One Tampa Bay Buccaneer will continue his career in red and pewter a little over a year after the Kansas City Chiefs cut him.
Bucs cornerback Herb Miller made his NFL debut against the Chiefs in Week 12 and won a Super Bowl ring on Sunday when Tampa dethroned the Chiefs 31-9. Miller and 10 other practice squad players signed futures contracts on Tuesday per Buccaneers.com’s Scott Smith.
“You can’t make it up. If I told the story to anybody, they’d be like ‘Nah, you’re not for real,” Miller told WPFB’s Shayne Wright about facing the Chiefs before the Super Bowl.
Bucs signings on Tuesday included outside linebacker Quinton Bell, wide receiver Cyril Grayson, safety Javon Hagan, and tight end Cody McElroy — all of whom play in the regular season at some point per Smith. The Bucs also signed wide receivers Josh Pearson and Travis Jonsen, guards Nick Leverett and John Molchon, and defensive linemen Benning Potoa’e and Kobe Smith.
Miller almost didn’t join that group since he didn’t get signed for most of the 2019 season. He started applying for police officer positions, per Wright, since he majored in criminal justice at Florida Atlantic where he also starred for the Owls football team. The Bucs signed him in December 2019 before he could become an officer.
He posted five tackles, a pass deflection, and an interception this season. His first career pick came against the Detroit Lions in Week 16 when he “just got called up from the practice squad” the same day according to the game broadcast.
First career interception by Herb Miller!🔥🔥🔥 #TBvsDET
— Christopher Reiss (@ReissReport) December 26, 2020
Miller added depth to the Bucs secondary, which saw its share of injuries in 2020. Antoine Winfield Jr., Jamel Dean, Carlton Davis III, Jordan Whitehead, and Sean Murphy-Bunting all sustained injuries.
Keeping the Crew Together
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians hopes to keep most of the 2020 team together for another Super Bowl run. Re-signing practice squad players is only the first step up of many to come for the defending champs.
“I’m very, very confident,” Arians said on Monday per CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr. “I have all the trust in the world in [general manager] Jason [Licht] and what he would do.”
Tampa has boatloads of free agents in key positions.
Wide receivers Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown will need new contracts as will tight end Rob Gronkowski. Running back Leonard Fournette will also become a free agent.
Defensive players up for new contracts include linebacker Lavonte David, defensive end Ndamukong Suh, and linebacker Shaquil Barrett. The Bucs also have key special team players becoming free agents such as kicker Ryan Succop and long snapper Zach Triner.