Ex-Giants WR Sterling Shepard signs with Buccaneers

Giants Sterling Shepard
Sterling Shepard
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Long-time New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard has signed a one-year deal to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to multiple reports on Thursday. 

The 31-year-old spent eight years with the Giants after being selected late in the second round out of Oklahoma. He developed into an invaluable slot receiver before injuries ultimately slowed his career down. After posting six straight seasons of at least 50 receptions and 500 yards, Shepard tore his Achilles in consecutive seasons in 2021 and 2022, limiting him to just six games during that span.

While he was largely healthy last season, appearing in 15 of 17 games, he was seldom used by head coach Brian Daboll — recording just 10 receptions on 22 targets for 57 yards and a touchdown. Still, his 372 career receptions rank fifth in franchise history behind only Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, Joe Morrison, and Odell Beckham Jr. 

He now reunites with his college quarterback, Baker Mayfield, in Tampa Bay. The two played one season together at Oklahoma in 2015 where Shepard was Mayfield’s favorite target, recording 86 receptions for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. Mayfield was voted Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year that season.

Shepard’s conclusion to his time with the Giants was a foregone conclusion as he hit free agency. General manager Joe Schoen has invested significant capital in revamping the wide receiver room, which included the picks of Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt, and most recently Malik Nabers with the No. 6 overall pick at the 2024 NFL Draft.

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