The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday, March 10, they have signed free-agent running back Warrick Dunn (Atlanta Falcons). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dunn will be joining, or perhaps it is rejoining, a Buccaneers rushing offense that has Cadillac Williams (knee), Earnest Graham, veteran running back Michael Pittman and Michael Bennett in its arsenal. Williams may not play this season due to a lengthy rehabilitation process after he sustained a severe knee injury in October of this past season. The Bucs re-signed Bennett before he hit the free-agent market, but he had a relatively low base salary, so it will be interesting to see what this means for him.
Dunn was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round (12th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft and played with the Bucs until 2001 before being signed by the Atlanta Falcons. He has averaged 925 yards per season in his 11 years in the league, which include five 1,000-yards seasons. Two of them came with the Bucs. He has also scored 62 touchdowns from scrimmage, including 47 on the ground. In 2007, Dunn averaged a meager 3.2 yards per carry, his worst rate since 2001, his last season with Tampa Bay. He chipped in with 37 catches for 238 yards, too.
In Tampa, Dunn will likely be used as a change-of-pace option in the rushing attack. He could fill in for Graham or, if he's healthy, Williams when they are not on the field. Dunn could see increased playing time if Williams does not return this season due to the knee injury; in that regard, he is valuable veteran insurance, and that could signal how confident the club that Williams will be available in 2008.
About Fraser Lovat
Fraser is a Hot off the Wire Analyst with KFFL and has been with the company since 2007.
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