Wide receiver Bernard Reedy, who made the Buccaneers' roster last year primarily on his return skills, has now returned to One Buccaneer Place.
Tampa Bay re-signed Reedy on Wednesday and waived/injury waiver first-year wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck to keep the offseason roster at its 90-man limit. Sperbeck had just signed with the team six days earlier.
Reedy started last season in Tampa but ended it in Minneapolis on the Super Bowl sideline. The third-year wideout-slash-return man split last season between the Buccaneers and Patriots, and he was on New England's active roster but inactive for the game when Philadelphia defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Tampa Bay Head Coach Dirk Koetter first encountered Reedy in 2014, his final year as Atlanta's offensive coordinator. The Falcons signed the former Toledo standout as an undrafted free agent and he went on to spend his entire rookie season on the team's practice squad. Reedy went back to training camp with the Falcons in 2015 but did not make the team, and then signed with the Buccaneers in February of 2016. He was waived with an injury settlement at the start of that season but later returned to the practice squad and then the active roster, without seeing action in a game. Reedy then impressed Koetter and the Bucs in the following year's training camp and opened the season as the team's primary punt and kickoff returner.
The 5-9, 175-pound Reedy did well in that role, particularly on punt returns, averaging 10.2 yards per runback on 14 attempts. He added seven kickoff returns at a 20.7-yard clip, and also saw a handful of snaps on offense, recording two receptions for 21 yards and three carries for 17 yards on end-arounds. However, the Buccaneers chose to waive Reedy in late November in order to promote wide receiver Freddie Martino, who offered value in other areas of special teams and filled a bigger role on offense.
Reedy wasn't out of work for long. The Patriots signed him to their practice squad two days after he cleared waivers and then promoted him to the 53-man roster 10 days later. He played in two regular-season games for New England, returning four punts for 32 yards. The Patriots waived Reedy this past March.
Sperbeck, originally an undrafted free agent out of Boise State, has now spent time on the Bucs' roster each of the past two seasons. He made it to the start of training camp last year before being waived/injured.