TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began to overhaul their roster on Tuesday, agreeing to contracts with Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive end Michael Johnson and two other potential new starters on the first day of free agency.
In addition to landing Verner, who had five interceptions for Tennessee last season and Johnson, who had 11½ sacks for Cincinnati two years ago, the team announced Tuesday through its website that it also had reached deals with former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and ex-New York Giants tight end Brandon Myers.
The club planned a news conference Wednesday to introduce the additions. Meanwhile, efforts to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis continue.
Tuesday's contracts are the first major moves for new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht, who were hired in January following the firings of former coach Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik.
The Bucs finished 4-12 in 2013. One of Smith's top priorities is improving a pass rush that's been one of the least productive in the NFL in recent years.
Adding Johnson, who received a five-year deal, and McDonald, who had 5½ sacks for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, could help.