Bucs Free Agent RB Abdullah Signs with the Bears

March 6 – Buccaneer Magazine has learned Tampa Bay free agent running back Rabih Abdullah signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday. The Buccaneers were interested in retaining Abdullah, but a role in the Bears offense is what ultimately enticed Abdullah to pick Chicago over Tampa Bay.

The Chicago Bears signed Tampa Bay free agent RB Rabih Abdullah to a three-year contract on Wednesday. While terms of the contract were not disclosed, Abdullah's contract included a signing bonus and his salary per year is believed be higher than the $514,000 he received in his last year under contract with the Bucs.

"Rabih Abdullah has been one of the pleasures of this business," Abdullah's agent Brian Macklur told Buccaneer Magazine. "The Chicago Bears are getting a class guy on and off of the field."

Tampa Bay signed Abdullah (6-1, 227) in 1998 as an undrafted free agent out of Lehigh. Abdullah became a special teams standout during his four-year career in Tampa Bay. Last season, Abdullah was the second-leading tackler on Tampa Bay's special teams unit with 21.

While he did not have a large role in Tampa Bay's offense, Abdullah rushed 32 times for 122 yards (3.8 avg.) and hauled in six passes for 51 yards during his tenure with the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay made a conservative effort to re-sign Abdullah. Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden met with Abdullah earlier this week, and the Bucs wanted to retain Abdullah at a price that was similar to what Chicago signed him for. Abdullah was interested in returning to Tampa Bay, but a role is Chicago's offense was what made him pick the Bears over the Bucs.

Abdullah's departure leaves Tampa Bay with just one running back under contract. The Miami Dolphins could sign Bucs free agent RB Warrick Dunn after he meets with the team later this week. Aaron Stecker is Tampa Bay's only running back under contract, but he has just one-year left on his contract.

Bucs Pro Bowl FB Mike Alstott has led Tampa Bay's rushing attack in the past, but he has been the subject of trade rumors, according to some published reports.

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