The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may add to their 2018 roster when free agency starts next week, but before that they wanted to make sure some of their own valuable contributors stuck around. On Wednesday, the Buccaneers announced that they have exercised the one-year options remaining on the contracts for tackle Demar Dotson and safeties Chris Conte and Josh Robinson.
Conte and Robinson both signed new contracts last spring that contained the 2018 option year for the team. Dotson's current deal originated in 2016 and includes one-year options for both 2018 and 2019; the Buccaneers picked up the 2018 year on Wednesday and will subsequently have the option for 2019.
Conte played in all 16 games last season and started 14, contributing 76 tackles, one interception, eight passes defensed and three forced fumbles. He finished third on the team in tackles behind linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander, and only David had more forced fumbles. Conte first joined the buccaneers in 2015 and, over three seasons, has started 38 games and intercepted five passes. Two of the other safeties on Tampa Bay's 2017 depth chart, Keith Tandy and T.J. Ward, are due to become unrestricted free agents next Wednesday.
Dotson started 11 games at right tackle in 2017 before landing on injured reserve due to a knee ailment. The longest-tenured player on Tampa Bay's current roster, Dotson has been the team's primary starter at right tackle since 2012, and he was having a strong season last fall before his injury. In all, Dotson has started 76 games for the Buccaneers.
Robinson was the Buccaneers' special teams captain in 2017 after he emerged as the team's top performer in that phase of the game in 2016. Injuries cut into his playing time last season but he still recorded five kick-coverage stop and a forced fumble. His forced fumble against New Orleans return man Tommylee Lewis in Week 17 led to Isaiah Johnson's go-ahead touchdown return in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay subsequently beat the playoff-bound Saints, 31-24, on a last-second touchdown catch by Chris Godwin. In 2016, Robinson led the Buccaneers with 12 special teams tackles.