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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs sign veteran RB Andre Ellington

Florida Football Insiders

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Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs coach Bruce Arians has already begun to put his imprint on his new team hiring former coaches who were with him in Arizona and on Tuesday afternoon the team announced he’s bringing in one of his former backs to his new offense.

The Bucs announced that they have signed a five-year veteran running back Andre Ellington, who last played for the Houston Texans at the end of 2017:

However, he’s most known and familiar with Arians, etc. for spending five seasons playing with the Arizona Cardinals. Ellington shared time with the likes of David Johnson and even, Adrian Peterson, carrying the football in the “Valley of the Sun.”

Ellington has rushed for 1,750 yards in his Cardinals career with 10 rushing scores, but he was probably more effective as pass catcher with 145 receptions for another 1,300 yards and three TDs in the five years of Arians’ offense.

Ellington’s arrival means the likely departure of Buccaneers veteran running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Rodgers, who joined Tampa Bay during the 2016 season was used as a veteran platoon back over the course of his Buccaneer career. He started eight games in the three seasons, rushed for 910 yards, but only 106 yards last season.

The Bucs have gone to former undrafted veteran Peyton Barber, who was their top back a year ago. Barber carried 234 times for 871 yards, as primary ball carrier in 2018. Tampa Bay also has former second round pick last year, Ronald Jones, who saw very little playing time under previous coach Dirk Koetter.

It’s still very likely that Tampa Bay will look to sign another running back in free agency, and many are speculating that the Buccaneers might be a team interested in trading with the Steelers for Leveon Bell, who sat out all of last season. However, Bell will likely command a huge guaranteed money price tag for a new team and a deal that could average $10 million or more a season.

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