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Bucs sign all but one of the 2002 draft class

The training camp clock ticked loudest for nearly all the Bucs' unsigned rookies Friday.

With 48 hours remaining until Tampa Bay players report to the Celebration Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, five more rookies agreed to contracts.

Michigan wide receiver Marquise Walker, Tennessee running back Travis Stephens, South Carolina defensive end John Stamper, Kansas State receiver/kick returner Aaron Lockett and Stanford guard Zack Quaccia struck deals.

The only remaining unsigned rookie, Nebraska tight end Tracey Wistrom, is expected to be signed by the time players report Sunday.

Walker, Stamper, Lockett and Quaccia agreed to three-year pacts. Stephens is expected to sign a four-year contract. Georgia safety Jermaine Phillips and cornerback Tim Wansley signed three-year deals this week.

The Bucs made several other roster moves Friday. Tampa Bay signed cornerback Dwayne Stukes of NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder to a one-year contract. The team released cornerback Anthony Midget and placed tight end Damian Vaughn and defensive tackle Mike McKenzie on the reserve list because of injury.

Walker, a third-round pick, was the first player selected by the Bucs in the 2002 draft. The 6-foot-2, 219-pounder is the Wolverines all-time pass catcher with 176 career receptions.

Stephens, the 5-foot-8 running back and a fourth-round choice from Tennessee, set the Vols' single-season rushing record with 1,464 yards.

Stamper, a sixth-round pick, recorded 37 tackles and three sacks for the Gamecocks last season. Lockett and Quaccia were seventh-round picks along with Wistrom.

Seattle's Leaf retires

CHENEY, Wash. _ Ryan Leaf retired, ending a career that began in 1998 when he was the No. 2 overall draft pick and considered one of the NFL's most promising young quarterbacks.

Leaf was not at the Seahawks' training camp Thursday, when quarterbacks were due to report to the team's facility at Eastern Washington University.

Team spokesman Dave Pearson said Friday that Leaf _ who fizzled in San Diego, Tampa Bay and Dallas _ told the Seahawks he is quitting.

Quarterback Trent Dilfer called Leaf in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Thursday night: "He seems at peace with it. This isn't a profession you should make a decision on what other people say. I was surprised. I thought he had very productive minicamps and was learning and had turned a page in his career and was building back up."

In four seasons, Leaf appeared in 25 games, making 21 starts. He completed 317 of 655 passes for 3,666 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 50.

Leaf not only failed to perform on the field but also alienated teammates and the media with frequent tirades, blaming others for his problems.

The 26-year-old signed with the Seahawks in May, a day after being released by the Cowboys.

Leaf had been battling an injured right wrist, which he hurt while playing for the Chargers against the Seahawks in 2000. The injury kept him from having a chance at making the Tampa Bay roster in the 2001 preseason after the Chargers released him.

He participated in Seattle's spring minicamps and said he was looking forward to another chance.

OBITUARIES: Mel Triplett, the starting fullback on the Giants' 1956 NFL championship team, died at age 71. Mike Clark, the kicker for the Cowboys' 1971 Super Bowl team, died at age 61.

_ Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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