The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have begun the process of constructing their 2008 offseason roster with the signing of three Futures free agents this week, according to a league source.
These players are not on the active roster yet — they won't count toward the Buccaneers' offseason roster total until March — but their rights are now tied to the Buccaneers.
The Bucs signed wide receiver Cortez Hankton, tight end Daniel Fells and defensive back Darrell Hunter.
The Bucs have not officially announced the signings.
Hankton (6-foot, 200 pounds) is a five-year veteran out of Texas Southern who was last with the Minnesota Vikings. He spent four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching 34 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns before the Jaguars released him after the 2006 season. Minnesota signed Hankton to a one-year contract in April, but he failed to catch on with the Vikings and they released him on Sept. 2. He missed the entire 2007 season.
Fells (6-foot-4, 252) finished 2007 on the Oakland Raiders practice squad before the Buccaneers signed away the UC-Davis product. He spent his rookie season in 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons and did not play a game.
Hunter (6-foot-1, 206) is a first-year pro who was actually released from the Buccaneers practice squad on Wednesday before the team re-signed him as a Futures free agent. The Bucs originally signed him to their practice squad on Oct. 31 before releasing him on Nov. 12. They re-signed him to the practice squad on Dec. 19.
Listen to Bucsblitz.com's Matthew Postins every Tuesday with former Buccaneers linebacker Scot Brantley on WHBO 1470 ESPN Radio in Tampa and Clearwater from 3-6 p.m. If you miss the show, check out Bucsblitz.com's exclusive team media center for Postins' archived appearances.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.