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Alstott returning to Bucs; Hovan re-signed

TAMPA, Fla. (March 12, 2006) -- Mike Alstott is returning for an 11th season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The six-time Pro Bowl fullback, who also considered the prospect of retiring, agreed March 11 to a one-year contract with the only pro team he's played for. He's the Bucs' career touchdowns leaders with 68, and his 4,917 yards rushing rank second in club history.

The Bucs also re-signed defensive tackle Chris Hovan, who joined the club last season after spending the first five years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. He started 16 games in 2005 and led Tampa Bay defensive linemen with 64 tackles -- the second-highest total of his career.

Although Alstott's role in the offense has dwindled in recent seasons, the 250-pound fullback remained effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He rushed for 80 yards on 34 carries and scored six of his seven touchdowns on the ground in 2005.

Alstott turned 32 in December and had been seeking a contract similar to one that paid him about $1.5 million in base salary, plus a signing bonus, last season.

The Bucs restructured the contracts of linebacker Derrick Brooks and four other players last week, then created additional room under the $102 million salary cap by releasing quarterback Brian Griese, linebacker Jeff Gooch and offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb on Friday.

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