Tampa Bay Buccaneers land CB Brent Grimes, DE Robert Ayers Jr.

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 12, 2016 at 1:27 AM
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with veteran cornerback Brent Grimes and defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. on Friday.

Grimes, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, agreed to a two-year contract reportedly worth $16.5 million. Ayers received a three-year deal worth $21 million.

The deal with Grimes was reached just two days after he was released by the Miami Dolphins. The 30-year-old Ayers was an unrestricted free agent who had a career-high 9.5 sacks for the New York Giants last season.

Grimes, 32, also formerly played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2007-12 and the move to Tampa Bay reunites him with former Atlanta head coach Mike Smith, who was recently named Tampa Bay's defensive coordinator. New Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter was offensive coordinator during part of Grimes' time with the Falcons.

Grimes had 13 interceptions with Miami and made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with the team. He had four interceptions in 2015 and has 26 over nine NFL seasons.

"I am very excited to be able to continue my career playing in a defensive system and for a defensive coordinator that I am very familiar with," Grimes said in a statement. "Tampa Bay has a great core of players on both sides of the ball and I am looking forward to doing what I can to help re-establish the Buccaneers defense as one of the best in the league."

Ayers has 26.5 career sacks in seven NFL seasons. He spent his first five years with the Denver Broncos before playing the last two seasons with the Giants.

"Robert is a versatile pass rusher who can play a variety of positions along the defensive line and has been successful both from the interior as well as the edge," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement. "He has posted 20 sacks over the past three years, is coming off the best season of his career and is an ideal fit for our 4-3 defensive system.

"Experienced pass rushers who can provide consistent pressure and disrupt an opponent's passing game are critical to our defensive success and Robert will do all those things, along with providing veteran leadership."

A factor in why Grimes was available to the Buccaneers was the repeated tension during his time with the Dolphins.

Grimes' wife, Miko, who hosts a talk show, regularly criticized the organization and wrote a scathing Twitter rant about quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Miko Grimes was arrested in September before a Miami home game against the Buffalo Bills on charges of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The charges were later dropped.

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