Bucs re-sign Jeremy Zuttah
The deal is for four years, but financial terms weren't immediately available. Zuttah is the first of Tampa Bay's potential free agents to re-sign with the team and that's somewhat symbolic. Zuttah played for new Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers.
"(General manager) Mark (Dominik) and I agreed keeping Jeremy on our football team was one of our priorities this offseason. He is a young, talented player, who we both know very well. We are pleased we could get this deal done and secure Jeremy for years to come," Schiano said in a statement released by the team.
Zuttah also has shown solid versatility. Since joining the Bucs as a third-round pick in 2008, he has appeared in 58 games with 44 starts. He has started 30 games at left guard, nine at center and five as the right guard. Last season, he started 14 games at left guard.
"Not only am I happy to remain a Buccaneer, but also to be back playing for Coach Schiano. I couldn't be more thrilled about this opportunity," Zuttah said in the statement.
Tampa Bay's other top potential free agent is kicker Connor Barth. The Bucs, who couldn't reach a deal by Monday afternoon's deadline to use franchise tags, issued the tender to Barth.
Barth made 26 of his 28 field-goal attempts last season, setting a club record with his 92.9 conversion percentage and made three successful field goals of over 50 yards.
He signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay midway through the 2009 season.
The 25-year-old Barth has converted 73 of his 87 field-goal attempts in his career (83.9 percent).
"I have been negotiating with the Buccaneers on a contract for Connor," Rob Roche, president of RSR Sports Management LLC, said in a statement. "It is my hope that our negotiations will continue and result in a long-term contract that will reflect Connor's status as one of the elite kickers in the National Football League."
Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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