TAMPA – In an effort to fortify a defensive line that has suddenly been hit hard by injuries, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday signed former Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick John McCargo.
The 6-foot-2, 307-pound McCargo was rated a second- or third-round selection as a defensive tackle by most scouts before the 2006 draft, but the Bills drafted him 26th overall and played him at defensive end in their 3-4 scheme.
The Bucs' plan is to use McCargo as a tackle, where he will replace E.J. Wilson, who went down with a ruptured Achilles during the 31-14 loss to the Patriots on Thursday.
Wilson, a second-year pro out of North Carolina, has been waived (injured), but the Bucs' hope is that he will clear waivers. If he does, they will place him on injured reserve.
Wilson is one of three Bucs defensive tackles dealing with injuries. Brian Price is still recovering from offseason surgery to re-attach his hamstrings to his pelvis, and Roy Miller is nursing a slight MCL tear.
McCargo is a North Carolina State product who wound up on injured reserve in 2006 after he passed out during camp drills. He rebounded to play in 16 games in 2007 as a backup to Bills starter Larry Tripplett.
McCargo was traded to the Colts in 2008, but the trade was voided and McCargo was sent back to the Bills after he failed his physical. He has played in just 19 games since, with one start.