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Larry Dean departs Buffalo Bills for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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If you're wont to prioritize compensatory draft picks over quality special teams play, this is good news for you.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday announced that they have signed free agent linebacker Larry Dean, who spent the 2014 season with the Buffalo Bills.

Earlier this offseason, before free agency began, ESPN's Mike Rodak reported that the Bills had expressed interest in retaining Dean, a 26-year-old athletic reserve that had emerged as one of the Bills' core special teams players over the course of last season. His departure leaves a hole near the top the Bills' special teams snaps played chart (although, in fairness, that spot will be filled rather easily by a healthy Marcus Easley).

Dean becomes the fifth unrestricted free agent that the Bills have lost to other teams this spring, joining running back C.J. Spiller (New Orleans), tight end Lee Smith (Oakland), offensive lineman Erik Pears (San Francisco), and safety Da'Norris Searcy (Tennessee). That will help them in their quest to secure a late-round compensatory pick in the 2016 NFL Draft - even if they end up bringing in another free agent like Dawan Landry - because they have only signed three free agents that factor into the formula (Tyrod Taylor, Jerome Felton, and Charles Clay).

You can catch up on the entirety of the Bills' busy offseason in our constantly-updated StoryStream.