Bucs take plunge on Haynesworth

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have made it very clear the last two years that they intend to build through the draft, veered slightly off course Wednesday, by claiming veteran defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth off waivers from the New England Patriots.

Ironically, the Buccaneers tried to sign Haynesworth as a free agent in 2009. But Haynesworth signed with the Washington Redskins. He later said the Buccaneers offered more money, but he didn’t want to have “distractions’’ in Florida.

The move comes at a time when the Bucs are thin at defensive tackle. Gerald McCoy went on injured reserve after injuring his arm in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. The Bucs were left with Brian Price and Roy Miller as their only healthy defensive tackles because reserve Frank Okam was out with an injury. The Bucs also signed John McCargo on Tuesday.

But Haynesworth could vault quickly past Okam and McCargo. If he’s healthy and focused, Haynesworth could even provide a temporary upgrade from McCoy.