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Bucs Sign Sterling Shepard, Add Veteran Depth to Receiving Corps

The Buccaneers, whose receiving group behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin is mostly inexperienced players players, have signed former Giants WR Sterling Shepard, who previously played with Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma


The two leading receivers in Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise history are its two current starters, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who have combined for 1,291 regular-season catches. Prior to Monday, the other 10 wideouts on the roster they will take to training camp had combined for 44 NFL receptions.

Enter Sterling Shepard, the former New York Giants receiver who signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers as a free agent on Monday. A second-round draft pick by the Giants in 2016, Shepard has played in 90 games and has caught 372 passes for 4,095 yards and 23 touchdowns. He provides another veteran presence for a group that is largely young and untested behind Evans and Godwin. The move was first reported last week but became official on Monday when Shepard arrived at team headquarter and signed his contract in the afternoon.

Shepard (5-10, 198) joins the Buccaneers in time to participate in the team's three-day mandatory minicamp this week. After re-signing with New York on a one-year contract in 2023, Shepard became a free agent again this March and for the first time will go to an NFL training camp with team other than the Giants. He will see a familiar face in that camp, however; Bucs starter Baker Mayfield was the quarterback at Oklahoma for Shepard's final college season in 2015. Shepard had his best collegiate season working with Mayfield, catching 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Shepard was a consistent producer for the Giants over his first five seasons, recording between 57 and 66 catches and between 576 and 872 yards in each campaign from 2016-20. He missed significant time due to injuries over the past three seasons but still averaged 52.0 receiving yards per game over 2021 and 2022. His most prolific season to date was 2018, in which he caught 66 passes for 872 yards and four touchdowns, though his career high of eight touchdown receptions came during his rookie year.

Shepard's 372 catches for the Giants ranks fifth in franchise history.

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