Buccaneers sign Dunn to contract

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued to shore up depth at running back by signing former Bucs first-round pick Warrick Dunn on Monday, a week after he was released by the Atlanta Falcons.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached back into their past on Monday by signing veteran running back Warrick Dunn to a free agent contract.

The former first-round pick joins a revamped running back attack that includes Earnest Graham, Michael Bennett and — potentially — Carnell Williams, if the former first-round pick can return from patellar tendon rehab this year.

Dunn, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, re-joins the Buccaneers after spending the past six seasons (2002-2007) with the Atlanta Falcons. During his time in Atlanta, Dunn earned one Pro Bowl selection (2005) and became the franchise's third all-time leading rusher with 5,979 rushing yards in six seasons. This past season, he became just the 22nd player in NFL history to surpass the 10,000-yard career rushing mark.

Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden openly lamented losing Dunn to free agency when he arrived before the 2002 season. The Bucs were the first team to meet with Dunn after his release from the Falcons last week. Dunn remains a Tampa resident.

Dunn spent five seasons (1997-2001) in Tampa Bay, where he still ranks third on the team's all-time rushing list with 4,200 rushing yards. He also ranks eighth in team history in receptions (259) and seventh in total touchdowns (26) as a Buccaneer. Dunn earned two Pro Bowl appearances as a Buccaneer (1997 and 2000) and also holds three of the Top 10 single-season rushing performances in team history.

Originally selected by the Buccaneers in the first round (12th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft, Dunn has appeared in 166 games with 148 starts while totaling 2,484 rushes for 10,179 yards and 47 rushing touchdowns in his career. He has also posted 463 career receptions for 4,009 yards with 15 receiving touchdowns.

Tampa Bay is looking for help at other positions in the NFL Draft, including cornerback. Bucsblitz.com has learned of the Bucs' attendance at last week's workout of a Top 5 cornerback in this draft. Click here to find out who the player was and how many other teams are interested.

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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

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