Cornerback Ross Cockrell has signed to a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Financial terms were not immediately made available for Cockrell's contract.
Cockrell, 29, originally signed with Tampa Bay's practice squad near the beginning of the 2020 season and emerged as a key depth piece in the secondary after his midseason promotion to the active roster. Compiling 11 tackles, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, and a defended pass in seven regular-season appearances with the Buccaneers, Cockrell primarily lined up at nickel cornerback but also filled in out wide, at safety, and on special teams.
In his career, Cockrell has tallied 230 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, seven interceptions, and 45 defended passes in 80 games, making 45 starts. He's also spent time with the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Buffalo Bills.
AllBucs identified Cockrell as one of Tampa Bay's priorities to re-sign among their remaining free agents this past weekend.
Tampa Bay now has five cornerbacks on its roster: Outside starters Carlton Davis III and Jamel Dean, starting nickel Sean Murphy-Bunting, backup Herb Miller, and now Cockrell. The position remains in need of depth, particularly on the outside as Cockrell often aligns inside and Miller is pretty inexperienced as a former undrafted free agent.