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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

DE Jacquies Smith signs contract with Bucs for 2017

Bucs defensive end Jacquies Smith had 13.5 sacks in 2014-15 and should return healthy this fall after missing nearly all of 2016 with a knee injury.

DIRK SHADD | TIMES

Bucs defensive end Jacquies Smith had 13.5 sacks in 2014-15 and should return healthy this fall after missing nearly all of 2016 with a knee injury.

It's largely a formality, but defensive end Jacquies Smith, who had 13.5 sacks for the Bucs in 2014-15 but tore his ACL in last year's season opener, has signed his restricted free agent tender and is under contract with Tampa Bay for 2017.

Smith, 27, is expected to be healthy for the start of the season and part of an upgraded Bucs defensive line in what will be a contract year for him. The Bucs took a gamble by giving Smith the lowest RFA tender at $1.8-million, and while the 49ers brought him in for a visit, they made no offer and the Bucs got him back for another season.

Smith is one of several defensive ends returning healthy from major injuries that limited them in 2016 -- he played a single snap on special teams before his knee injury, George Johnson missed the entire season with a hip injury, and Will Gholston (elbow) and Noah Spence (shoulder) were both limited by injuries as well.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:07pm]

    

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