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Sports in brief: Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign offensive lineman, release defensive ends

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Bucs add, delete; Ex-QB finds Home

The Bucs shuffled their roster Thursday, signing journeyman offensive tackle Jamon Meredith and releasing defensive ends Tim Crowder and Nick Reed.

Meredith, entering his fifth season, has played sparingly but will get a chance to become the primary backup tackle.

Johnson to 49ers: Former Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson has agreed to a two-year deal with the 49ers, the team announced. Johnson, who played for coach Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, is expected to compete with Colin Kaepernick for the spot behind Alex Smith.

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Jets see Tebow

in wildcat at first

The Jets plan to use quarterback Tim Tebow in wildcat formations and relish having him as something other teams must prepare for, coach Rex Ryan said a day after acquiring the former Broncos starter.

"Tim is an outstanding football player, and we can use him," Ryan said at a pro day in Baton Rouge, La. "He'll fit our wildcat package. As a defensive coach, I know how hard it is to defend the wildcat. We can take it to another level with Tim."

Tebow's arrival to back up Mark Sanchez has irked Drew Stanton, who signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal last week. Stanton has asked to be traded or released, ESPN.com reported.

Jaguars: Responding to reports in the wake of the team's failed effort to get Tebow that some in the front office didn't want the former Jacksonville-area resident, coach Mike Mularkey said, "Don't believe everything you hear or read in the media. … It's hard not to want a guy like that."

Saints: The team has not decided if it will appeal the suspensions of coach Sean Payton, assistant Joe Vitt and GM Mickey Loomis in the wake of the bounty penalties handed down by the NFL. In the meantime, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer are said to be the top candidates to take over for Payton, the Associated Press reported. Payton and Loomis still have the support of owner Tom Benson, the report said.

Senator's two cents: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he wants to examine whether federal law should make bounty systems a crime by setting up a Judiciary Committee hearing in the wake of the NFL's investigation of the Saints.

Bears: Former Raiders running back Michael Bush agreed to a four-year deal worth up to $14 million ($7 million guaranteed), ESPN reported. Running back Matt Forte, who has the franchise tag, took to Twitter after hearing the news. "There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected!" a post on his Twitter account said. "Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last." Bush said, "I think there are enough carries to go around."

Draft prospects: LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, whom the Bucs might have interest with the No. 5 draft pick, lowered his 40-yard dash time to 4.39 seconds, but he needs surgery for a torn ligament in his left wrist, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Et cetera

Horses: This year's Breeders' Cup challenge series will expand to 10 countries and consist of 73 automatic qualifying races into the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Tennis: Serena Williams, playing in Key Biscayne for the first time since 2009, beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-3 at the Sony Ericsson Open. No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova overcame 12 double faults to beat Shahar Peer 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Tampa resident Samantha Stosur beat Valeria Savinykh 6-4, 6-0.

Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer; Times wires

Sports in brief: Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign offensive lineman, release defensive ends 03/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 22, 2012 11:53pm]

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