The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added another weapon for franchise quarterback Jameis Winston Tuesday, signing veteran wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, the team announced. Shorts reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Buccaneers Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
The former Texans and Jaguars receiver was released by Houston last weekend after restructuring his contract this offseason to remain with the team. Shorts will be heading into his sixth season in the NFL, and has proven himself a viable option over the past five seasons.
The former fourth-round pick out of Mount Union recorded 42 receptions for 484 yards and scored two touchdowns in his sole season with the Texans. Shorts joins an young offense that is looking to take a major step forward under first-year head coach Dirk Koetter.
Tampa Bay’s receiving corps is loaded with talent in third-year receiver Mike Evans and veteran receiver Vincent Jackson, and added a another veteran presence to their locker room with the addition of Shorts. The Buccaneers averaged the fifth most yards in the league last season with Koetter serving as their offensive coordinator, and are hoping a second season of Koetter and Winston can lead to an explosive offense in 2016.
While Tampa Bay was able to move the ball both through the air and on the ground last season, they struggled to convert those yards into points. The Buccaneers finished 20th in the NFL in terms of points, and have likely made finishing drives an emphasis heading into the 2016 season.
Shorts will compete with Buccaneers receivers Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard for snaps, as Tampa’s coaching staff was looking to add another receiver as Louis Murphy continues to recover from a torn ACL. The signing reunites Shorts with Koetter, who was the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars when the team drafted him in 2011.