Peter Schrager @PSchrags
It's official in Tampa. DE Robert Ayers arrived at One Buc Place this AM. W/ general manager Jason Licht. @NFLonFOX https://t.co/zvbruBwKxd3/12/2016, 5:13:41 PM
Ayers, 30, played well for the New York Giants in his two seasons there, notching 63 tackles, 14.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. His 9.5 sacks in 2015 were a career best and invaluable for a Giants team that managed just 23.0 sacks last season, 30th in the NFL.
The Giants aggressively looked to rebuild their defense through free agency, signing cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive tackle Damon Harrison as well. That didn't leave much money for the team to retain Ayers, however, who would have been bumped from a starting job to make room for Pierre-Paul and Vernon.
Adding Ayers was a smart move for the Buccaneers, as he was the top pass-rusher left on the market. He'll give the team a dangerous and veteran presence off the edge and should be a reliable starter for the team immediately.
If he can replicate his performance from 2015, he could be one of the better values in the entirety of 2016's free-agent class.
The Buccaneers announced that they also added cornerback Brent Grimes in free agency. While they finished 6-10 a season ago, they are a team on the rise and have made moves to shore up their defense heading into the draft.
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