Published: March 30, 2013   |
Updated: March 30, 2013 at 11:55 PM
The Buccaneers took a big step toward filling the hole left by the departure of nose tackle Roy Miller on Saturday when they agreed to terms with former Eagles defensive tackle Derek Landri.
A 6-foot-2, 290-pound 29-year-old out of Notre Dame, Landri is expected to sign a two-year, $3.25 million contract with the team on Monday at One Buc Place, pending passage of a physical.
Landri, who recorded 19 tackles in 16 games (seven starts) for the Eagles last year, turned down opportunities to sign with the Lions and the Bears for the chance to get regular playing time with the Bucs.
"I think when you weigh everything out Tampa just had too much going for it,'' Landri's agent, Harold Lewis, told the Tribune. "The defense their running, Coach (Greg Schiano), it's Tampa. It's just a great fit for Derek.
"There's no question he's coach Schiano's kind of guy. He's as hard a worker off the field as he is on and just loves the game. They'll hit it off extremely well. I think he'll be a great addition there.''
The Bucs needed to make an addition after losing Miller, a 2009 third-round draft pick who left the Bucs for a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Jaguars earlier in free agency.
The move was one of the more curious of the signing period for the Bucs, who lauded Miller for his play a year ago, when he was considered one of the keys to their league-leading rush defense.
Lewis said he was of the understanding that Landri would be given a chance to fill Miller's starting role, which calls for the nose tackle to play in what Schiano refers to as a titled stance.
A fifth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2007, Landri spent his first two years in the NFL in Jacksonville. He then spent two years with the Carolina Panthers before joining the Eagles in 2011.
Landri has recorded 121 tackles and eight sacks during his eight NFL seasons and played 496 snaps last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Lewis said the Eagles decision to go to a 3-4 defensive alignment under new coach Chip Kelly left Landri expendable.