Bucs release nickel Moore, add two
Two days before players report for the start of preseason training camp, the Bucs have released veteran D.J. Moore, a former Bears player who was a candidate for the team's starting nickel defensive back job.
The departure of Moore, who played under Lovie Smith in Chicago, leaves third-year pro Leonard Johnson in good position at nickel, though former USF corner Mike Jenkins could step into that role if he can't beat out Johnthan Banks for a starting corner job. The team also announced the signings of linebacker Jeremy Grable, an undrafted rookie from Valdosta State, and offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts, who has been in camp with four teams over the past two years but has not played in any NFL games.
Grable, small at 6 feet, 220 pounds, returned two interceptions for touchdowns with Valdosta State last year, totaling 190 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. Shugarts, 6-6 and 299 pounds, was a three-year starter as a right tackle at Ohio State and has played in eight preseason games in the last two years. His father, Bret, played defensive end at Indiana and played in two games with the Steelers as a replacement player during the 1987 season. The Bucs have limited experience at linebacker after their top four players, giving Grable a chance to prove himself on special teams in preseason, while Shugarts will try to land one of the team's final backup jobs on the offensive line.
The Bucs now have 89 players under contract, one under the NFL maximum, with players reporting for camp Thursday and the first practice set for Friday evening.