CB Phillip Buchanon was originally drafted by Oakland in the first round in 2002
Looking to add depth to the cornerback position, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former first-round draft pick Phillip Buchanon Tuesday, one day after he was released by the Houston Texans.
Due to Buchanon's status as a vested veteran, the fifth-year cornerback was not subject to waivers and was immediately free to sign with the club of his choosing.
The Bucs made several other moves at Buchanon's position Tuesday, also releasing cornerback Derrick Strait from the active roster and CB Dion Byrum from the practice squad.
The addition of Buchanon helps a cornerback position left a little bit in limbo by the nagging turf-toe injury of starter Brian Kelly. Kelly has missed three of the Buccaneers five games with the injury, and Head Coach Jon Gruden was less than optimistic about his return to action this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. In his place, the Buccaneers have turned to Juran Bolden to start at left cornerback and used Torrie Cox in nickel back situations.
Originally a first-round selection in the 2002 NFL Draft, Buchanon joined the Texans last season via a trade with the Oakland Raiders in which the Texans sent their second and third-round picks of last year's draft to Oakland.
In his three-year career with the Raiders, Buchanon intercepted 11 passes, running four back for touchdowns. During his first season with the Houston, Buchanon played in 10 games before being placed on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. This year, he played in four games and made two tackles. His career totals include 159 tackles, 11 interceptions and 18 passes defensed.
Buchanon's speed also makes him a threat as a punt and kick returner, and over the course of his career he has returned three punts for touchdowns and averaged 18.7 yards per kick return.
The Buccaneers also traded defensive tackle Anthony McFarland to the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday, freeing a roster spot for the addition of Buchanon. The Bucs received a 2007 second-round draft pick from the Colts for McFarland.