Bucs try out nine players on Tuesday

Tampa Bay will sign a player on Wednesday, Bucs GM Bruce Allen said on Tuesday. Who could it be? Well, it could be one of the nine players the Buccaneers worked out on Tuesday. Who are they? Find out in this premium feature.

Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen told the media Tuesday that the Buccaneers will sign a player on Wednesday. Who will it be?

The Buccaneers have two big needs — running back and defensive line. A league source has disclosed to Bucsblitz.com the nine players the Buccaneers entertained on Tuesday. The signee could be one of those nine players.

That same league source revealed that the Bucs have signed Lionel Gates to the practice squad and have terminated the contract of practice squad back DonTrell Moore.

Four running backs worked out for the Bucs, the most notable of which is former Niners and Jets back Kevan Barlow.

Barlow rushed for nearly 4,000 yards in a six-year career that began in San Francisco in 2001. He also scored 30 career touchdowns. He's also an adept receiver, with 144 receptions and 1,164 yards.

Former University of Florida back Ciatrick Fason also worked out. He spent two years with Minnesota after being selected in the fourth round in 2005 and rushed for 161 yards and five touchdowns.

Tony Fisher spent five years in the NFL with Green Bay and St. Louis from 2002-06 and rushed for 889 yards and four touchdowns.

Another little-used veteran, former Bills running back Shaud Williams, also participated. He rushed for 330 yards in three seasons with the Bills, ending in 2006.

On the defensive side, the Bucs worked out five players.

Tackles Jimmy Kennedy of Penn State, Jesse Mahelona of Tennessee and Junior Siavii of Oregon all three have previous NFL experience.

Kennedy played four years for the Rams, finishing with 55 tackles in 2006. He failed to make the Broncos' final roster during training camp this year.

The Titans selected Mahelona in the fifth round last year. He started one game and played in nine others, making 21 tackles. The Titans released him when they acquired Bryce Fisher by trade last month.

The Chiefs selected Siavii in the second-round in 2004. He played two seasons with Kansas City, registering 15 tackles.

Also, ends Marquies Gunn and Xzavie Jackson worked out. Gunn spent some time on the Giants practice squad briefly before being cut on Sept. 23. Jackson, another end, played at Missouri and had eight sacks in 2006. He also received some interest from the Buccaneers during the scouting process leading up to last April's draft.

My take: The Bucs should sign Barlow. He's the most experienced back they're likely to get on the free agent market that still has some upside. He, Earnest Graham and Kenneth Darby could make a decent trio of backs and could, potentially, keep the running game productive. Barlow has a 1,000-yard season to his credit, but his production dropped dramatically the three season after that. Don't expect greatness. But the Bucs would be happy with proficiency at this point.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association and has won national awards for his Buccaneers coverage from the PFWA, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is also a contributor to the Scot Brantley Show from 4-7 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1490-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

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