Nate Byham will have a little extra time to get acclimated to a new team and a new town before he has to prepare for his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
The Buccaneers announced the signing of the former San Francisco 49ers tight end on Tuesday, the second day of their 2012 bye week. To make room for Byham on the 53-man roster, the team released recently-signed defensive end Jeff Charleston.
Byham's move to Tampa reunites him with his college mentor, Buccaneers Tight Ends Coach Brian Angelichio, who helped the former University of Pittsburgh standout earn two All-Big East honors. Byham played four seasons at Pitt and recorded 47 catches for 612 yards and three touchdowns but was particularly appealing to NFL scouts as a blocker. The 49ers selected Byham with a sixth-round pick (number 182 overall) in the 2010 draft.
As a rookie, the 6-4, 264-pound Byham played in 15 games and started three for San Francisco, collecting five receptions for 27 yards. He spent the 2011 campaign on injured reserve, however, and was waived by the 49ers in mid-August of this year.
The addition of Byham gives the Bucs four tight ends on the active roster, as he joins Dallas Clark, Luke Stocker and rookie Danny Noble in that group. Rookie seventh-round pick Drake Dunsmore is also on the Buccaneers' practice squad. By signing this week, Byham can join the Bucs on the practice field on Wednesday before the players get four days off through Sunday. Byham will have plenty of time to begin studying Tampa Bay's playbook before preparations for the Kansas City Chiefs begin next week.
Charleston was signed by the Buccaneers last week after defensive end Adrian Clayborn was placed on injured reserve. The former New Orleans Saint was active for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins but did not see action.