The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released last year’s starting left tackle, Luke Petitgout, on Saturday. Petitgout was making a slow recovery from a torn ACL he suffered in the fourth week of the season at Carolina in 2007 and was placed on the active PUP (physically unable to perform) list during training camp. The former New York Giant first-round pick never made it to the practice field and was released from the PUP list due to a failed physical on Saturday.
Petitgout had signed a three-year deal worth $15 million in 2007, including a $3 million signing bonus. The 32-year old left tackle was already paid a $1 million roster bonus back in March.
Third-year veteran Donald Penn now enters the 2008 season as the team’s starting left tackle. Penn started 13 games last year, including the NFC Wild Card game against New York, after Petitgout suffered his knee injury. Petitgout’s release bodes well for veteran Anthony Davis or former practice squad player Dennis Roland, who stand a much better chance of making the Bucs’ 53-man now.
To fill the roster spot created with Petitgout’s departure, the Buccaneers signed fullback J.D. Runnels. Runnels was selected by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. With starting fullback B.J. Askew ailing from a sprained ankle, the Bucs have been in the market for another fullback to join the team along with second-year fullback Byron Storer and rookie Carl Stewart.
The Bucs worked out NFL veteran Lorenzo Neal during training camp, but he opted to sign with Baltimore, which led to the acquisition of Runnels, who played with right guard Davin Joseph at Oklahoma.
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