Wednesday Bucs Update - Get Top LB, Release Three

Top linebacker Ian Gold, has agreed to terms with the Buccaneers. In addition the Bucs announced that they have released LB Altroy Bodrick, P Craig Jarrett and CB Tim Wansley.

Gold, a veteran of four NFL seasons, has played in 54 career games with 22 starts as a member of the Denver Broncos. He was named to the 2001 Pro Bowl as the AFC Special Teams performer and is a stellar pickup for the Bucs who are thin at best at the position.

Gold agreed to a reported seven-year deal worth as much as $30 million. Gold is a speed LB at 6-foot, 223-pounds that was considered the best free agent prospect available.

Gold is expected to either replace Ryan Nece at strongside linebacker or move into the middle linebacker spot currently occupied by Shelton Quarles. If Gold goes into the middle, Quarles could move to the strong side.

The surprise addition of Gold at LB could very well have been a factor in the Bucs decision to Draft Michael Clayton over available defensive prospects.

Gold has totaled 254 career tackles, 11.5 sacks, two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, 13 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. A solid special teams performer, Gold has also notched 32 special teams tackles, blocked one punt, which he returned for a touchdown, and added one forced fumble and five fumble recoveries.

Gold notched 166 tackles (130 solo) and 6.5 sacks at weakside linebacker in 2002 after starting all 16 games. In 2003, Gold started six games with the Broncos before being placed on injured reserve on October 14. He totaled 39 tackles and posted interceptions in each of the season's first two games. He was also selected as the Broncos' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

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