The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added another fullback to their roster on Saturday, March 3, signing former New York Jets blocker B.J. Askew to a multi-year deal. The Bucs had re-signed Mike Alstott to a one-year deal on Thursday, but were seeking another lead blocker to replace Jerald Sowell, who is a free agent and not expected to return to Tampa Bay.
The 6-foot-3, 233-pound Askew is entering his fifth-year out of Michigan and could be the heir apparent to the fullback position in Tampa Bay once Alstott retires, which is expected after the 2007 campaign.
Askew is more of a traditional blocking fullback and has logged only 27 carries for 102 yards (3.8 avg.) in his four years in the NFL. He doesn’t offer much in the passing game, either, evidenced by his 12 career catches for 73 yards.
But Askew has been a productive blocker, helping Pro Bowler Curtis Martin rush for 1,308 yards and two scores in 2003 and 1,697 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004 before injuries limited Martin to 735 yards and five touchdowns and miss four games in 2005.
Last year, with Martin sitting out due to injury, Askew helped pave the way for rookie Leon Washington, who rushed for 650 yards and four touchdowns. Halfback Cedric Houston also rushed for 374 yards and five scores for the Jets.
Askew visited One Buccaneer Place on Saturday, a day after the Buccaneers visited with former Atlanta Falcons fullback Justin Griffith, who left without a contract.
The signing of Askew leaves the Buccaneers with just under $20 million in salary cap room. More cap room can be created by releasing or trading players, or restructuring players' contracts.
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