The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed linebacker Ryan Nece to a multi-year contract, PewterReport.com learned Wednesday.
Nece was scheduled to be a restricted free agent and received a one-year tender offer from the Buccaneers, but that contract was quickly negotiated into a multi-year deal upon the release of starting strongside LB Ian Gold on Tuesday.
"We agreed to a multi-year deal with the Bucs," Nece's agent, Jeffrey Sperbeck, told PewterReport.com. "We're happy. Ryan really likes being there and now he'll be the for a while."
Per his client's request, Sperbeck did not disclose the particulars of Nece's deal.
Nece, who entered the NFL in 2002 as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA, earned Tampa Bay's starting "Sam" linebacker spot in 2003, beating out veteran LB Dwayne Rudd. Nece notched 70 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed in 15 games (10 starts) that season.
Last season, Nece made a splash on special teams, recording 16 tackles and recovering one fumble. He's notched a total of 36 special teams tackles in three seasons with the Bucs.
Nece is expected to compete with Jeff Gooch and Marquis Cooper for Tampa Bay's starting strongside linebacker job this season.
"We have a few players on the team who have played (strongside linebacker) in Jeff Gooch and Ryan and Marquis Cooper has been cross-training (at Sam)," Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said Tuesday.
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