Buccaneers Sign 3 Ex-Giants, Including Former 16-Game Starter

Bucs Sign 3 former Giants

Getty DB Curtis Riley #35 of the New York Giants makes an interception in the endzone against wide receiver DeSean Jackson #11 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added a handful of former New York Giants to their roster. Tight end Jerell Adams, cornerback Antonio Hamilton and safety Curtis Riley have each inked one-year deals with the defending Super Bowl champions after impressing during rookie minicamp tryouts.

The trio of ex-G-Men join former Los Angeles Chargers running back Troymaine Pope amongst the team’s latest signings, bringing the Bucs’ roster to 89 players — one off of the offseason roster limit.

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Riley Was a Full-Time Starter for the Giants in 2018

Riley is by far the most notable name from this group from a Giants perspective, albeit somewhat infamous. An undrafted free agent in 2015, the Fresno State product made his way to East Rutherford in 2018 on a team-friendly $630,000 contract. Originally brought in to battle for a roster spot at cornerback, Riley was subsequently moved to safety during training camp — a move that would stick. He went on to beat out both 2017 starter Darian Thompson and 2016 starter Andrew Adams for the starting free safety gig opposite Landon Collins.

In 16 games (all starts), Riley collected 75 tackles and four interceptions, the latter of which led all Giants defensive backs. Fairly impressive production, right? Yes, were it not for his lackluster play in the run game. Riley’s 23 missed tackles on the season led all NFL safeties, while his 37.1 Pro Football Focus run grade ranked dead last among 64 qualifying safeties.

The Giants opted not to retain Riley the following season. He would go on to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders, appearing in 16 games (three starts) with the Silver and Black in 2019. Riley has also spent time with the Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings throughout his five-year NFL career, amassing 131 tackles, five interceptions and eight passes defended.

Hamilton Could Carve Out Role Quickly in Tampa Bay

While Riley may be the most notable of the three signings for Giants fans, chances are it’ll be Hamilton who will have the greatest impact for the Buccaneers this season. Hamilton, 28, has developed into a core special teams player since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Over the last three seasons (two with the Giants and one with the Chiefs), Hamilton has logged 938 special teams snaps. In each of the past two years, he’s played at least 75% of the team’s special teams snaps. The South Carolina State alumn played all 19 games (postseason included) with the Chiefs this past season and was on the field for 24 special teams snaps during the team’s Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay.

As for Adams, the tight end was selected by the Giants in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent two seasons in New York, flashing as both a receiver and a blocker. His most prolific campaign came in his rookie season, when Adams hauled in 16 of 21 targets for one touchdown. Adams’ stint with Big Blue ended after 29 games. He appeared in one game with the Houston Texans in 2019 and spent time on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad in 2020.

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