TAMPA, Fla. -- Four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday, two weeks after he was released in a surprise move by the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was not immediately clear how the 30-year-old middle linebacker, one of the leaders of the Eagles for most of the past decade, fits into coach Jon Gruden's plans. Linebacker is one of the strongest and deepest positions on the team.
To make room on the roster, the Bucs released receiver Taye Biddle. The team also signed receiver Michael Spurlock to the practice squad.
Trotter worked out for the Bucs on Aug. 23, two days after he was released by Philadelphia with three seasons remaining on the five-year, $15 million contract he signed in 2005.
Third-year pro Barrett Ruud inherited Tampa Bay's starting middle linebacker job when veteran Shelton Quarles retired and subsequently took a job in the scouting department after being slowed by injuries in 2006.
The day Trotter worked out for Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen, the coach said the Bucs' interest wasn't a sign the team was not comfortable with Ruud, who started five games last season.
Trotter started 16 regular-season and two playoff games for the Eagles last season, finishing with a team-high 161 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. He has appeared in 131 career games in seven seasons with Philadelphia and two with the Washington Redskins.
All four of his Pro Bowl appearances came while he was with the Eagles, including the past two seasons.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press