One of the strongest spots on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' depth chart got stronger Tuesday when the team signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Tony McDaniel. McDaniel was released by the Seahawks a little over a week ago in what appeared to be a move to gain cap relief after Seattle gave large new deals to quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
The addition of McDaniel was part of a series of roster moves made by the Buccaneers at roughly the midpoint of training camp. The team also signed punter Karl Schmitz and released rookie linebackers Quinton Alston and Sammuel Lamur. Additionally, wide receiver Louis Murphy passed his physical and was thus activated from the active/non-football-injury list. Murphy, who suffered an ankle injury prior to the start of camp, can begin practicing immediately.
Photos of new Buccaneer defensive tackle Tony McDaniel from his time with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Buccaneers got more sacks (18) from their defensive tackles in 2014 than any other NFL team, but they have since added a significant amount of depth to that spot. Former Pro Bowler Henry Melton was signed as an unrestricted free agent in March, and now McDaniel joins a group that includes five players with extensive NFL starting experience. McDaniel is also the second former Seahawk defensive tackle to move to Tampa in the last year and a half, as the Buccaneers also signed Clinton McDonald as an unrestricted free agent in March of 2014.
McDaniel started all but four games over the past two years for a Seahawks team that won one Super Bowl and narrowly lost another. Seattle's defense also ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed in both of those seasons.
The 6-7, 305-pound McDaniel has played nine NFL seasons for three teams, spending the last two years in Seattle. During his time with the Seahawks, McDaniel started 29 of 32 regular season games and contributed 83 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery. In the playoffs, he played in six games and started five, adding another 14 tackles, one tackle for loss, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, McDaniel played collegiately at the University of Tennessee. He originally entered the league as a college free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006, spending three seasons with Jacksonville (2006-08), before joining the Miami Dolphins for four seasons (2009-12). In his nine-year career, McDaniel has played in 111 regular season games, with 34 starts, totaling 202 tackles, 14 passes defensed, 10.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
The addition of Schmitz (6-4, 210), gives the Buccaneers three punters on the camp roster, as he will compete with incumbent Michael Koenen and veteran Spencer Lanning, the former Cleveland Browns punter. Schmitz, a native of Bermuda, played at Jacksonville University in 2008 and was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos this spring.