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Long-time Eagles backup offensive lineman signs with Buccaneers

Long-time Eagles backup offensive lineman signs with Buccaneers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Veteran reserve offensive lineman Sua Opeta, who started 10 games for the Eagles over the last four years, signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers Friday, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

Opeta, who initially joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent back in 2019, spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad and didn’t get into any games. In 2020, he started two games at left guard and two more at left guard in 2021, then he made his first career starts at right guard in the playoff loss to the Bucs.

This past season, Opeta started a career-high six games, five at right guard in place of injured Cam Jurgens and one at left guard in place of Landon Dickerson.

With Opeta gone and Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox retiring, the only players left on the roster from as recently as 2019 are Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Rick Lovato, Jake Elliott, Dallas Goedert, Josh Sweat and Jordan Mailata.

The Eagles released Opeta five times during his stay with the Eagles, most recently after last season ended. But he always found his way back. Opeta signed a one-year contract for 2023 but became an unrestricted free agent on Monday. He earned about $3.8 million in his five seasons with the Eagles.

Opeta, 27, played 496 snaps at left guard and 452 at right guard during his Eagles career. His 527 snaps last year were 6th-most on the team among offensive linemen, only 127 fewer than Jurgens.

The Eagles had already added to the interior of the offensive line with the signing of Matt Hennessy, a former Temple player who started 22 games at center and left guard for the Falcons from 2020 through 2022 but missed all of last year with a torn ACL.

Tyler Steen, last year’s 3rd-round pick out of Alabama, can play either guard or tackle and last year backed up right guard and left tackle. Jack Driscoll, who has played guard and tackle for the Eagles since 2020 and has started 17 games, is an unrestricted free agent. Brett Toth, who played in 17 games for the Eagles in 2020 and 2021, is also back after playing for the Panthers last year.

The Bucs on Friday also signed free agent guard Ben Bredeson, who started 25 games for the Giants over the last three years.

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