Economos out, Bucs make change at long-snapper
For the first time in seven years, the Bucs are making a change at long-snapper, with news Tuesday that veteran Andrew Economos likely won't be returning in free agency and the signing of former Bears long-snapper Jeremy Cain.
Economos, 31, would have been the most tenured Bucs player on roster had he returned, but agent Jack Real said such a return was unlikely. Then on Tuesday afternoon, the Bucs signed Cain, who played for Lovie Smith with the Bears in 2004-05 and has stayed in the league since with the Titans, Jaguars and a return to the Bears for two games last season.
Cain, 33, is 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, having played his high school football at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale before going to Massachusetts. He has a background as a linebacker, with 21 tackles over his eight seasons in the NFL.
The Bucs also signed snapper Patrick Scales after the end of the 2013 season -- Scales has gone to preseason camp with the Ravens (2011-12) and Jets (2013) but has never played in an NFL game.
With Economos not returning and the release of Davin Joseph and Donald Penn, the Bucs now have only three players on roster who were with the team before 2011: lineman Jeremy Zuttah, a 2008 draft pick; tackle Demar Dotson, a free-agent signee in 2009; and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, drafted in 2010. That means at least 50 of the 53 players on roster this fall will be new from just four years earlier.