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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs sign running back D.J. Ware, which means, what, exactly?



The Bucs have signed Giants free agent running back D.J. Ware, and considering running back was not a position of obvious need, the move raises some questions.

But first, a little on Ware. He lacks big numbers, but the veteran of five seasons is versatile and a good option on third downs. At 6-0 and 225 pounds, Ware had a limited role with the Giants but last year caught a career-high 27 passes. He’s averaged 4.0 yards per carry but has rushed just 81 times in his career.

But why is Ware here in the first place? The Bucs seemed set at running back with Doug Martin, LeGarrette Blount and Michael Smith. They also have some other areas of major need (you know, like defensive line).

We can’t assume anything, but you should be careful not to rule anything out, either. That includes the possibility that the Bucs have other plans for Blount, who already has seen his role diminished by the addition of new starter Martin.

Blount could have some trade value, so the possibility can’t be dismissed. Smith’s impressive training camp and preseason doesn’t help Blount, either. He’s capable of playing in all situations and is a real asset on special teams.

To be clear, the Bucs might be content to keep all four running backs on their active roster, even though it’s likely just three of the four would dress on game days. But if that’s not something Tampa Bay is willing to do, then don’t be surprised if there’s a change of some kind in the works.

[Last modified: Saturday, September 1, 2012 7:32pm]


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