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Sterling Shepard Brings Versatility to Bucs WR Corps 

The Buccaneers signed former Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who reunites with Baker Mayfield on the grass at Mandatory Minicamp 


Sterling Shepard signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday. A second-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2016, Shepard has played in 90 games and has hauled in 372 passes for 4,095 yards and 23 touchdowns. He brings a veteran presence to the Bucs receiving corps alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Shepard's former teammate at Oklahoma, Baker Mayfield, set the path in motion for his arrival in Tampa Bay.

"I was at home on the couch doing what I had been doing over the past two months and took the kids to school and everything," described Shepard. "I actually did a heavy lift that morning and saw Baker texted me. I put my phone down and continued my workout and hit him up later that day. He was asking me how I was feeling, and I told him, 'I feel really good. My body feels good.' He said, 'See if your agent gives them [Bucs] a call and what they say.' Sure enough, my agent called them and five minutes later they were like, 'You fly in tomorrow for a workout.' I had not been running any routes but got out here and when I strapped on the cleats, it all turned on for me. I am blessed to be here and blessed for the opportunity."

Shepard had his most productive collegiate season in 2015 working with Mayfield. That year, he caught 86 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. While with the Giants, Shepard missed significant time due to injuries but averaged 52.0 receiving yards per game over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. His most stellar campaign came in 2018, in which he caught 66 passes for 872 yards and four touchdowns. That season, Shepard lined up all along the formation including in the slot on the left side 31%, wide left 16%, in the slot on the right side 28% and wide right 25%. He brings position flexibility to the Buccaneers, adding another chess piece that defenses must account for.

"Wherever they want to plug me in, I have experience playing on the outside probably more than the inside and I look at myself as a true inside receiver," noted Shepard. "I have a lot of experience outside, so I am a guy that you can bounce around and help Mike and Chris out."

Shepard can work the middle of the field with short-area quickness and acceleration out of breaks to generate separation. The fluid route runner is lethal off a double move and is adept at tracking the ball downfield when working over the top. The tough competitor can play inside or outside the hash with success and elevates the room in Tampa Bay.

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