After a couple of quiet weeks on the free agency front, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have retained the services of defensive lineman Pat O’Connor on a new one-year contract, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.
O’Connor was one of 31 remaining imminent free agents for the Buccaneers this offseason before signing his deal, flying back to Tampa Bay to put pen-to-paper today. He will be a restricted free agent next offseason.
The 27-year-old defensive end is a key member of Tampa Bay’s special teams, spending 459 snaps across the kick and punt return and coverage units as well as field goal kicks and block teams. O’Connor, who has tallied 10 career tackles, recorded his first career sack against the Minnesota Vikings last season.
Tampa Bay has numerous defensive linemen set to hit the market next month: Defensive ends Ndamukong Suh and Jeremiah Ledbetter, along with nose tackles Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Steve McClendon. Although he primarily factors into special teams, landing O’Connor on an expensive contract is a smart move for the Buccaneers as they retool their defensive line depth.