TAMPA — The Bucs' quest to find free-agent help at safety ended Tuesday.
Tampa Bay agreed to terms on a contract with Eagles free agent Sean Jones, a veteran who has 16 interceptions in the past four seasons and might compete for a starting job this fall.
The value and length of the deal weren't immediately known.
Jones, 6-1 and 220 pounds, is entering his seventh season and has started 53 of his past 59 games. He likely will get a long look at strong safety, where the Bucs are expected to make Sabby Piscitelli defend his starting job after his struggles last season.
Bucs coach Raheem Morris, a former defensive backs coach, recalls scouting Jones when he was coming out of the University of Georgia in 2004, so the franchise is familiar with his work.
Jones, 28, is adept at playing near the line of scrimmage in run support, but his interception totals suggest he has, at minimum, adequate coverage skills. Where he fits in will be determined by his performance in training camp and during the preseason, but it seems the Bucs see Jones as a potential starter.
Before the deal became official, Morris said of Jones, "He's been productive on special teams and he's been productive on (defense). Everywhere he's been, he's been productive. He had a little bit of an injury history, but he's been able to overcome it and be a starter pretty much everywhere he's been. We're fired up to get him. It'll be good competition."
Jones went through with a scheduled visit with the Titans on Sunday and Monday after spending Friday in Tampa. He left Nashville without a contract.
It's still unclear whether the Titans made an actual offer, but the need to acquire Jones appeared less pressing for Tennessee because it has two established veterans starting at safety in Michael Griffin and Chris Hope.
The acquisition doesn't preclude the Bucs from drafting a safety next month.
Bucs reward mom in need
TAMPA — Public transportation used to be the primary method of commuting for Hillsborough Community College student Kiara Walker and her 6-month-old daughter, Kaylen.
That is, until the Bucs shocked her by showing up at the school's Ybor City campus with the keys to a 2010 Ford Focus, the culmination of the club's Road to Success Program that seeks to award a vehicle to someone in great need.
Morris, joined by fullback Chris Pressley and offensive tackle Demar Dotson, was on hand to hand over the keys to the car, which will simplify life for the 21-year-old single mother. The insurance is paid for six months and gas will be supplied for a year.
Morris helped conceive the concept, and the team's community relations department solicited nominations for candidates. Walker nominated herself and in her letter outlined how she was born to a drug-addicted mother and a father who later would be convicted of murder. She has overcome the odds by continuing to pursue higher education to meet her goals. One of them, she said, is to one day open a drug treatment center.
Now, with the help of the Bucs, Walker will have a way to get her diabetic mother and daughter to their doctors' appointments. Kaylen was born with an irregular heartbeat and must see a specialist periodically.
"I've always had a lot of faith," Walker said. "You have see outside your current situation and that you can make it in life. I go through things like everybody else. You just have to take it all in stride and focus on your goals."