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Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign veteran reserve safety Will Allen to one-year deal

TAMPA — The Bucs signed their first free agent Saturday, but this one won't need a name tag.

Veteran reserve S Will Allen re-signed with Tampa Bay, agreeing to a one-year deal that will pay him $1.83 million but has a maximum value of $2.35 million.

Allen, 26, lost his starting job in 2007 but has been a key backup since. In 2008, he was the team's special teams captain.

With starting SS Jermaine Phillips still unsigned, the Bucs need depth at safety.

Bucs linked to Cassel: The Patriots traded QB Matt Cassel to the Chiefs, with former New England executive Scott Pioli making it his first big acquisition as Kansas City's new general manager. But there were indications the Bucs had talks with the Patriots to acquire Cassel.

Cassel and New England LB Mike Vrabel were obtained for a second-round pick.

Rumors of the Bucs' involvement gained steam Friday night. NFL.com reported Saturday that Tampa Bay and Detroit made efforts to trade for Cassel.

Washington visiting? The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Steelers WR Nate Washington was making arrangements for a free agent visit with the Bucs. Washington, the team's No. 3 receiver last season, had 40 catches for 631 yards and three touchdowns in 2008. His agent, Brian Overstreet, was unavailable for comment Saturday but said Friday that the Bucs had a genuine interest. Washington visited the Lions on Friday.

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

Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign veteran reserve safety Will Allen to one-year deal 02/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 8:49pm]
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