Bucs regain linebacker, plan to sign Deone Bucannon to a one-year deal

One day after losing Kwon Alexander, Tampa Bay gets the former Cardinals linebacker.
Deone Bucannon (20), pictured during a game against the Los Angeles Rams in December in Glendale, Ariz. [AP Photo/Rick Scuteri]
Deone Bucannon (20), pictured during a game against the Los Angeles Rams in December in Glendale, Ariz. [AP Photo/Rick Scuteri]
Published March 12

TAMPA — One day after losing Kwon Alexander to the San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs reached an agreement on a one-year deal with Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon.

Under head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Bucannon played a "money-backer'’ position for the Cardinals, a hybrid linebacker/safety spot.

Bucannon apparently chose the Bucs over the New York Giants, where he was well acquainted with defensive coordinator James Bettcher from his time in Arizona.

A first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2014 (27th overall), Bucannon moved to inside linebacker in his second season under Bettcher. He finished with 91 tackles despite being a smallish 6-foot-1, 211 pounds.

That was the highlight of Bucannon’s career, even though the Cardinals picked up his fifth-year option.

NFL Network reported Bucannon chose the Bucs over the Giants.

Last season, Bucannon had 38 tackles and one sack.

With Alexander gone and the status of Kendell Beckwith unknown, the Bucs have a big need for linebackers. Bucannon also could move to safety and has good coverage skills.

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