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Bucs LT Petitgout placed on PUP list

Running back Cadillac Williams arrives at Bucs training camp in Celebration. He has been placed on the physically unable to perform list along with offensive tackle Luke Petitgout.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Running back Cadillac Williams arrives at Bucs training camp in Celebration. He has been placed on the physically unable to perform list along with offensive tackle Luke Petitgout.

CELEBRATION — Jon Gru­den surprised no one when he said Friday that RB Cadillac Williams was headed to the physically unable to perform list.

But in an unexpected development, Gruden said that LT Luke Petitgout might join Williams. By night's end, the Bucs had placed the player who entered last season as the starting left tackle on the PUP list, a sign that Petitgout's rehabilitation from last season's knee injury remains incomplete.

"They're being evaluated," Gruden said Friday afternoon. "Both guys are closing on their returns. But to open up training camp and do football-related tests under the trainers' eyes is probably the way to go."

Players can't begin the preseason on the active roster then be moved to the PUP list. PUP players can be moved to the active roster in the preseason but cannot participate in practices. The rules are more restrictive during the regular season, when players must spend a minimum of six weeks on the list.

Donald Penn will continue to take first-team snaps at left tackle.

In other injury news, RB Cory Boyd, a seventh-round pick, was waived but will be placed on injured reserve if he clears waivers. Boyd hurt a knee in offseason workouts and didn't participate the rest of the summer.

Talib signs: The last three unsigned rookies came to an agreement and are expected to participate in today's practices.

First-rounder Aqib Talib, 22, signed a five-year, $14-million deal that includes a reported $8.2-million in guarantees. Second-round pick Dexter Jackson, a wideout from Appalachian State, and fifth-rounder Josh Johnson, a San Diego quarterback, signed four-year deals.

Talib's negotiations stalled early in the week but resumed Thursday. The sides were thought to be close by that evening and made it official early Friday afternoon.

"I just want him to compete and be a consistent performer on a snap-by-snap basis," Gruden said of the 6-foot-1, 206-pound cornerback from Kansas. "He's got the measurables to give him a chance to be great."

To make room for the draft picks on the active roster, the Bucs waived second-year WR Taye Biddle and fifth-year LB Teddy Lehman.

WHITE ABSENT: DE Greg White did not report and remains unsigned. Because he is not under contract, he is not permitted to participate in training camp. Talks are ongoing, but the dispute centers around his refusal to accept the team's one-year, $370,000 offer that allowed it to retain exclusive negotiating rights. "He's an exclusive-rights free agent, which I think means we're the only ones who can exclusively talk to him," Gruden said. "So, I hope we're exclusively doing that right now."

GRAHAM STARTS — FOR NOW: Gruden said Earnest Graham would begin today as the starting running back. Too bad it doesn't mean anything.

"He certainly deserves it," Gruden said. But, "when you have Warrick Dunn, a guy who's going to be a huge contributor here, he'll compete at that position. But, again, depth charts right now are all in pencil. I think that's fair to our football players."

Michael Bennett is also in contention for a role in the backfield.

"We have a lot of great competition in the backfield," Graham said. "Everybody in that backfield has had success. It's a real good unit we have, and it's going to continue to be that way."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com.

Bucs LT Petitgout placed on PUP list 07/25/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:10pm]

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