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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Another free agency foray: Bucs sign DT Amobi Okoye

7

April

The Bucs have signed Bears free-agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye to a contract, adding some much-needed depth to a position that has been besieged by injuries the past two seasons.

Agents Darin Morgan and Ian Greengross came to terms with the Bucs on a one-year deal tonight, Morgan confirmed.

Okoye, who will earn $2 million, adds competition and solidifies the depth behind 2011 starters Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, both of whom have been unable to shake the injury bug. The Bucs were left to scour the waiver wire and street free agents last season to fill their holes at defensive tackle, even acquiring troubled Albert Haynesworth from the Patriots.

A former first-round pick of the Texans, Okoye has started 59 games in five seasons, recording four sacks in a part-time role with the Bears last season. Chicago had hoped to re-sign Okoye, but the sides were unable to agree to terms.

Though a veteran player, the native Nigerian is just 24. He’s considered a disruptive force who is quick off the line of scrimmage, while also providing an interior pass rush.

Okoye joins five other defensive tackles on their 80-man offseason roster: McCoy, Price, Miller, McCargo and Frank Okam.

The Bucs stepped to the plate to complete this deal with several other teams in the running for Okoye's services. The Bucs were even hedging their bets by keeping an eye on another free-agent tackle, Derek Landri. But, in the end, they preferred Okoye, and tonight, Tampa Bay got its man.

[Last modified: Sunday, April 8, 2012 1:00am]

    

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