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Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Bucs sign former Eagles FB Martin to one-year contract

TAMPA, Florida - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed fullback Cecil Martin to a one-year contract Tuesday, one week after perennial Pro Bowler Mike Alstott was placed on injured reserve.

Martin, 28, spent training camp with the Oakland Raiders after four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Known for his blocking, he carried just 25 times for 107 yards but caught 66 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns and helped Duce Staley top the 1,000-yard mark in 1999 and 2002.

Last season, Martin lost four yards on his only carry and had 15 receptions for 126 yards.

"As injuries mount, roster changes are possible," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. "If we feel that there's someone that can come in and help us temporarily or permanently through this season, we're going to continue to look hard and try to find ways to help ourselves."

To clear a roster spot, the Buccaneers (3-2) released rookie linebacker Justin Smith, who later was signed to the practice squad. Running back Travis Stephens was waived from the practice squad.

Bothered by a neck injury for weeks, Alstott aggravated it October 6 during a 38-35 overtime loss to Indianapolis.