The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have recently focused most of their roster-building attention on rookies, with the 2012 NFL Draft taking place last weekend and the ensuing days bringing in an additional group of undrafted free agents. However, the market for veteran free agents remains open, and just a few days after the draft the Buccaneers have dipped into it once again.
On Friday, Tampa Bay announced the signing of sixth-year defensive tackle Gary Gibson, who became an unrestricted free agent on March 13 after spending the past three seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Gibson, who played for Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers from 2001-04, has played in 49 NFL games with 22 starts.
The Bucs also announced the release of defensive tackle John McCargo and wide receiver Raymond Webber.
Gibson first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2005 but spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve. He later signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2007 and spent much of that season on the practice squad before being activated in November and seeing action in one game. The Panthers re-signed Gibson for the 2008 season and he made the active roster, appearing in 11 contests and contributing nine tackles.
Gibson signed with the Rams in 2009 and quickly took his career to the next level. He won the Rams starting left defensive tackle job to start the '09 season but appeared in just five games before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. The following season, he was back in the starting lineup for St. Louis, where he remained for all 16 games. Gibson moved back to a reserve role last season but was still an active part of the Rams' D-Line rotation, recording his first three career sacks to go with 16 tackles and two passes defensed.
McCargo had several different stints on the Bucs' roster in 2011 and eventually appeared in four games, recording eight tackles before finishing the season on injured reserve. Webber signed with the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent last summer but ended up on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in training camp.