After working out several wide receivers on Tuesday, the Buccaneers decided to not let one of the players leave without a contract.
While players such as Matt Jones, David Tyree, Chris Davis and Jordan Kent auditioned for a spot on the roster, it was Yamon Figurs who was signed to a deal. LB Matt McCoy was released in roster after playing in four of five games this season in order to make room for the newest member of the Buccaneers.
After being drafted in the third round (74th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by Baltimore, Figurs became the first Raven to return both a punt and kickoff for touchdowns in the same season.
While Figurs is not expected to see much live action as a receiver anytime soon, he could make an immediate impact on the practice field. Due to his speed, Raheem Morris admitted that Figurs will play the part of Steve Smith during preparation for Sunday’s game against the division rival Panthers.
“He has elite speed which we know from Kansas State,” Morris said about Figurs during Wednesday’s press conference. “Josh Freeman is very familiar with him. He came out here yesterday and did a great job in the workout. We wanted to get a fast receiver in there that brought a different element then what we had. He came out here and has done a great job this week simulating Steve Smith for a little bit. He gives your starting defensive backs a look at real big time speed that you can’t simulate in practice with just anybody.”
For his career, Figurs had caught three passes for 86 yards and one touchdown while playing in 29 games. His biggest contribution has been on special teams where he recorded 75 kickoff returns for 1,746 yards and one TD as well as 39 punt returns for 309 yards and one TD.
Figurs and rookie quarterback Josh Freeman won’t have to waste anytime to find a connection. The duo played together during Figurs’ senior season at Kansas State. Prior to signing with the Bucs, Figurs had been a member of the Lions before being released at the end of September.
The team also announced that Offensive Guard Marc Dile has been signed to the practice squad while WR Pat Carter and DT Rashaad Duncan have been released from the team’s practice squad.
Dile had been released by the team on Monday in order to make room for DL Michael Bennett, who was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.
After joining Seattle as an undrafted free agent back in April, Bennett had a successful preseason campaign by registering two sacks, nine tackles, five quarterback hurries, and one fumble recovery.