Bucs to sign Jacquizz Rodgers as new backup running back
The Bucs, continuing to tweak the depth on their roster, signed former Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers as a free agent Tuesday.
Rodgers, 26, played three seasons for Bucs coach Dirk Koetter in Atlanta, catching 50-plus passes in 2012 and 2013, and worked out for the Bucs last season. He's expected to step in as the Bucs' new No. 3 running back behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims.
Rodgers could also be an option for the Bucs on kickoff returns -- he had 48 returns with the Falcons in 2012-13, including a 77-yarder. Rodgers played sparingly as a backup with the Bears last season, but has 1,157 rushing yards and 1,114 receiving yards in his five NFL seasons.
Rodgers played especially well against the Bucs -- his first two NFL rushing touchdowns came against Tampa Bay, and he caught two touchdowns in a 2013 game against the Bucs. That gives him four career touchdowns in eight games against the Bucs, as opposed to six career touchdowns in 60 games against everyone else in the NFL.
The Bucs promoted rookie RB Peyton Barber to the active roster for Sunday's opener -- had the Bucs signed Rodgers last week, his salary for the season would have been guaranteed as a vested veteran.