Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Add Robert McClain for CB Depth

Tampa Bay has signed veteran CB Robert McClain, who played the nickel back role in Mike Smith's defense for three years in Atlanta…First-year long-snapper Dax Dellenbach has been waived.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not select a cornerback in the recent NFL Draft, but they've still managed to add depth to the position before the start of OTAs.

On Wednesday, the Buccaneers signed veteran cornerback Robert McClain, who has primarily played for Atlanta and Carolina since entering the league in 2010. McClain has more experience than most of the team's cornerback reserves, with 80 games played and 23 starts, and he specifically has experience in Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith's system. McClain played three seasons in Atlanta (2012-14), all while Smith was the head coach.

The Buccaneers also announced the waiver of long-snapper Dax Dellenbach. McClain fills that spot on the 90-man offseason roster but the team still has one more opening after releasing rookie cornerback Greg Mabin on Monday. Dellenbach was competing with veteran Garrison Sanborn to replace the Bucs' previous long-snapper, Andrew DePaola, who became a free agent in March. Unless the team adds another snapper, the job appears likely to go to Sanborn, who was the Buffalo Bills' long-snapper from 2009-16, playing in 128 consecutive games.

McClain (5-9, 180) could compete for the Buccaneers' nickel corner role. Other likely competitors include Javien Elliott and Jude Adjei-Barimah, both of whom saw significant action in that spot last year, and second-year man Ryan Smith, who is returning to cornerback after working at safety for much of his rookie year.

Most of McClain's NFL experience has taken place in the NFC South. The Panthers drafted him out of the University of Connecticut in the seventh round in 2010 and he appeared in 16 games with two starts as a rookie. McClain did not play in the NFL in 2011 after being waived during the final roster cuts, though he did have a brief stay on the Jacksonville Jaguars' roster. He landed in Atlanta in 2012 and immediately stepped into the slot corner role, playing in 47 games with 15 starts over the next three seasons.

In 2015, McClain signed with New England during the free agency period but was released in September and ended up back in Carolina in December. He logged 14 more games and six more starts for the Panthers in 2015-16, though he actually finished last season with the San Diego Chargers. In all, McClain has recorded 228 career tackles along with four interceptions, 23 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

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