bucs are doing all the right thigns to try and run it back and go even further next season.

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