Tampa Bay managed to keep one player – fullback Mike Alstott – off the free agent market by signing him to a one-year contract Thursday, and they’re reportedly close to accomplishing that feat with cornerback Phillip Buchanon.

Buchanon and the Buccaneers are close to reaching an agreement on a long-term contract, according to ProFootballTalk.com. According to ESPN, Buchanon has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Bucs.

Buchanon's agents, Drew and Jason Rosenhaus, would not comment on their client's contract status when PewterReport.com reached them by phone on Thursday evening.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Buchanon signed with the Buccaneers in October after being released by the Houston Texans.

Buchanon originally entered the NFL in 2002 as a first-round pick with the Oakland Raiders. He played three seasons (2002-04) in Oakland before joining Houston in 2005.

The former Miami Hurricane has started 38 of the 60 career games he’s played in. Last season, he started four of the 10 games he played in as a Buccaneer, notching 30 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed while working his way up from the bench to the starting lineup.

Buchanon has recorded 187 career tackles, 13 interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 25 passes defensed during his five-year career in the NFL.

In addition to showing playmaking ability at the cornerback position, Buchanon is considered a dangerous punt returner. He’s returned 98 career punts for 986 yards (10.1 avg.) and three touchdowns.

Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2007 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.

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