The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Monday that six players had signed the one-year qualifying offers extended to them prior to the start of free agency. QB Ryan Griffin was a restricted free agent, which meant he could negotiate contract offers with other teams with Tampa Bay retaining a right-of-first-refusal on any signed deals. Cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, tight end Cameron Brate, linebacker Adarius Glanton, wide receiver Adam Humphries and wide receiver Freddie Martino were exclusive rights free agents who could only negotiate with the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers have one remaining unsigned restricted free agent in defensive end Jacquies Smith. Restricted free agents have until one week before the draft (April 21) to sign their qualifying offers. In the interim, they may participate in team activies by signing a workout addendum.
Signing a tender offer essentially turns it into a one-year contract for the upcoming season. Griffin is now on track to become unrestricted free agents next spring, while the five exclusive rights free agents will take the next step to restricted free agency.
Griffin returns for a third season with the Buccaneers and, with the free agency departure of Mike Glennon, will now have a chance to compete for the top reserve spot behind Jameis Winston. Griffin and former Falcon Sean Renfree, a January addition, are the only other quarterbacks currently on the roster. The Buccaneers claimed Griffin off waivers from the Saints in September of 2015 and have kept him on the 53-man roster for two full seasons in order to get to this point. He has not yet thrown a regular-season NFL pass, but the Buccaneers coaching staff has been impressed with his work on the practice field.
Adjei-Barimah spent roughly half of the 2016 season as the Buccaneers' primary nickel back, taking over that role in Week Four and holding it until a league suspension and an injury kept him out of the last six contests. A former undrafted free agent added just before the start of training camp in 2015, Adjei-Barimah has earned quite a bit of playing time in two seasons, playing in 23 games with eight starts and recording 55 tackles, two sacks and three passes defensed.
Photos from Cameron Brate's 2016 campaign.
Brate is a former undrafted free agent who has emerged as one of the NFL's more productive tight ends. In 2016, he tied San Diego's Hunter Henry for the NFL lead among tight ends with eight touchdown receptions while finishing second on the team with 57 receptions for 660 yards. He spent much of his 2014 rookie season on the practice squad and was briefly lost to the Saints' practice squad early in 2015, but since returning to Tampa the next week he has steadily increased his role in the Bucs' offense. Since Week 11 of the 2015 campaign, Brate has caught 74 passes for 864 yards and 10 touchdowns over the course of 22 games. Those totals rank 13th, 13th and tied for second, respectively, among all NFL tight ends in that span.
Glanton came to the Buccaneers in the latter half of the 2015 season and since has become a key part of the special teams crew. An undrafted free agent with Carolina in 2014, he played in 10 games with two starts for the Panthers as a rookie. Glanton opened the 2015 season on Carolina's practice squad but was signed by the Buccaneers to their active roster in late November. Last year, he played in all 16 games, primarily on special teams, and contributed five kick-coverage stops. Glanton also saw action on defense in four contests and contributed nine tackles.
Photos from Adam Humphries' 2016 campaign.
Humphries has gone from undrafted free agent in 2015 to the team's primary slot receiver. In two seasons he has appeared in 28 games with four starts and secured 82 passes for 882 yards and three touchdowns. After a rash of injuries to other receivers gave him a chance to play in his rookie season, Humphries won the job in the slot during the 2016 offseason and followed with a breakout 55-catch campaign. The former Clemson standout also adds value on special teams, as he was the team's primary punt returner, bringing back 24 punts at a 9.9-yard average.
Martino bounced between the Buccaneers' practice squad and active roster in 2016, but he made the most of his opportunities on game days. Despite playing in just 174 total offensive snaps, Martino contributed eight receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown. He also has previous experience in Head Coach Dirk Koetter's offense from his time in Atlanta, which began when he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014. After one year with the Falcons, Martino spent a season on Philadelphia's practice squad before signing with the Buccaneers last May.