Bucs bolster depth by signing RB Jacquizz Rodgers

Versatile running back Jacquizz Rodgers played sparingly for the Bears last season after spending his first four seasons with the Falcons.
Versatile running back Jacquizz Rodgers played sparingly for the Bears last season after spending his first four seasons with the Falcons.
Published Sept. 14, 2016

TAMPA — The Bucs, continuing to tweak the depth on their roster, signed former Falcons RB Jacquizz Rodgers to a one-year contract Tuesday.

Rodgers, 26, played three seasons for Bucs coach Dirk Koetter in Atlanta, catching 50-plus passes in 2012 and 2013, and worked out for the Bucs last week. He's expected to step in as the new No. 3 running back behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims.

Rodgers could also be an option on kickoff returns — he had 48 returns with the Falcons in 2012-13, including a 77-yarder. Rodgers played sparingly as a backup with the Bears last season. He has 1,157 rushing yards and 1,114 receiving yards in five NFL seasons.

The Bucs promoted rookie RB Peyton Barber to the active roster for last Sunday's opener — had the Bucs signed Rodgers last week, his salary for the season would have been guaranteed as a vested veteran.

Rodgers has played especially well against the Bucs — his first two NFL rushing touchdowns came against Tampa Bay, and he caught two touchdowns in a 2013 game against the Bucs. That gives him four career touchdowns in eight games against the Bucs, as opposed to six career touchdowns in 60 games against everyone else in the NFL.

TAKING A LOOK: The Bucs could stick with their current five defensive ends after losing Jacquies Smith to a season-ending knee injury Sunday, but they brought in former Falcons DE Kroy Biermann for a workout Monday.

Biermann, 31, was not immediately signed after the workout. He played for coordinator Mike Smith in Atlanta from 2008-14, with 21 sacks. He was recently cut by the Bills.

SQUAD SHUFFLING: The Bucs added two new players to the practice squad in former Syracuse and Rams LB Cameron Lynch and former Akron and Cowboys DT Rodney Coe.

Lynch, 23, played in all 16 games for the Rams last season, totaling four special-teams tackles. Coe, 23, was with the Cowboys as an undrafted rookie in preseason, totaling 12 tackles with one tackle for loss.

The Bucs released RB Russell Hansbrough from the practice squad to make room, and made official the signing of TE Alan Cross to the practice squad.

THIS AND THAT: Bucs QB Jameis Winston, who threw for four touchdowns in Sunday's win against Atlanta, is one of three nominees for the NFL's weekly honors, up against Detroit's Matt Stafford and New Orleans' Drew Brees. … Three Bucs — LB Kwon Alexander, DE Will Gholston and DT Clinton McDonald — were guest baggers at a Tampa Publix on Tuesday night as part of Tide's "Tackling Everything" campaign. The players autographed recyclable bags for customers at the Publix on S Dale Mabry Highway and Neptune Street.

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.