TE Doug Jolley has 119 receptions through his first four NFL seasons
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making the most of the four days between this week's two rounds of roster cuts, reshaping several spots on the depth chart before the final 53-man roster is determined on Saturday.
On Thursday, the Bucs shored up the tight end position, trading an undisclosed draft pick to the New York Jets for fifth-year veteran Doug Jolley. The move comes 20 months after the Jets shipped a first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders as part of a deal to acquire the productive tight end.
To make room for Jolley on the roster, which currently numbers 75 men, the team waived tackle Sam Lightbody. Lightbody, an undrafted free agent out of Washington State, has participated in the Bucs' last two training camps.
Lightbody's release was easier for the Bucs to execute because on Tuesday the team signed veteran tackle Cornell Green, a member of Tampa Bay's 2002 Super Bowl team. The Bucs made this series of moves while preparing for Thursday night's preseason finale in Houston. Both players have already joined the team in Texas.
Jolley (6-4, 250) is an accomplished receiver, with 119 receptions for 1,296 yards and six touchdowns through his first four seasons. His best single-season total came during his 2002 rookie season, in which he caught 32 passes for 409 yards and two touchdowns for the NFL's top-ranked offense. He has been durable and consistent, appearing in all but one game through four seasons and catching between 27 and 32 passes in each campaign.
A fast and fluid route-runner, Jolley averaged 12.8 yards per reception in 2002 and has a 10.9-yard career mark. He played against the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII and was the Raiders' third-leading receiver with five catches for 59 yards.
Jolley was originally drafted by the Raiders in the second round in 2002. Shortly before the 2005 draft, the Jets acquired Jolley, along with a second and two sixth-round picks, from the Raiders in exchange for a first-round pick (#26 overall) and a seventh-round pick.
New York traded for Jolley after losing starter Anthony Becht to Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2005. Those two, along with 2005 rookie standout Alex Smith, give the Bucs a deep and flexible tight end corps, which will be important if the offense continues to use two-TE sets as frequently and effectively as it did last season. Prior to the acquisition of Jolley, the Bucs listed 15th-year veteran Dave Moore as their third tight end. However, Moore's primary responsibility is long-snapping for punts and placekicks, and he had just one reception in 2005. Behind Moore the team has second-year man Mark Anelli and rookie seventh-rounder Tim Massaquoi.