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Buccaneers Bring Back OL Earl Watford; Waive DL

Tampa Bay birngs back a familiar depth piece as the Buccaneers are lacking available reserve offensive linemen.

Photo: Earl Watford; Credit: Buccaneers.com

In need of available depth players on the offensive line, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed eighth-year pro Earl Watford on Thursday morning, the team announced. In a corresponding move, the Buccaneers waived (injured) defensive lineman Sam Renner.

Watford spent part of the 2019 and 2020 seasons in Tampa Bay, appearing in 15 games and starting four for the Bucs in 2019. He bounced between the Bucs active roster and the practice squad in 2020, also spending a brief time with the New England Patriots in December before returning to the Buccaneers practice squad during the playoffs and through the Super Bowl run earlier this year.

In his career, Watford has appeared in a total of 71 games and made 25 starts.

According to Greg Auman of The Athletic, Tampa Bay was down four offensive linemen for Wednesday's practice - centers Robert Hainsey and Donell Stanley, and tackles Chidi Okeke and Josh Wells - which made Watford's signing necessary as the team prepares to kick off its preseason against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night. 

Watford carries experience at both tackle spots as well as both guard spots and previously played under head coach Bruce Arians during his time with the Arizona Cardinals, providing knowledge of the scheme and versatility that the Bucs can utilize throughout the preseason.

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