Bucs Agree To Terms With LB Rudd

April 7 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms with Cleveland Browns free-agent linebacker Dwayne Rudd. The Bucs are expected to officially announce Rudd's signing Tuesday. Rudd is expected to fill the void left by Al Singleton at the strongside linebacker position.

Tampa Bay has apparently found Al Singleton's successor.

The Buccaneers have agreed to terms on a contract with Browns free-agent linebacker Dwayne Rudd. The team is expected to officially announce the deal sometime Tuesday.

Singleton, who started for the Bucs at strongside linebacker last season, signed a four-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys last month. While the Bucs are high on second-year LB Ryan Nece, the team wanted to add a veteran linebacker to its roster. Rudd is expected to start at the strongside linebacker spot next season.

Rudd, 27, entered the National Football League in 1997 with the Minnesota Vikings as a first-round pick out of Alabama. Rudd spent four seasons with the Vikings before leaving for Cleveland via free agency.

Rudd spent two seasons with Cleveland, but his tenure with the Browns ended prematurely. While the Browns' main reason for releasing him earlier in the offseason was salary-cap related, Rudd fell out of favor in Cleveland last season after a Week 1 incident in which he cost the Browns a win against the Kansas City Chiefs after he received a last-second penalty for throwing his helmet in celebration.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Rudd is considered a well-balanced linebacker in terms of run-stopping ability and pass coverage, and he could be considered an upgrade over Singleton. Although Rudd played primarily at the weakside linebacker spot in Cleveland, he has the ability to play all three linebacker positions.

Rudd has started 77 of the 93 games he's played in and he's notched 588 tackles and 11 sacks during his six-year career.

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