The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' run through free agency largely consisted of getting stronger in the trenches, finding a kicker and wrapping up some of their most important offensive weapons long-term. The linebacker position, which was a strength for the Buccaneers in 2017 and should be again in 2018, needed little attention.
Even so, there's a new name among Tampa Bay's linebackers as of this week, while a familiar name from last year's team is now missing. Don't go looking for Adarius Glanton on the Bucs' roster; you won't find him. You will, however, notice one Adarius Taylor on the list.
This is, obviously, the same person who started four games for the Buccaneers last year and was a standout on special teams, just one a little farther down the roster alphabetically. The former Mr. Glanton recently informed the team that he had legally changed his last name to Taylor. The Buccaneers' equipment crew has a few weeks to update his jerseys before the start of the team's offseason program.
The change is obviously a bigger deal for Taylor than for the Bucs' equipment managers. The fourth-year NFL veteran made the switch in order to honor his late father, just as he was about to start a family of his own.
"Glanton was my mother's name and my father's last name was Taylor," he explained. "He passed away when I was nine. I decided a couple years ago that I would take his name before I got married."
That happy day arrived this year, as Taylor married his fiancée, Kristen, on February 24, and she took his new last name.
Interestingly, Taylor is not the first or even the second active Buccaneer player to change his name in this millennium. Former defensive end Greg White legally adopted the name Stylez G. White, an homage to the movie Teen Wolf, between the 2007 and 2008 seasons. More recently, Evan Dietrich-Smith shortened his last name to just Smith between the 2014 and 2015 campaigns simply as a matter of convenience for him, his wife and his growing family.
Though Taylor's 2017 season ended in a broken leg in mid-December, it was his most productive campaign since he entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2014. He set personal highs in games started and tackles (26) and also registered the first sack of his career. Taylor's five additional stops in kick coverage tied his career best from the 2016 campaign, and he added a fumble recovery for a touchdown – his first NFL score – on a kickoff in a win over Miami in Week 11.
Though Glanton's first order of football business in 2018 was recovering from his late-season injury, he will get another chance keep his career on an upward trajectory after re-signing with the team shortly before the start of free agency.