Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Cook Up New Deal

Fifth-year fullback Jameel Cook becomes the latest unrestricted free agent to return to the Buccaneers, agreeing to a new contract on Wednesday

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A strong receiver out of the backfield, FB Jameel Cook started 11 games over the past two seasons

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to chip away at a lengthy list of unrestricted free agents. On Wednesday, the team announced the re-signing of free agent fullback Jameel Cook.

Cook, a sixth-round draft choice in 2001, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Buccaneers. Though the presence of Pro Bowl fullback Mike Alstott has limited Cook to 17 starts over those four years, he has played extensively as a lead-blocker and pass-catcher out of the backfield.

In 56 career games, Cook has hauled in 48 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns. The solidly-built (5-10, 237) back has also developed into a solid blocker who took over the starting role during Alstott's injury absences in 2003 and 2004.

The Buccaneers have now re-signed three of the 16 players from their 2004 roster who became unrestricted free agents on March 2, having previously inked wide receiver Joey Galloway on March 8 and tight end Dave Moore on March 4. In addition, the team's only restricted free agent, linebacker Ryan Nece, re-signed two days into free agency.

The Bucs have also avoided several potential losses by working out new agreements with Alstott, quarterback Brian Griese and defensive end Greg Spires. Click here to check out the team's list of remaining free agents.

Cook is one of two sixth-round picks from 2000 to make the team, along with versatile defensive lineman Ellis Wyms. As a rookie, the former Illinois back played in all 16 games, making three starts and contributing 17 receptions for 89 yards. After being used mostly on special teams in 2002 (14 games with one start at fullback), Cook became the starter midway through 2003 after Alstott's neck injury. In 14 games and eight starts, he produced 20 receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown.

Cook was thrust into the starter's role again late in 2004 when Alstott sustained a knee injury. In 12 games and five starts, he caught seven passes for 44 yards and a touchdown and provided strong blocking for running back Michael Pittman. Cook started against the San Francisco 49ers on November 21 and helped Pittman rush for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

Cook has now re-signed with the Buccaneers in two consecutive offseasons. He became a restricted free agent after the 2003 season but accepted his one-year tender offer. As is team policy, the terms and length of his newest agreement were not announced.

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