The Tampa Bay Buccaneers more than doubled their 2021 rookie class on Thursday by officially signing eight undrafted free agents who had agreed to come to Tampa. That group includes a second kicker for the camp roster, a second-team All-SEC guard and a safety who will try to become just the fourth player from Stony Brook to appear in a regular-season NFL game.
The Buccaneers lined up those rookie signings after selecting seven players in the 2021 NFL Draft from April 29 to May 1. That group plus another handful of tryout players and first-year men already on the roster will convene for a rookie mini-camp at the AdventHealth Training Center on May 14-15.
Here are the eight players the Buccaneers have signed so far as undrafted free agents:
|T||Calvin Ashley||Florida A&M|
|K||Jose Borregales||Miami (FL)|
|S||Augie Contressa||Stony Brook|
|G||Sadarius Hutcherson||South Carolina|
|WR||T.J. Simmons||West Virginia|
|S||Lawrence White||Iowa State|
Borregales was considered a possible Day Three draft pick after he won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker in 2020 and was an Associated Press first-team All-American. He transferred from Florida International last season and went on to make 20 of his 22 field goals and all 37 of his extra point tries.
Hutcherson played four different positions on South Carolina's offensive line, including 11 starts at left tackle in 2019, but he spent all of his 2020 campaign at left guard. In addition to his all-conference honors from Pro Football Focus he was a team captain as a senior and was on the list of invitees to the NFL Scouting Combine.
Contressa will try to be the first Stony Brook player to play in a regular-season NFL game since tackle Timon Parris got into four contests with Washington in 2018 and 2019. Other former Stony Brook players to see regular-season NFL action include linebacker Victor Ochi (two games with the Jets in 2016) and tight end Will Tye (32 games with the Giants and Jets in 2015-17). Contessa started for three seasons for the Seawolves and was a second-team all-conference choice last year.
Kinley could become the first player from any of the Federal Service Academies to play for the Buccaneers. There were three former Navy players active in the NFL last year: Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona, Chargers safety Alohi Gilman (he finished his collegiate career at Notre Dame) and Miami wide receiver Malcolm Perry. Kinley, the Naval Academy's Class President in 2021, started for the Midshipmen the past two years, during which he recorded 64 tackles, one interception and 10 passes defensed.
In addition to Borregales, the Buccaneers found another new rookie from an instate school, signing Florida A&M's Ashley. Ashley, a 6-7 and 330-pound offensive tackle, spent time at Auburn and FAU before ending up with the Rattlers for the 2019 season. He could potentially play guard in the NFL.
Ponder won first-team all-conference honors as a junior at Cincinnati and second-team accolades last year. He played in 32 games for the Bearcats and produced 64 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Simmons played in 30 games with 21 starts spread out over the past three seasons at West Virginia and recorded 86 receptions for 1,197 yards and nine touchdowns. His average of 17.4 yards per catch in 2020 ranked second in the Big 12. White was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection each of the past two years at Iowa State. In 37 career games he had 150 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and eight passes defensed.