Bucs Sign Right End Jerramy Stevens

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The Associated Press
Sunday, April 29, 2007; 8:52 PM

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent most of the weekend drafting help for an aging defense, then addressed a need on offense Sunday by signing former Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens.

Stevens, a first-round draft pick in 2002, was an unrestricted free agent who the Seahawks said they were no longer interested in retaining after the player was arrested last month in Scottsdale, Ariz., for investigation of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.

Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said the Bucs met with the 27-year-old tight end, who has had other run-ins with the law, and is confident he's learned from his mistakes.

"I think Jerramy Stevens is a good young man," Allen said. "He is focused on doing things right for us. ... But more importantly, he understands that he has to do things right."

Stevens had a career-high 45 receptions for 554 yards two seasons ago when he helped Seattle reach the Super Bowl, however his production dipped to 22 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns in 2006.

Allen announced the signing when asked to discuss why the Bucs did not address the need for depth at tight end during the draft. The team used seven of 10 picks on defensive players, selecting at least one in each round.

The Bucs selected defensive end Gaines Adams, guard Arron Sears, safety Sabby Piscitelli and linebacker Quincy Black on Saturday.

Day 2 began with the Bucs making a deal with Minnesota to move down four spots in the fourth round, where Syracuse safety Tanard Jackson was selected No. 106 overall. Tampa Bay used a sixth-round pick received from the Vikings to take Portland State linebacker Adam Hayward.

Perhaps the most intriguing pick on the second day was fifth-rounder Greg Peterson, a 6-foot-5, 286-pound defensive lineman from Division II North Carolina Central. The Bucs think he has the ability to play tackle or end.

"He's a big, fast athlete," defensive line coach Larry Coyer said, adding that Peterson ran a 4.77 40-yard dash during a workout.

"He's a real good prospect, just on size and speed alone. You would think it would be hard to get a guy with this kind of measurables. But when you watch him play, it catches your attention."

The Bucs added three more selections in the seventh round _ Fresno State offensive tackle Chris Denman, Virginia cornerback Marcus Hamilton and Alabama running back Kenneth Darby.

Mark Maske, NFL News Feed

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