Bucs Make Several Roster Moves

October 1 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made several roster moves on Tuesday. The Bucs signed wide receiver Charles Lee, guard/tackle Tutan Reyes and long snapper Morris Unutoa to one-year contracts. In addition, Tampa Bay placed LS Mike Solwold and WR Marquise Walker on the injured reserve and released guard Russ Hochstein from its 53-man roster and G Chris Valletta from its practice squad. The Bucs then signed Hochstein to its five-man practice squad.

Tuesday is usually the Buccaneers players' day off, but while the team's players rested, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden and Co. were busy making several roster moves.

Tampa Bay signed wide receiver Charles Lee, guard/tackle Tutan Reyes and long snapper Morris Unutoa to one-year contracts on Tuesday. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Lee's signing comes on the same day Tampa Bay placed rookie WR Marquise Walker on the injured reserve after learning Monday he would need to undergo season-ending thumb surgery.

Lee entered the National Football League in 2000 as a seventh-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound wide receiver finished his collegiate career at Central Florida with 162 catches for 2,249 yards (13.9 avg.) and caught 14 touchdowns.

But Lee didn't see much playing time during his two seasons with Green Bay. As a rookie, he played in 15 games with one start. He caught 10 passes for 134 yards in 2000.

In 2001, Lee received even less playing time. He played in just seven games and was inactive for the team's other nine. Lee caught three passes for 32 yards and one touchdown.

Lee went to his third training camp with the Packers this past summer, but was waived by the team on September 1st.

Although he lacks playing experience in the pros, Lee brings both speed and size to the wide receiver position. Lee can also contribute on special teams, where he notched five tackles and returned eight punts for 58 yards (7.3 avg.) with the Packers.

Tampa Bay currently has six receivers on its 53-man roster.

Reyes entered the league as a fifth-round selection of the New Orleans Saints in 2000. He saw action in one game in 2001, but was inactive for all 16 games during his rookie campaign. But Reyes was not a free agent. He was on New Orleans' practice squad, but players on practice squads are free to sign with other NFL teams if they're signed to a 53-man roster. Reyes (6-3, 299) started 25 games during his college career at Mississippi, including 24 at left tackle.

Unutoa, who played in 28 games with Tampa Bay from ‘99-00, will replace LS Mike Solwold, who the Bucs placed on the IR Tuesday with a severely sprained ankle. Unutoa (6-2, 289) also played the last eight games of the '01 season with the Buffalo Bills.

In addition to those roster moves, the Buccaneers also released guard Russ Hochstein from its 53-man roster for the second time in two weeks, but signed him to their five-man practice squad. In order to make room for Hochstein on the practice squad, the team released G Chris Valletta.


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