The fine-tuning of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' regular-season roster – which included last Friday's cut-down to 53 players plus additional moves on Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening and Monday – continued on Wednesday as the team prepared for its season-opening game against the Carolina Panthers.
The most recent maneuver was the re-signing of veteran cornerback Brandon McDonald, who initially was included in the 53-man roster before being released during Saturday's changes. To make room for McDonald's return, the Buccaneers waived third-year guard Derek Hardman.
The Buccaneers also made a pair of moves on the eight-man practice squad, re-signing guard Julian Vandervelde and releasing wide receiver Bert Reed. Vandervelde was claimed off waivers on Saturday and added to the 53-man roster but then subsequently waived when the team re-signed defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry. Reed was signed to the practice squad on Saturday.
McDonald originally entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2007 and he spent two years as a starter on the Browns' defense. He has also played for the Lions and the Arizona Cardinals. He joined the Buccaneers as a free agent on August 20 and played in each of the final two preseason games, starting the finale in Washington, and pitched in with three tackles.
The 5-10, 185-pound defensive back saw his most extensive action in 2008, when he started 15 games for Cleveland and recorded five interceptions, including one he returned 98 yards for a touchdown. McDonald also contributed 75 tackles, 17 passes defensed and a forced fumble that season.
After three years in Cleveland, McDonald was released prior to the 2010 season and claimed off waivers by the Cardinals. He played two games for Arizona before being waived in October and claimed by the Lions, for whom he played six games, starting two. He made the Lions' roster again last season and got into 13 games, contributing 14 tackles, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery. Overall, McDonald has played in 69 NFL games with 29 starts and amassed 192 tackles, one sack, 40 passes defensed, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
McDonald played two seasons at the University of Memphis after transferring from Jones County Junior College in Mississippi. He hails from Collins, Mississippi.
Hardman has been with the Buccaneers since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky in the spring of 2010. He played in 12 games with four starts over the last two seasons.