Bucs Sign LB Ortiz, DE Pittman

July 2 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added two NFL Europe players to its roster on Tuesday by signing outside linebacker Tony Ortiz to a two-year contract and defensive end Cedric Pittman to a one-year deal. The addition of Ortiz and Pittman brings Tampa Bay's roster total to 92 players.

All had been quiet at One Buccaneer Place over the last few weeks, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made some noise on Tuesday when they added two players to its roster -- outside linebacker Tony Ortiz and defensive end Cedric Pittman. Both players recently completed NFL Europe campaigns with the Scottish Claymores.

Ortiz, who signed a two-year contract with the Bucs, started at outside linebacker for the Claymores. He recorded 37 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks in addition to defending three passes for the 5-5 Claymores. Ortiz (6-0, 235) also made quite an impact on special teams in NFL Europe, registering nine special teams tackles. Ortiz played his college ball at Nebraska and entered the NFL in 2000 as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, but failed to make the 53-man roster.

Tampa Bay inked Pittman to a one-year deal. He wasn't a starter for the Claymores, but Pittman (6-3, 266) led the team in sacks with four and recorded 27 tackles and forced two fumbles. Pittman played collegiately at Nevada-Reno, where he earned team MVP honors with a 10-sack senior season. He went to training camp in 2000 and 2001 with the New York Giants.

The Buccaneers now have 92 players on its roster, which is 12 over the NFL's mandated 80-man training camp limit. But the Bucs earned a total of nine NFL Europe exemptions this spring, which allowed Tampa Bay to sign Ortiz and Pittman to its roster. The Bucs will, however, have to clear a few roster spots in order to sign all eight of their 2001 draft picks. Tampa Bay is expected to sign its draft picks within the next three weeks.


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