Bucs add backup tight end, release George Johnson
The Bucs appear to have put the finishing touches on their roster today by claiming tight end Zack Pianalto off waivers, a day after he was cut by the Bills.
Tampa Bay had been searching for a third tight end since releasing three of the five tight ends on the training camp roster in Saturday's final cuts. Pianalto, a rookie free agent from North Carolina, spent the preseason with Buffalo, catching six passes for 59 yards. With the Tar Heels, Pianalto set a school record for career receptions by a tight end with 94, gaining 918 yards. With the Bucs, he'll be the No. 3 tight end behind Kellen Winslow and rookie Luke Stocker.
The Bucs failed in two attempts to claim tight ends off waivers on Sunday, when New England castoffs Lee Smith and Will Yeatman were awarded to the Bills and Dolphins, respectively.
The addition of Pianalto, coupled with the signing of free agent linebacker Zac Diles on Sunday, forced the Bucs to create two roster spots. Defensive end George Johnson and cornerback D.J. Johnson were released to make space on the 53-man roster. George Johnson, undrafted out of Rutgers in 2010, had an impressive preseason, recording three sacks.
The Bucs on Monday also completed their eight-man practice squad, signing the following players:
Safety Ahmad Black, tackle Will Barker, quarterback Rudy Carpenter, tight end Collin Franklin, wide receiver Ed Gant, tight end Daniel Hardy, running back Mossis Madu and linebacker Derrell Smith.
Each of the practice-squad members spent at least a portion of the preseason with the Bucs, with Black and Hardy drafted by the club in the fifth and seventh rounds, respectively.