Contract negotiations won't slow rookie DE Kyle Moore down as camp approaches, as both he and CB E.J. Biggers signed on Tuesday
It's still June, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finishing business that sometimes isn't done until the end of July.
On Tuesday, the team announced that it has signed two more of its draft picks to their first NFL contracts: fourth-round defensive end Kyle Moore and seventh-round cornerback E.J. Biggers. Both players agreed to four-year deals.
Following the recent signings of fifth-round tackle Xavier Fulton and seventh-round wide receiver , the Buccaneers now have all but two of their six 2009 draft picks in the fold. Still unsigned are first-round quarterback Josh Freeman and third-round defensive tackle Roy Miller.
Moore and Biggers now count against the 80-man offseason roster (they were exempt before signing), but no other roster moves were necessary on Tuesday. The Buccaneers previously released three players last Friday after signing Stroughter and now have the maximum total of 82 men on the list, with Freeman and Moore still exempt.
The Buccaneers selected Moore (6-5, 272) with the 117th overall pick in the '09 draft, surrendering a seventh-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys in order to move up three spots in the fourth round and secure the pass-rusher out of USC. Tampa Bay's coaches believe the rookie with a nonstop motor can be a valuable part of the D-Line rotation on game day, working in at both end and tackle.
Last year, Moore was named USC's Most Inspirational Player in 2008 as a result of his fine play despite a preseason knee ailment that required arthroscopic surgery. Despite often being asked to occupy multiple blockers so the Trojans' dangerous linebackers (four of whom were also drafted in April) could shoot into the backfield, Moore still led the team with a career-high five sacks.
Over four seasons with the Trojans, Moore played in 50 games and started 24. He opened 24 of 26 games at right end over the last two seasons, recording seven sacks during that span. In all, Moore finished his collegiate career with 76 tackles, seven sacks, 13 tackles for loss, eight passes defensed, two interceptions, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries.
Biggers arrived exactly 100 picks after Moore, going to the Buccaneers with the 217th overall choice. He had intrigued NFL scouts with a 4.35 40-yard dash time at the Western Michigan Pro Day and has developed well on the Bucs' practice field since draft weekend. Biggers was a playmaker in the Broncos' very talented secondary (teammate Louis Delmas, a safety, was drafted in the second round), notching 62 tackles along, five tackles for loss, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 10 passes defensed.