Bucs lock up DT Ryan Sims
UPDATE, 10:38 a.m.: We've confirmed that Sims signed a 4-year deal, though the financial terms remain unknown. The guess here is there's not a ton of guaranteed money and the deal likely has some voidable years. That would make it a sensible deal for Tampa Bay.
8:37 a.m.: The Bucs continued addressing their list of free agents, announcing this morning the re-signing of DT Ryan Sims.
He was due to become a free agent next week, but this move keeps him in the fold and is a move toward the bigger defensive lineman coordinator Jim Bates envisions using in his scheme.
Sims played sparingly in his first season in Tampa Bay, 2007. But last fall, he saw an expanded role in part because of injuries but also because the team made a greater effort to utilize him. The former Chiefs first-round draft pick notched 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2008.
At 6-4 and 315 pounds, Bates likely sees Sims as a space eater who can help address the team's late-season woes in stopping the run. While Sims didn't always thrive in the traditional Tampa 2 scheme used under former coordinator Monte Kiffin, it appears the Bucs are hoping he'll be more successful in the style Bates intends to play.
Terms of the deal aren't yet available.
So far, the Bucs have re-signed Sims and QB Luke McCown, while using the franchise-player designation to practically ensure that WR Antonio Bryant sticks around for 2009. Free agency begins at midnight on Feb. 27.