Tampa Bay has been looking to upgrade its middle linebacker position ever since Antoine Cash was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury in August.

It appears as though the Bucs have secured the insurance policy they've been looking for for starting middle linebacker Barrett Ruud.

PewterReport.com is reporting that the Buccaneers have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Trotter, who was released by the Eagles during training camp, worked out for the Bucs at One Buccaneer Place on Aug. 23.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Trotter originally entered the NFL with the Eagles as a third-round draft pick in 1998. With the exception of the 2002-03 seasons, when he played with the Washington Redskins, Trotter had spent his entire career in Philadelphia before his release in August.

Trotter, 30, recorded 940 tackles, nine interceptions, 12.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles during his tenure with the Eagles.

Tampa Bay released MLB Shelton Quarles during the offseason after he failed a team physical. Quarles, who turns 36 this month, had been the Bucs’ starting middle linebacker since the 2002 season. The Bucs hired Quarles to serve as a pro scout in August.

In 2005, the Bucs invested a second-round draft pick in Ruud, who is the team’s starting middle linebacker. However, the Bucs lost some depth at the Mike ‘backer position when Cash suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team's exhibitiion contest vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tampa Bay moved strongside linebacker Ryan Nece to middle linebacker in training camp. However, Nece is still working on making the transition and adjusting to the position, which is why the Bucs are on the verge of signing Trotter.

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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