Bucs Ensure McFarland's Future

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense is talked about, words like dominant, aggressive and speed come to mind. When their outstanding performance last year was culminated into a Super Bowl win, there was talk of perhaps the Buccaneer defense becoming even better the following year.

The sole reason for this talk was the absence in the middle by defensive tackle Anthony McFarland. McFarland was absent because of an injury during the Buccaneer playoff run, but is a great talent in the middle of the leagues best defense. The Buccaneers invested in McFarland and his continuing growth signing him to a 5-year contract extension worth 34 million dollars. Anthony is only 25 years old and is only now entering his prime.

McFarland is more than a difference maker. His strength and quickness allow him to take on double teams freeing up linebackers to make plays. His sideline-to-sideline speed is unparalleled and with Warren Sapp's contract ending at the end of next season, the Bucs were smart in retaining his services. In a league where premium defensive tackles are hard to find and harder to keep, the Bucs have locked in their former 1999 first round draft pick through the 2008 season.

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