TAMPA, Fla. -- Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter worked out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, two days after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 30-year-old, four-time Pro Bowl selection was one of the leaders of the Eagles defense for much of the past decade. He was let go Tuesday in a move that opened a spot in the lineup for second-year pro Omar Gaither.
Coach Jon Gruden, general manager Bruce Allen and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin also took a look at former Bucs linebacker Al Singleton, who played six years in Tampa Bay before spending the past four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Gruden declined to discuss the prospect of adding either one of the veterans, although he clearly is intrigued by Trotter, who was released with three years remaining on five-year, $15 million contract signed in 2005.
"We've competed against him for years. He's no question a very physical linebacker. I've got a lot of respect for the man himself. He's a team guy," Gruden said before the workout. "And Al Singleton helped us win a Super Bowl championship. Other than that, we're going to keep our thoughts private and move on accordingly."
Third-year pro Barrett Ruud has been penciled in as Tampa Bay's starting middle linebacker ever since former Bucs linebacker Shelton Quarles failed a physical after being slowed by injuries in 2006.
Gruden said the Bucs' interest in Trotter is not a sign that the club is not comfortable with Ruud as the starter.
Third-string middle linebacker Antoine Cash was placed on injured reserve following last Saturday's preseason loss at Jacksonville, leaving the team thin at the position.
"We want to get better. We want to win," Gruden said. "And if there are players out there who can help us do that, we'll (sign them)."
Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia, a teammate of Trotter's in Philadelphia last season, was a little surprised that the Eagles let him go.
"That guy is a leader, he's intense; he's a great person in the locker room much like a Derrick Brooks," Garcia said.
Trotter, Gruden, Allen and Kiffin were not available for comment following the workout.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press