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October 13, 2009 @ 10:24 am
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Buccaneers Sign WR Figurs

Written by Jim
Flynn
Jim Flynn

Jim
Flynn

Former Editor-in-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had five receivers in for a workout on Tuesday and ended up signing former Baltimore WR-KR Yamon Figurs. Figurs, who played at Kansas State with Josh Freeman, has 4.3 speed and gives the Bucs a vertical receiver in addition to another return specialist. LB Matt McCoy was cut to open a spot for Figurs.
If Bucs head coach Raheem Morris' criticism didn't get the attention of his wide receivers Monday, perhaps the events that took place at One Buc Place Tuesday will.

Morris had some heavy criticism for his wide receivers for several dropped passes in Tampa Bay's 33-14 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. Much of the criticism was aimed at Bucs WR Michael Clayton, who dropped three passes vs. the Eagles and has seven dropped passes through five games after signing a five-year, $23.3 million contract with the Bucs during the offseason.

The Bucs spent Tuesday working out five different wide receivers, including former Jaguar Matt Jones, former Giant David Tyree and free agent receivers Chris Davis and Jordan Kent.

Shortly after those workouts concluded, the Bucs settled on one of their try-out players, former Baltimore Ravens WR Yamon Figurs. To make room for Figurs on the roster the Bucs released linebacker Matt McCoy.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Figurs originally entered the NFL in 2007 as a third-round pick out of Kansas State. He ran a 4.3 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which elevated his draft stock.

The speedy player is most experienced as a return specialist. He has averaged 7.9 yards per punt return and 23.3 yards per kickoff return as a pro. He has longs of 75 and 93 yards as a punt and kickoff returner, respectively.

It is unclear whether the Bucs intend to play Figurs solely at wide receiver, of if the team plans to have him field some kickoffs and punts as well. Clifton Smith currently handles return duties for the Bucs. He made the Pro Bowl in that capacity as a rookie.

Figurs, 27, returns to his home state. He played his high school football in Fort Piece, Fla.

Figurs had just two career receptions with the Ravens before Baltimore waived him in September. He was claimed by Detroit, where Figurs played in three games before being released on Sept. 30.

While he has just three career receptions for 86 yards (28.7 avg.) and one touchdown in the NFL, Figurs was one of Kansas State's most explosive offensive weapons. He finished his collegiate career with 73 receptions for 1,144 yards (15.6 avg.) and five touchdowns.

Figurs' best season at K-State came in 2006 when he caught 28 passes for 418 yards (14.9 avg.) and three touchdowns from quarterback Josh Freeman, who was Tampa Bay's first-round pick in April. The '06 season was the same one Bucs head coach Raheem Morris spent at K-State as the team's defensive coordinator.
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