G James Lee entered the league as an undrafted rookie with Cleveland this past spring but will head into the season on the Bucs' active roster
Less than 48 hours after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced their "final" cuts, paring the team down to 53 on Saturday, the first set of changes has already been made to the ever-fluid roster.
With a full slate of players hitting the waiver wire after Saturday's league-wide cut-downs, the Bucs found a player they coveted in tackle James Lee, formerly of the Cleveland Browns.
To make room for Lee on the roster, the Bucs released veteran cornerback Eugene Wilson.
With starting right guard Davin Joseph nursing a foot injury and rookie Jeremy Zuttah potentially starting during his absence, Lee will give the Bucs added depth along the offensive front. After Saturday's cuts, the Bucs were left with only seven healthy offensive linemen, meaning Anthony Davis was the only projected reserve for the two tackle spots.
Lee joined the Browns on May 1 as an undrafted rookie free agent. He started 31 of 33 career games at South Carolina State after transferring from Georgia, where he redshirted his freshman year.
A punishing blocker, the 6-4, 305-pound Lee also brings a bit of versatility to the table. After starting at left guard for his first two seasons as a Bulldog, Lee moved to right tackle his senior season in 2007 and continued to be the team's best run blocker.
With Lee paving the way, South Carolina State led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in rushing offense his junior and senior years and was among the league's best in both total offense and scoring.
Joining the Bucs and moving to Florida will be a bit of a homecoming for Lee. A native of Belle Glade, Florida, Lee attended Glades Central High School.
The Buccaneers have had success pinpointing undrafted rookie linemen in the past. The team's current starter at left tackle, Donald Penn, entered the league as an undrafted free agent with Minnesota in 2006 and was on the Vikings' practice squad when the Bucs signed him to their active roster midway through that year. By the fourth game of the 2007 campaign, Penn was in the starting lineup. In addition, Davis, the former starter at left tackle and still the team's primary reserve at both edge spots, was an undrafted free agent signing by the Bucs out of Virginia Tech in 2003.
Wilson had signed with the Bucs as an unrestricted free agent on in March after spending the first five years of his career with the New England Patriots. His spot on the roster may have become expendable after the surprising emergence of undrafted rookie cornerback Elbert Mack, who survived roster cuts to make the Bucs' 53-man roster on Saturday.