TE C.J. Leak (81), who primarily played quarterback in college, was impressive enough on a tryout contract to earn a roster spot
C.J. Leak came to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie mini-camp two weeks ago hoping to earn another crack at the NFL. Mission accomplished.
Leak participated in that post-draft camp on a tryout contract and, based on his performance during those three days, will now be given an extended look with the Buccaneers. On Tuesday, Tampa Bay signed the first-year tight end to its 80-man active roster. Barring additional developments in the next two months, Leak will report to training camp with the Buccaneers on July 26.
To make room for Leak on the roster, the Buccaneers released cornerback Kenny Scott, who had signed with the team on May 3.
Leak is the son of former NFL receiver Curtis Leak, who was briefly on the Bucs' roster during the 1976 expansion season, though he did not appear in a game. C.J.'s younger brother, Chris Leak, recently signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent after leading the Florida Gators to the national championship last season.
Four years Chris' senior, C.J. finished his collegiate career after the 2004 season after changing schools and positions. He spent the 2005 season as a graduate assistant at Florida before the Buffalo Bills worked him out prior to the 2006 NFL season. He was signed to Buffalo's practice squad prior to the 2006 season opener and remained on that unit until October 10.
Leak began his college run as a highly-recruited quarterback at Wake Forest in 1999. He saw action in seven games as a true freshman, throwing a touchdown pass against eventual-champion Florida State, and was named the Demon Deacons' starting quarterback in 2000.
Three games into his sophomore campaign, however, Leak suffered a season-ending knee injury after completing 30 of 70 passes for 341 yards and two interceptions. He then chose to transfer to Tennessee, forcing him to sit out the 2001 campaign, though he needed a good portion of that time to recover from his rather severe injury, anyway. Eventually, Leak was able to petition the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility to replace his abbreviated 2000 campaign.
Over the next two seasons, Leak backed up Vols starter Casey Clausen, appearing in eight games with one start. His passing stats during those two seasons included 11 completions in 22 attempts for 122 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Leak competed for but did not win the Volunteers' starting quarterback job in 2004. He then tried his hand at several other positions, seeing time at safety, linebacker and tight end. It is at that latter position that the Bills signed the 6-4, 220-pound prospect a year ago. The Bucs will look at Leak in the same capacity.
Leak is the third player to turn a tryout in that early-May camp into an official spot on the roster. On May 8, the Bucs signed cornerback Chaz Williams and guard Anthony Wollschlager off the same list of 28 tryout players.
Scott was an undrafted rookie signed before that camp. He finished a standout career at Georgia Tech with 159 tackles, five interceptions and 20 passes defensed in 50 games.