Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent safety Dexter Jackson signed a four-year, $8 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday.

Jackson, the Super Bowl XXXVII MVP, notched 54 tackles and five passes defensed in 11 games (10 starts) while battling through a hamstring injury last season.

A 1999 fourth-round draft pick out of Florida State, Jackson spent four seasons with Tampa Bay before departing for Arizona via free agency in 2003.

After a one-year stint with the Cardinals, Jackson was released and later re-signed with the Bucs during the 2004 regular season. He signed a one-year contract with the Bucs during the 2004 offseason.

Jackson, 28, has recorded 379 career tackles, 14 interceptions, five forced fumbles and 43 passes defensed during his seven-year pro career.

His departure clears the way for third-year S Will Allen to start at free safety for the Bucs in 2006. Allen, a 2004 fourth-round pick out of Ohio State, played in 13 games (eight starts) for Tampa Bay last season, notching 51 tackles, three interceptions and three passes defensed.


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