Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran tackle Derrick Deese on Thursday, just one day after the NFL's free-agent signing period opened.
As per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
Deese, a starter at tackle for San Francisco last season, has played all five positions on the offensive line in his 12 NFL seasons with the 49ers. It isn't clear what role he will fill for the Buccaneers in 2004.
"I'm not sure yet," Deese said. "I'm versatile and I can play all the positions. I'm just happy to sign here and move on."
Deese, who has started at right guard and both tackle positions in his career, was the third free agent signed by the Bucs since Wednesday.
Head coach Jon Gruden had made it clear that the 6-foot-3, 289-pound lineman was a priority.
"Basically, he told me he was closing down the airport," Deese said. "He said he had control of it and he wouldn't let me get out of here until I signed."
Deese missed five games last season because of an ankle injury, which he sustained in Week 2 and aggravated later on. He joins tight end Dave Moore and fullback Greg Comella as the free agents signed by Tampa Bay thus far.