The Bucs announced Thursday they have signed free-agent cornerback Nate Brooks, providing more job competition on special teams and perhaps for the fifth cornerback spot.
A former North Texas teammate of fourth-round draft choice Jaelon Darden, Brooks worked out at least twice for the Bucs in 2020. He originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals in 2019 and has logged time on practice squads for the Patriots, Dolphins and Ravens.
He appeared in three games for Miami in 2019 (making 11 tackles with two passes defensed) and one for the Ravens last season.
As a North Texas senior in 2018, Brooks ranked third in Division I-A with six interceptions, two of them coming in a 44-17 rout of Arkansas in the Mean Green’s second game. A semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, he also had 67 tackles and 10 pass breakups in 13 starts.
Brooks’ signing comes a day after the Bucs signed two other free agents, safety Raven Greene and linebacker Joseph Jones. They’ll enter their mandatory mini-camp (set for June 7-9) with a congested cornerback room.
Veterans Sean Murphy-Bunting, Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Ross Cockrell top the rotation, leaving Brooks, Herb Miller and seventh-round draft pick Chris Wilcox of Brigham Young vying for the fifth spot.
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