A cryptic tweet by former Green Bay Packers safety Raven Greene before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers caught the attention of a Packers writer with Sports Illustrated’s Packers Central.
Greene tweeted “it’s on” two days before signing with the Bucs on Wednesday. Bill Huber of Packers Central concluded that was a hint dropped by the veteran safety. “Raven Greene hinted something was up recently on Twitter. And something is up. He is signing with Tampa Bay,” Huber wrote.
Tampa signed both Greene, 26, and recent Denver Broncos linebacker Joseph Jones, 27, in free agency on Wednesday according to Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith. It gives added veteran depth to the Bucs defense, which saw its share of injuries in the secondary in particular last season. Bucs Defensive backs Jordan Whitehead, Jamel Dean, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Carlton Davis III all sustained injuries in 2020. Tampa also lost some depth at safety with Andrew Adams leaving as a free agent.
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Bucs Add Salary Cap-Friendly Competition to the Roster
The signings will also create competition for backup roles according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. “Bucs have good competition now for backup ILB spots with Minter, Jones, draft picks K.J. Britt, and Grant Stuard,” Auman wrote.
Both Greene and Jones signed one-year contracts at the league’s minimum veteran salary per The Athletic’s Greg Auman. The Bucs take “less than a half-million” cap hit with the signings, Auman added.
Greene Emerged As a Key Backup in Green Bay
Greene stepped up for the Packers as a backup in 2020 with 44 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and 1.5 sacks. In three seasons with the Packers after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2018, he has 56 tackles, 2.5 sacks, an interception, and two forced fumbles in his NFL career. He also played on special teams according to USA Today’s Packers Wire.
Greene played college football at Division I FCS James Madison where he helped the Dukes win the national title in 2016. He tallied 292 tackles and 14 interceptions in his career. Two other former James Madison players — offensive linemen Josh Wells and Aaron Stinnie — already play for the Bucs.
Jones Persevered Through Three Waivers to Find Playing Time in Denver
Jones had three tackles for the Broncos in 2020, but his most productive campaign on defense came in 2018 when he tallied 16 tackles for the Broncos. He has 31 tackles in his career, all with the Broncos in four seasons. He played mostly on special teams according to Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper. Jones tallied 26 tackles on special teams according to Auman.
Jones played at Northwestern in college before the Dallas Cowboys picked him up as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He tallied 70 tackles, three sacks, and a fumble recovery in four years with the Wildcats. He helped the team win the Pinstripe Bowl in his final season.
It took three tries for Jones to find a home in the NFL. The Cowboys waived him followed by brief stints on the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks practice squads. Denver snatched him off the Seahawks practice squad in November 2017 per DenverBroncos.com.