NFC South: D.J. Monroe

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a series of moves Monday afternoon that don’t look like much on the surface.

But there’s one transaction in the bunch that could be significant for the Bucs. They signed free-agent defensive tackle Andre Neblett, who spent the last three seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Neblett made the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and worked his way into the rotation in 2011. But Neblett was suspended the first four games of last season and didn’t get much playing time once he returned.

A fresh start, however, could be good for Neblett and the Bucs. Neblett is a run-stuffing defensive tackle and the Bucs have a little uncertainty at the position next to Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. There’s hope that fourth-round pick Akeem Spence can develop quickly and that Derek Landri, another free-agent pickup, can contribute.

It makes sense to bring in a guy like Neblett. He isn’t going to suddenly turn into a Pro Bowler, but Neblett can at least compete for a spot in the rotation with Spence and Landri.

In other moves, the Bucs signed North Carolina receiver Jheranie Boyd, Northern Michigan offensive tackle Jace Daniels, Mount Union receiver Chris Denton and Rutgers linebacker Ka’lial Glaud after they made good impressions in the weekend minicamp.

The team also waived defensive tackle Richard Clebert, receiver D.J. Monroe and running back Akeem Shavers, while terminating the contracts of guard Roger Allen and defensive end George Selvie.
Undrafted free agents usually are long shots to make an NFL regular-season roster. But you might want to keep an eye on Deveron Carr.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sure are treating the Arizona State cornerback differently than the average undrafted free agent. The Bucs have given Carr a $15,000 signing bonus and guaranteed $5,000 of his base salary.

Many undrafted free agents don’t even get signing bonuses and those who do often top out at $5,000. Carr’s signing bonus is the highest I’ve seen so far for any undrafted free agent across the league.

Why did the Bucs sweeten the pot for Carr? Obviously, they must think he has some talent. But Carr probably was getting a decent offer somewhere else and the Bucs stepped up to make sure they got him.

In addition to Carr, the Bucs announced they have signed 13 other undrafted free agents. They are UCLA receiver Jerry Johnson, South Florida tight end Evan Landi, Northern Illinois cornerback Rashaan Melvin, Texas receiver D.J. Monroe, Buffalo linebacker Willie Moseley, Arizona State tackle Brice Schwab, Purdue running back Akeem Shavers, Western Kentucky guard Adam Smith, Georgia cornerback Branden Smith, Massachusetts offensive tackle Nick Speller, Southern Mississippi offensive tackle Jason Weaver and Rutgers receiver Tim Wright.