The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed strongside linebacker Jonathan Casillas to a one-year deal, the team announced Friday.
Casillas, 26, came to Tampa Bay as a free agent last season on a one-year deal, seeing action in 12 games with four starts. He recorded 24 tackles, two pass breakups and a forced fumble, and added nine tackles on special teams, second most of the unit.
His 2013 season ended prematurely, however, due to a torn meniscus suffered against the Carolina Panthers, an injury that he continued playing through for nearly the entire game before he could no longer walk. He underwent surgery to repair the knee this offseason.
Prior to signing with the Bucs last year, Casillas spent four years with New Orleans, where he was a member of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV championship team as a rookie. In that game, Casillas made a stunning recovery of an onside kick just after halftime.
Casillas is the second Bucs free agent to re-sign with the team. Earlier this week, the club re-signed running back Bobby Rainey to a one-year deal.
As you can see in the video, Casillas emerged as a vocal leader in the Bucs locker room last season, and he’ll continue to provide veteran leadership to a young core of linebackers in Mason Foster and Lavonte David. The others, Dekoda Watson and Adam Hayward, are both free agents.