Tampa Bay Re-Signs Tupa, Barlow

June 17 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed punter Tom Tupa and wide receiver Reggie Barlow on Tuesday. Both deals were one-year contracts. Despite playing with a hernia last season, Tupa finished seventh in the NFL in punting average (42.8 avg.) last season. Barlow was inactive for 14 of Tampa Bay's 16 regular season contests last season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed punter Tom Tupa and wide receiver Reggie Barlow on Tuesday.

Terms were not disclosed, but both deals are one-year contracts.

Tupa signed with the Bucs during the 2002 offseason after spending three seasons with the New York Jets. A 14-year veteran, Tupa has averaged 43.6 yards per punt throughout his career.

"I am glad to be back," said Tupa. "I was happy the way things turned out last season. We had a good year. I am looking forward to getting back at it."

Despite playing with a hernia last season, Tupa finished seventh in the NFL in punting average with (42.8 avg.) and set a club single-season record with 30 punts inside the 20-yard line. Tupa had the hernia repaired immediately after the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII.

In addition to punting, Tupa also serves as kicker Martin Gramatica's holder on field goal attempts and could fill in as an emergency quarterback if needed.

Bucs special teams coach Richard Bisaccia likes veteran punters because of their ability to directional punt, but the team was very pleased with rookie P Andy Groom's outing during the team's first offseason mini-camp last May. Like Tupa, Groom can also hold on field goal attempts. The battle between Groom and Tupa could be one of the best battles of training camp.

Barlow signed with Tampa Bay last September. He played in two of the Bucs' 16 regular season contests. Barlow has hauled in 36 passes for 495 yards during his seven-year career. While he has the ability to play receiver, Barlow will likely have to excel on special teams in order to secure a spot on Tampa Bay's 53-man roster.


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