Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers sign ex-Bengals RB Leonard
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers further fortified their running back corps on Monday, signing former Bengals running back Brian Leonard to a one-year deal, according to Leonard's agent, Mike McCartney.
Leonard is a Rutgers product who can also play fullback, tight end or even wide receiver but he made his mark as a ball carrier, leaving the Scarlet Knights in 2007 as their fourth all-time leading rusher with 2,775 yards.
A second-round draft pick (52nd overall) of the St. Louis Rams in 2007, Leonard also left Rutgers ranked fourth all-time in rushing touchdowns with 32, sixth all-time in receiving yards with 1,864 and second all-time in all-purpose yards with 4,639.
Reunited with his former college coach Greg Schiano, Leonard comes to a Bucs team that has publicly stated its desire to trade backup running back LeGarrette Blount, but Leonard's NFL stat line reveals little to suggest he's suited to be starting running back Doug Martin's top reliever.
In 71 NFL games (eight starts) Leonard has run the ball 174 times for 646 yards (3.7 yards pear carry) and no touchdowns. He also caught 113 passes for 814 yards and a touchdown while filling a variety of roles for the Bengals.
Since he joined Cincinnati in 2009, Leonard has played 19 snaps at fullback, 22 at tight end and 44 at wide receiver. He was also a core member of Cincinnati's special teams units the last four years.
Terms of his contract were not immediately available.
The Bucs will hold a free draft party open to the public at 6 p.m. April 25 at Raymond James Stadium to watch the first round of the NFL draft.
Column: A trip down the Apalachicola shows a natural river fighting for its life in a war over water