The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed offensive tackle Anthony Collins to a five-year contract as they continue to rebuild their roster after a 4-12 season.
Scott Smith of the team's official site passed along news of the Bucs' latest free-agent addition Thursday:
He had previously provided comments from head coach Lovie Smith after inking Michael Johnson, Clinton McDonald, Brandon Myers and Alterraun Verner to deals. He made it clear the team was gearing up to become more competitive:
I definitely would say that we're not trying to build anything slowly. It's not about rebuilding or anything like that; we want to put a better football team on the field next year and in order to do that you can't stand pat.
Adding Collins is another sign that the Buccaneers are at the very least attempting to make a quick turnaround in 2014. The 28-year-old tackle played on both sides of the line for the Cincinnati Bengals, where he had spent his entire career after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL draft.
He will likely slide into the left tackle spot for Tampa Bay. Donald Penn was previously holding down that role, but his inconsistent play made it an area for improvement for the Bucs coming into the offseason and now they have certainly upgraded.
Ultimately, whether all the acquisitions will actually translate to success during the 2014 season remains up for debate. Collins can help the process by providing a clean pocket for new quarterback Josh McCown, who was another signing by the team Wednesday, per Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com.
Even if things don't go exactly according to plan for Tampa Bay, the front office deserves credit for going all in to upgrade the roster. The team still has a top-10 draft pick to fill another hole, which could end up being linebacker Khalil Mack out of Buffalo.
All told, Collins should solidify the offensive line and check off another item on the Buccaneers' previously lengthy to-do list.
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