Former Saints defensive lineman Jeff Charleston signs with Buccaneers


December 4, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Jeff Charleston (97) against the Detroit Lions during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Lions 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

After not being re-signed by the New Orleans Saints this season, defensive end Jeff Charleston has bounced around in free agency until it was announced that he has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Charleston was on special teams and filled in on certain packages along the Saints defensive line during his time with the team.  He was nicknamed the “Vanilla Gorilla” due to his beating his chest after a sack or good play and to his light-blond, almost white-colored hair.

He had begun to see a major chunk of playing time at the end of last season but with the new defense under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, he wasn’t brought back and spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings in preseason.

Most likely Charleston is being brought in as depth for the Buccaneers since defensive end Adrian Clayborn was recently placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury.