Bucs Agree To Terms With Whittle

March 6 - In an attempt to upgrade its offensive line, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Jason Whittle on Thursday. While terms of the deal have not disclosed by the team, Whittle will sign a five-year, $8.2-million contract, which will include a $1.8 million signing bonus, according to ESPN. Whittle started at right guard for the Giants last season and his signing could signal trouble for Cosey Coleman.

In an attempt to upgrade its offensive line, which has been made a priority this offseason, the Buccaneers have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent offensive lineman Jason Whittle.

While terms of the deal have not disclosed by the Bucs, Whittle will sign a five-year, $8.2-million contract, which will include a $1.9 million signing bonus, according to ESPN.

Whittle, 28, started 14 games at right guard last season for the New York Giants, who were interested in retaining him.

The addition of Whittle could signal trouble for Cosey Coleman, who has started at right guard for the Bucs over the last two seasons. While Whittle occupied the Giants' right guard position last season, he can also play center, which could make him a possible successor to Jeff Christy, who was released by the Bucs in a salary cap maneuver last week.

Whittle's 6-foot-3, 305-pound frame has allowed him to be a physical and tough player throughout his five-year career. He entered the NFL in 1998 as an undrafted free agent out of Southwest Missouri State.

Whittle also has the ability to long snap, which is seen as a positive since the team has expressed some disappointment in Ryan Benjamin's performance last season.

The Bucs are still in the process of trying to re-sign middle linebacker Shelton Quarles and left tackle Roman Oben. Negotiations with both players have dragged on longer than anticipated, but the team is still in contact with both players' agents.


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