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BUCS SIGN VERSATILE LINEBACKER

The Bucs moved a step closer to locking up their draft class Tuesday when third-round pick Quincy Black agreed to a four-year deal, his agent confirmed.

Black, a linebacker from the University of New Mexico, received an $825,000 signing bonus with an escalator in the final year of the deal, according to representative Harold Lewis.

Black is considered versatile enough to play all three linebacker spots. Black played the same role made famous at New Mexico by current Bears star Brian Urlacher - a hybrid position that is a cross between linebacker and safety.

Only the Bucs' top three picks remain unsigned: first-rounder Gaines Adams and second-rounders Arron Sears and Sabby Piscitelli. Players report to training camp Thursday with the team's first practice on Friday.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at (813) 226-3377 or sholder@sptimes.com.

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