The Bucs announced Tuesday they’ve re-signed former USF nose tackle Deadrin Senat, providing interior depth in the wake of the departure of Rakeem Nunez-Roches.
Additionally, the team agreed to terms with kicker Chase McLaughlin, who will compete for the job vacated when veteran Ryan Succop was released last week.
The Falcons’ third-round pick in 2018, Senat, 28, rejoins the team on a veteran salary benefit one-year deal, which comes with a league-minimum salary of $1.08 million.
He signed with the Bucs last April and was among the team’s final cuts on Aug. 30 but signed to the practice squad the next day. He was promoted to the active roster three weeks later, ultimately carving out a spot in the defensive line rotation.
In 12 games, Senat finished with 17 tackles and two quarterback hits, playing 20% of the Bucs’ defensive snaps (165 total). His lone sack — the first of his NFL career — came in a Week 5 win against the Falcons, who waived him in November 2021.
A two-time All-American Athletic Conference selection with the Bulls, Senat provides at least one veteran presence behind Vita Vea. Nunez-Roches, who spent the past five seasons in Tampa Bay and played nearly 50% of the defensive snaps in 2022, signed with the Giants earlier this month.
The Bucs also could re-sign veteran free agent Akiem Hicks, who turns 34 in November. Speaking at the NFL’s annual meeting in Arizona on Tuesday, coach Todd Bowles said Hicks, a solid complement to Vea when healthy last season (22 tackles, 1 sack, 4 quarterback hits in 11 games) remains on the team’s radar.
“When he was healthy, I thought he performed well (and) I thought he fit in great,” Bowles told reporters. “Him and Vita are a very good force in there.”
McLaughlin, who has kicked for six NFL teams the previous four seasons, has converted 88 of 90 extra-point tries in his career, but perhaps more importantly for Tampa Bay, is 17-for-21 (80.9%) on field goals of 50 or more yards. He’s far less accurate, however, on attempts between 40 and 49 yards (19-of-32).
He converted the first seven of his career from 50 or longer, missing the eighth — a 62-yarder — on the final play of regulation for the Jaguars in an overtime loss to the Vikings in 2020.
Succop, by contrast, converted only three of his 10 attempts from 50 or more yards in his three seasons with the Bucs. Though Succop is the most accurate kicker in Bucs history with a field-goal percentage of 84.8 (84-of-99), Bowles said the team is seeking someone more reliable from longer distances.
Contact Joey Knight at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls
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