The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed linebacker Ryan Nece to a multi-year contract, learned Wednesday.

Nece was scheduled to be a restricted free agent and received a one-year tender offer from the Buccaneers, but that contract was quickly negotiated into a multi-year deal upon the release of starting strongside LB Ian Gold on Tuesday.

“We agreed to a multi-year deal with the Bucs,” Nece’s agent, Jeffrey Sperbeck, told “We’re happy. Ryan really likes being there and now he’ll be the for a while.”

Per his client’s request, Sperbeck did not disclose the particulars of Nece’s deal.

Nece, who entered the NFL in 2002 as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA, earned Tampa Bay’s starting “Sam” linebacker spot in 2003, beating out veteran LB Dwayne Rudd. Nece notched 70 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed in 15 games (10 starts) that season.

Last season, Nece made a splash on special teams, recording 16 tackles and recovering one fumble. He’s notched a total of 36 special teams tackles in three seasons with the Bucs.

Nece is expected to compete with Jeff Gooch and Marquis Cooper for Tampa Bay’s starting strongside linebacker job this season.

“We have a few players on the team who have played (strongside linebacker) in Jeff Gooch and Ryan and Marquis Cooper has been cross-training (at Sam),” Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said Tuesday.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at:
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