CB Juran Bolden turned in three interceptions during his two seasons with the Buccaneers, primarily as the third cornerback in nickel situations
Thanks to the 2007 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers inflated their roster by 10 players over the weekend. The team plans to add another handful of undrafted free agents shortly, and to do so it must create a little room on the offseason roster.
That was accomplished on Monday, as the team released veteran cornerback Juran Bolden and three other players who had been signed earlier this offseason, safety Tra Boger, long-snapper Adam Johnson and defensive tackle Kenny Smith. In addition, the Buccaneers have withdrawn their tender offer to restricted free agent Blue Adams, making the fourth-year safety an unrestricted free agent.
The Buccaneers are expected to announce additional rookie signings on Tuesday. Unlike the players added in the draft, those newcomers will immediately count against the offseason limit of 80 players (plus NFLEL exemptions). Drafted players do not count against the roster limit until they have signed a contract; players may participate in offseason workouts prior to completing a contract but may not report to training camp until they have done so.
Both Bolden and Adams had been members of the Buccaneers' secondary each of the past two seasons, the former as the team's primary nickel back. Bolden played in all 32 games in 2005-06 and contributed 116 tackles, three interceptions, one sack and 22 passes defensed. He started 13 games over that span, including 11 last season after a season-ending injury to starter Brian Kelly. Bolden originally joined the Buccaneers as a free agent in March of 2005 after playing for Atlanta, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Green Bay and Carolina, as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
Adams saw some action at safety but was primarily a special teams ace during his two seasons as a Buccaneer. He appeared in 29 games in 2005-06 and recorded 32 kick-coverage tackles and one forced fumble. Originally a seventh-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2003, Adams spent some time on the Bucs' practice squad as a rookie before landing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004 and eventually returning to Tampa in '05.
The Bucs have made significant additions to their secondary since the beginning of the offseason. The team started by re-signing unrestricted free agent cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Torrie Cox, then added cornerback Sammy Davis, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers. In the draft this past weekend, the Bucs used second and fourth-round picks on safeties Sabby Piscitelli and Tanard Jackson, respectively, and picked up cornerback Marcus Hamilton in the seventh round.
Boger was one of 14 players the Buccaneers signed on January 17 of this year, in advance of the start of the 2007 offseason. Smith was added on March 8 and Johnson came aboard on March 26. While Boger and Johnson are both first-year players in the league, Smith has five seasons of accrued NFL experience.