Bucs Add Depth in Backfield, Special Teams, QB

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today announced that they have signed RB/KR Brandon Bennett and RB Jamel White. The Bucs have agreed in principle on a three-year contract with free agent QB Brian Griese.

Griese visited with Bucs executives and coaches Monday and agreed to a backloaded package that dramtically increases his salary after one year, should the Bucs decide to retain his services. The team begins an offseason "quarterback" school next week with four gunslingers. Griese joins free agent signee Jason Garrett the former New York Giants backup, starter Brad Johnson and second-year veteran Chris Simms.

Bennett, a five-year veteran, has played in 74 career games with two starts. He has rushed for 1,127 yards on 306 carries (3.7 avg.) and five touchdowns. Bennett has also caught 90 receptions for 756 yards (8.4 avg.) and one score. A special teams standout, Bennett has totaled 109 kickoff returns for 2,498 yards (22.9 avg.) with a long of 94 yards and one touchdown, while adding 33 special teams tackles.
Bennett played in 16 games in 2003, finishing 12th in the AFC with a 21.6 kickoff return average. He returned 53 kickoffs for 1,146 yards (21.6 avg.) with a long of 46 yards at Oakland (9/14). He led all Cincinnati running backs in receptions (25) and receiving yards (176), which were both career-highs. He also rushed for 173 yards on 56 carries (3.1 avg.) and posted his first career receiving touchdown against Houston (11/9).
"We have added two versatile and productive players that will help both our offense and special teams units," Head Coach Jon Gruden said. "They both have proven to be threats out of the backfield during their careers."

White, a veteran of four NFL seasons, has played in 59 career games with 16 starts. He originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts in 2000 before being claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2000 season.
In his career, White has rushed 349 times for 1,324 yards (3.8 avg.) and nine touchdowns. He has also caught 166 passes for 1,273 yards (7.7 avg.) and two touchdowns and returned 55 kickoffs for 1,145 yards (20.8 avg.).
In 2003, White finished second on the Browns with 46 receptions for 303 yards (6.6 avg.) and one touchdown. He also totaled 70 rushing attempts for 266 yards (3.8 avg.) and one touchdown. White played two seasons at the University of South Dakota and finished with 2,231 rushing yards. He also was drafted by the Seattle Mariners.

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