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“It’s hard not to laugh right now”

Late Thursday morning, it was announced that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had signed eight-year NFL veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard to a one-year contract in the wake of waiving WR Deven Thompkins.

Shepard spent his entire career with the New York Giants and will now get his first taste of playing for another franchise. Although his production dipped in recent seasons with New York, Shepard can still be a threat and throughout his career he has racked up 372 catches for 4,095 yards and 23 touchdowns.

READ MORE: Buccaneers Sign Former New York Giants Wide Receiver

The Buccaneers could add some needed depth by adding Shepard to their roster and it should be beneficial for them even if he doesn’t see much playing time. The connection he has with QB Baker Mayfield goes back to their collegiate days when he played for the Oklahoma Sooners and he should be a solid guy to have in the locker room.

After the signing, Shepard spoke with former ESPN journalist and current NFL insider Josina Anderson about the sudden change in events in his life with the signing.

“It’s hard not to smile right now. I did not expect this. Three days ago, Baker (Mayfield) texted me asking “how’s your body feeling?”… Baker asked me, “man, do you think you got one left in you?” I said, ‘It just has to fit with everything I do with my family, because I’ve already taken advantage of other opportunities. But I’ve been thinking about it a little bit when I run outside and lift every day. Plus, when I play golf with Saquon (Barkley), he tells me to stop playing because I still have it.” Then Baker said, “Have your agent reach out because I know they’ve been throwing your name around here recently.”

READ MORE: Will The Buccaneers Bring Back Chris Godwin In 2025?

Shepard told Anderson he was in “dad mode” before Mayfield called, but after he and his agent finalized the deal, he feels rejuvenated and ready to play football in 2024.

“So my agent attacked them. The Bucs wanted me to fly the next day. I strapped on my cleats and went about that workout like I’ve been running routes my whole life. The rest is history. I’m so happy right now. I get to be with my brother again… this is such a crazy man, my whole mode just changed 180.”

With Shepard going from full-time dad mode to now being part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his mentality will change and he will be eager to get going and get in shape once mandatory camp starts on Monday.

Keep up BucsGameday for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the offseason.

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