When Dane Fletcher hit free agency, he reportedly hoped to land in a spot that would provide him with more playing time.
In 2014, he'll see what kind of role he can earn with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who announced on Sunday that they signed Fletcher to a one-year deal.
After missing the entire 2012 season due to a torn ACL, Fletcher re-established himself as one of the best special teams players on the Patriots in 2013. He manned all four specialist units -- punt, punt return, kickoff and kickoff return -- as a "core four" player, and he led the team with 15 special teams tackles.
Fletcher also served as a productive sub linebacker on the Patriots defense when called upon, and he made one start for the Pats in 2013 after injuries struck their linebacking corps. Fletcher finished 2013 with 26 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble.
He is the second Patriots player to depart via free agency this offseason. Cornerback Aqib Talib signed a free-agent deal with the Broncos last week for six years and $57 million with $26 million guaranteed.