Defensive end Robert Ayers has agreed to a three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ayers is set to make $21 million over the three years, and has $10.5 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Ayers is looking to continue his strong run of recent seasons. The Denver Broncos made Ayers a first-round pick out of the University of Tennessee in the 2009 draft. He spent his five years in Denver as a mostly part-time player, recording just 12 sacks in that span. After his rookie contract expired, Ayers signed a two-year with the New York Giants worth $3.75 million.
That contract proved to be a bargain for the Giants. Ayers emerged as a solidly above-average player in New York, racking up 14.5 sacks in the past two seasons. He had his best season yet in 2015 with 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defended on 569 snaps, being one of the few bright spots on a miserable Giants defense. He did miss four games with a hamstring injury and has spent most of his career banged up, playing a full 16-game season just once in seven years.
Despite the durability concerns and his age (he turns 31 in September), Ayers should remain a quality starter for the time being. The Buccaneers have had quality defensive linemen come in and out of their organization in recent years and Ayers should add some much-needed stability along the line.