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Busy Bucs Land Another Free Agent: LB McCoy

Tampa Bay continued to shore up its roster through free agency on Wednesday, signing talented fourth-year linebacker Matt McCoy, a former Philadelphia Eagle and New Orleans Saint


LB Matt McCoy had 81 tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles for the Eagles in 2006

The NFL's 2008 free agency period is almost a week old, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shown no signs of slowing down with their selective shopping.

On Wednesday, the Buccaneers announced that they have signed free agent linebacker Matt McCoy, most recently of the New Orleans Saints. McCoy, a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005, is a fast and active outside linebacker and a proven contributor on special teams.

McCoy is the third player the Buccaneers have signed or acquired in a trade in as many days. The team started the week with Monday's trade for Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Griese, then added former Chicago Bears linebacker Leon Joe, an unrestricted free agent, on Tuesday.

The free agent market for players opened last Friday at 12:01 a.m., and the Bucs made an immediate splash on Day One, signing center Jeff Faine to a multi-year contract. The following day, Tampa Bay also inked tight end John Gilmore and defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson.

McCoy was actually due to become a restricted free agent last week, but he gained unfettered freedom when New Orleans declined to extend the necessary tender offer. He was free to sign with any team without compensation to the Saints, and the Buccaneers quickly moved in with an offer.

Through three NFL seasons, McCoy has accumulated 90 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes defensed, most of it coming during his 2006 season in Philadelphia. McCoy played in 15 games in '06, starting 10 at weakside linebacker, and racked up 81 tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles. His individual outings included a two-sack game against Atlanta a 13-tackle performance against Green Bay.

The 5-11, 230-pound defender also racked up 18 special teams tackles in 2006 after notching five in just four games in 2005.

Last year, McCoy played seven games for the Eagles before he was released on October 29th. He subsequently signed with the Saints on November 3 and finished the season in New Orleans, appearing in four games.

The Eagles made McCoy the 63rd player selected overall in the 2005 draft after his outstanding collegiate career at San Diego State. An all-conference selection in the Mountain West, he finished his Aztec career with 270 tackles and eight sacks. McCoy hails from Tustin, California, where he had 41.5 sacks during his last two years at Tustin High.

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