In the end, after languishing on the open market, Darian Stewart has a brand new NFL dwelling.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Stewart to an undisclosed (seemingly one-year) contract, the crew introduced Tuesday. To make room on the 90-man roster, the Bucs launched rookie defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo.
Stewart, who turned 31 on Aug. 4, spent the final 4 seasons with the Denver Broncos, the place he operated as a starter after inking a free-agent contract in 2015. He appeared in 61 video games over that span, accumulating 250 mixed tackles, 24 move deflections and 9 interceptions.
His greatest marketing campaign got here in 2016, when he began all 16 video games and notched three INTs en path to his first — and solely — Professional Bowl choice. Stewart additionally helped Denver seize an inconceivable Tremendous Bowl 50 title the yr prior.
Earlier than becoming a member of the Broncos, Stewart performed for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014 and the then-St. Louis Rams from 2010-13. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina.
Departure From Denver
Stewart was strong, then satisfactory, then downright detrimental to the Broncos’ protection. He was caught out of place regularly in 2018, a key perpetrator for the crew’s latest decline towards the move.
The Broncos bit the bullet this March by chopping Stewart and changing him with marquee free-agent addition Kareem Jackson. The cap-clearing transfer freed about $3.6 million, which enabled the membership to land Jackson (amongst others).
“Broncos nation thanks all for the love you confirmed me and my household these previous Four years,” Stewart wrote on Instagram on the time of his launch. “However it’s time for me to maneuver on and I’m trying ahead to the subsequent chapter. I nonetheless bought an entire lotta [football] left in me so I’ll see y’all actual quickly.”
Stewart failed to attract vital curiosity across the league, save for a single go to to the Indianapolis Colts that, clearly, didn’t end in a deal. The Colts, in the meantime, signed former Broncos QB Chad Kelly this offseason, so make of Stewart’s kicked-rocks what you’ll.
(Facet observe: What’s it with the Bucs and the Broncos’ garbage? In 2017, they signed ex-No Fly Zone enforcer T.J. Ward, who performed in 12 video games that season earlier than being arrested for marijuana possession.)
What He Brings to Tampa Bay
Stewart is somewhat lengthy within the tooth and isn’t a difference-maker, neither is he seemingly an every-down participant at this stage of his profession. Boiled down, he’s invaluable depth for a younger Buccaneers crew which is present process a large tradition change below new head coach Bruce Arians.
Tampa Bay at the moment has Justin Evans and Kentrell Brice penciled in as starters on the place. However Evans (foot) was positioned on the Bodily Unable to Carry out listing to open camp, and Brice’s ceiling is that of a reliable reserve.
Intangibly, Stewart ought to present glorious mentorship and assist stabilize the locker room. Tangibly, he’ll in all probability slide in because the No. Three security, leapfrogging Mike Edwards, for brand new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
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Comply with Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL