Buccaneers sign former Pro Bowl defensive back
Keanu Neal has a new team and an old position.
Neal has agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. The former first-round pick spent the 2021 season with the Dallas Cowboys, where he was converted from a safety into a linebacker in Dan Quinn’s defense. He will move back to safety in Tampa Bay.
The #Bucs are adding another premium defender, signing former #Cowboys S Keanu Neal, source said. After moving to LB in #Cowboys DC Dan Quinn’s system, Neal is back at safety and now with new coach Todd Bowles in Tampa with a deal done by @SPORTSTARSNYC.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2022
Neal, 26, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the 17th overall pick back in 2016. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and then suffered significant injuries in each of the next two seasons. The former Florida star tore his ACL in Week 1 in 2018 and his Achilles in the third game of the 2019 season.
Neal appeared in 14 games for the Cowboys last season. He recorded 72 total tackles and a sack. Todd Bowles was recently promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach in Tampa Bay, and he should be able to maximize Neal’s talents.
Photo: Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports