The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to shop in free agency as they made a couple of under the radar moves singing offensive lineman Earl Watford and linebacker Shaw Barrett to one year contracts.
Watford is a former player under Bruce Arians and was drafted by Arians in 2014 out of Temple. Watford has played with the Cardinals, the Bears, and finished up the 2018 season with the Cleveland Browns playing in 13 games.
Watford has started 22 games in his career and will get the opportunity to start at right guard for the Bucs this season competing with Caleb Benenoch.
Watford is also very versatile something that Jason Licht seems to like in his offensive linemen as he has played right tackle and also both guard spots in his career.
The Bucs were also able to sign linebacker Shaq Barrett to a one year contract. Barrett will be paid four million dollars with the possibility of earning an extra million dollars in incentives bringing his compensation to five million dollars if ha can max out his contact.
Barrett was the backup to Von Miller in Denver the last five seasons and has 14 sacks in his career.
Barrett an undrafted free agent out of Colorado state in 2014 will compete with Noah Spence for the starting job at outside linebacker.
With the Bucs switching to a 3-4 base defense it’s imperative that the Bucs have plenty of edge rushers that can get to the quarterback. Barrett is just one piece to that puzzle.
Barrett joins Jason Pierre-Paul, Carl Nassib, and Noah Spence as edge rushers already on the Bucs roster.
With the signing of quarterback Ryan Griffin last week to a two year contract, Ryan Fitzpatrick is now officially out of Tampa as the 36 year old veteran signed a two year $11 million contract to be the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback.
The Dolphins traded Ryan Tannehill to Tennessee to open a spot for Fitzpatrick and will now be targeting a quarterback in the upcoming draft with their 13th pick.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians had said earlier when he gave a vote of confidence to Jameis Winston that this was Winston’s team, that you cannot have a locker that is divided throwing their support behind two quarterbacks.
The locker rooms needs to unite and back one guy and for Bruce Arians, Jameis Winston is his guy. Arians alluded to the fact that with Fitzpatrick on the roster that would have been a distraction for Jameis and maybe would have caused him to look over his shoulder every time he made a mistake on the field.
There will be more moves yet to come for this Bucs team as they try to put a team on the field that can compete in the NFC South.