The first 24 hours of the 2012 free agency period featured a stunning amount of activity by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was, however, just the first day of the new league season, and the beginning of what is sure to be a continual re-shaping of the roster by team management.
That work continued on Thursday when the team announced a series of moves, including the signing of fourth-year tackle Jamon Meredith to a two-year contract. The Buccaneers also released a pair of defensive ends who played for the team in 2011: Tim Crowder and Nick Reed.
Meredith, who originally entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2009, has seen regular-season action for three teams: the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2011, he got into four games for the Steelers after signing with the team in the middle of September.
Meredith is the second player the Bucs have added to their O-Line corps since free agency began. During that initial flurry of signings, the team also snapped up All-Pro guard , who joins two other Pro Bowlers on the team's starting front.
Overall, the 6-4, 290-pound lineman has played in 17 NFL games, with four starts. His most extensive action came with the Bills in his rookie season, when he appeared in eight contests and made four starts after Buffalo had signed him off Green Bay's practice squad. Meredith opened three games at right tackle and one at left tackle, and the Bills won three of those four outings.
After making the Bills' roster again in 2010 and playing in two more games, Meredith was waived and claimed by the Detroit Lions. He was in Detroit for only two weeks before he was waived again and claimed by the Giants, for whom he played three more games. He re-signed with the Giants after the season as an exclusive rights free agent but followed a similar pattern the next fall when he was released and then quickly picked up by the Steelers.
Meredith became an unrestricted free agent earlier this month when he was not extended a qualifying offer by the Steelers.
The Buccaneers released two defensive ends just a few days after promising young pass-rusher Michael Bennett signed his tender offer as a restricted free agent to return to the team in 2012. The team also used its first two picks in the 2011 NFL Draft to select ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers, both of whom were starters by the end of last season.
Crowder spent most of the past three seasons with the Buccaneers after signing with the team in the middle of September, 2009. He appeared in 41 games and made 13 starts during his Tampa tenure, including 10 games as a reserve in 2011, when he posted 14 tackles and two tackles for loss. His most extensive action as a Buccaneer came in 2010 when he played in all 16 games and made nine starts, contributing 42 tackles and three sacks.
Reed spent most of the last month of the 2011 season with the Buccaneers, signing with the team on December 13 after he was released by the Chicago Bears. He played in three games and recorded two tackles.