PHOENIX — The Bucs didn’t have much money for free agency, but what you heard at the NFL meetings this week was other teams were impressed by the signing of 49ers punter Bradley Pinion and Browns receiver Breshad Perriman.
Pinion’s ability to kickoff is underrated. There’s only a handful of punters in the NFL who do it and it will save the leg of place-kicker Cairo Santos.
“I think the biggest signing for us was out punter. I think he handles two parts of our kicking game," Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. "When I came in, that was the glaring thing: special teams.
“I wanted a kicking coach to work with the kickers and punters and make them better,” added Arians, who hired former Dallas Cowboys kicker Chris Boniol for that role. " Cairo now doesn’t have to kick off so hopefully now we can get his range back because he’s not wearing himself out kicking off in practice because Bradley can do all that.’’
Perriman, a 2015 first-round pick of the Ravens who was hampered by knee injuries, has his mojo back and can stretch the field.
“Everybody I talked to said, “Man, you’ve got Perriman,’’’ Arians said. “He was breaking back out.’ Yeah, I think that was one of the best gets we got in free agency."
It sounds like Chris Godwin is going to be pretty busy, too.
“I think Chris Godwin is going to be a close to 100 catch guy, especially because I think he can play in the slot and never come off the field,” Arians said. " Mike (Evans) should be, “How many?’ The sky is the limit. Just getting Breshad, who adds that speed element, he’s also a guy who can take a short one a long way.’’
Contact Rick Stroud at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @NFLStroud