<
>

Buccaneers sign RB Jacquizz Rodgers to one-year deal

TAMPA, Fla. -- One day after losing pass rusher Jacquies Smith for the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Jacquizz Rodgers to a one-year deal.

The move reunites him with Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith, his former offensive coordinator and head coach, respectively, with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Bucs were down to two running backs last week after Mike James was placed on injured reserve. Rodgers, 26, who was among the Bears' final roster cuts, worked out for the team last Tuesday. Rather than sign him and be on the hook for possible veteran termination pay, the team opted to promote Peyton Barber from the practice squad.

Per the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, players with four or more credited seasons who are on NFL rosters in Week 1 of the regular season and subsequently released, are allowed to collect one-time termination pay. If a veteran player is on an NFL roster after the season opener, he is still entitled to those payments but at a reduced rate.

Rodgers played in Koetter's offense from 2012-14, and provides the Bucs a change-of-pace option for the team's primary running back, Doug Martin, and the sure-handed, pass-catching back, Charles Sims.

Last season with the Bears, he saw action in just five games, suffering a broken arm in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs. His best seasons came in 2012-13 with Atlanta, where he recorded 764 and 673 yards from scrimmage, respectively, and six touchdowns altogether.

In addition to being a change-of-pace back for the Bucs, he can return kicks. From 2012-13, he had 48 kickoff returns for 1,167 yards, averaging 24.3 yards per return. Against the Falcons in Week 1, the Bucs had Adam Humphries lining up for both punt and kickoff returns, and newly-signed wide receiver Cecil Shorts III is expected to work in there as well.