In addition to Tampa Bay signing free agent wide receiver Antonio Bryant to a contract, a familiar face re-joined the Buccaneers on Monday when the team agreed to terms on a contract with Atlanta Falcons free agent running back Warrick Dunn.
Dunn, 33, will sign a two-year, $6 million contract with the Bucs. The deal includes $2 million in guaranteed money and $3 million in the first year.
The former 1997 first-round draft pick out of Florida State visited One Buccaneer Place on Mar. 3. He spent the first five seasons (1997-01) of his career with the Buccaneers.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Dunn rushed for 4,200 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 259 passes for 2,374 yards and nine touchdowns before ending his five-year tenure in Tampa Bay to sign with Atlanta as a free agent during the 2002 offseason.
Dunn has rushed 2,483 times for 10,181 yards (4.1 avg.) and 47 touchdowns during his 11-year career. He has also established himself as a dangerous receiver, catching 463 career passes for 4,009 yards (8.7 avg.) and 15 touchdowns.
Last season, Dunn rushed 227 times for 720 yards (3.2 avg.) and scored four times while catching 37 passes for 238 yards in what amounted to a controversial and disappointing season for the 4-12 Falcons.
Dunn asked for – and received — his release earlier this month after the Falcons signed San Diego free agent RB Michael Turner.
Tampa Bay now has four veteran running backs – Earnest Graham, Michael Bennett, Warrick Dunn and Cadillac Williams — under contract for the 2008 season.
The addition of Dunn suggests a few things; the Bucs probably will not re-sign free agent RB Michael Pittman or draft a running back in 2008.
The team has bolstered its running back position in large part due to the torn patellar tendon Williams suffered in Week 4 of last season. The Bucs may not have Williams' services for the upcoming season due to the long rehab associated with such a severe knee injury. With Graham, Bennett and Dunn under contract the Bucs appear to be better situated for that scenario.
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