CB Sammy Davis played one year in San Francisco after starting 30 games over three seasons for the San Diego Chargers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been steadily building roster depth through the first two weeks of NFL free agency, turned their attention to the secondary on Tuesday. Seeking to add depth and competition at a critical position, the Buccaneers signed fifth-year veteran cornerback Sammy Davis, most recently of the San Francisco 49ers.
Davis played his first three seasons for the San Diego Chargers before moving up the California coast a year ago through a trade of former first-round draft picks. The 49ers sent wide receiver Rashaun Woods, the 31st overall pick in 2004, to the Chargers for Davis, the 30th selection in 2003.
At 6-1 and 195 pounds Davis has good size for the position and is considered a student of the game. He also has starting experience in the NFL, having opened 31 of his 57 career games played. In those 57 games, Davis has accumulated 152 tackles, three interceptions, 26 passes defensed and one sack.
The Bucs have been busy shoppers on the free agent market. Since the new league year began on March 2, Tampa Bay has addressed such positions of need as quarterback (Jeff Garcia), defensive end (Kevin Carter, Patrick Chukwurah) and offensive tackle (Luke Petitgout). At cornerback, the team could head to camp with its deepest group in some time; starters Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly return and are supported by such experienced veterans as Davis, Juran Bolden, Torrie Cox and Phillip Buchanon, as well as last year's fourth-round draft pick, Alan Zemaitis. Both Cox and Buchanon were re-signed by the Buccaneers after briefly becoming unrestricted free agents.
Davis earned an immediate spot in the Chargers' defensive lineup as a rookie in 2003, starting all 16 games. He set career highs that season in both tackles (58) and interceptions (two) while also knocking down eight passes. He missed four games in 2004 due to a hairline fracture in his left leg but still started 10 contests and pitched in with 38 tackles, one interception and 10 passes defensed.
In 2005, Davis again played in all 16 games, this time making four starts and recording 26 tackles, one sack, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. In his one season as a 49er, he appeared in 13 games and posted 30 tackles and six passes defensed. The 49ers released Davis on February 26, four days before the start of free agency.
At Texas A&M, Davis earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior and finished sixth in school history with 11 career interceptions. He hails from Humble, Texas.
The Bucs also confirmed an earlier signing on Tuesday. Prior to the start of free agency, the team inked first-year wide receiver Levon Thomas, who came into the league with the Indianapolis Colts in 2005 as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech.
The 6-1, 201-pound Thomas was waived at the end of the '05 preseason but signed a week later to the New Orleans Saints' practice squad. After spending the first three months of the season on that unit, he was promoted to the practice squad in time for the Saints' December 4 game against Tampa Bay, though he was deactivated for that contest and then moved back to the practice squad. Thomas went to training camp with the Saints this past summer but was released on August 25. At Georgia Tech, Thomas recorded 32 of his 66 career receptions as a senior, contributing 489 yards and three touchdowns while also averaging 22.1 yards on 26 kickoff returns. He is from College Park, Georgia.