Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs sign ex-Giants WR Smith, ex-USF DE Selvie
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added depth on both sides of the football Tuesday by signing two free agents, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith and defensive end George Selvie, a former University of South Florida standout.
The team also announced the signings of kicker Nate Kaeding, defensive tackle Derek Landri and running back Brian Leonard.
Smith, who turns 28 next month, led the NFC with 107 receptions in 2009 as a member of the Giants, but injuries have limited him to a combined 25 catches in the past two seasons with the Eagles and Rams. Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan worked closely with Smith as New York’s receivers coach for the first three years of Smith’s NFL career.
A second-round draft pick in 2007 out of Southern California, Smith set a Giants single-season franchise record for receptions in 2009, his first full year as a starter. He injured his left knee late in the 2011 and has struggled to regain his Pro Bowl form following microfracture surgery.
Smith is expected to compete against free-agent pickup Kevin Ogletree and Tiquan Underwood as Tampa Bay’s primary slot receiver this fall.
Selvie, 26, was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, when he registered 14.5 sacks for the Bulls. The Rams selected Selvie in the seventh round of the 2010 draft, but he has had a nondescript NFL career with St. Louis, Carolina and Jacksonville, posting three sacks and 30 tackles in 36 games.
Kaeding, a nine-year veteran, played eight-plus seasons with the San Diego Chargers and finished the 2012 season with the Miami Dolphins. His career field-goal percentage is 86.2.
A year ago, the Bucs signed kicker Connor Barth to a four-year, $13.2 million deal through 2015. The addition of Kaeding is in keeping with the team’s philosophy of creating competition at every position.
The Daystarter: Student protestors reach Tallahassee; Kucherov gets it in gear; St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary; fallout over the Souza trade