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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fill 'er Up

Tampa Bay tops off its practice squad just in time for practice, signing G/C Eric Thomas on Wednesday morning


G/C Eric Thomas was signed on Wednesday to round out the Bucs' practice squad

After signing three players to their 2001 practice squad on Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked near and far to find the two men that would complete that unit.

Sure enough, they found one player near and one player far.

After plucking former Packer DeVone Claybrooks out of Green Bay on Tuesday, the team finished off its practice squad Wednesday morning with the re-signing of guard/center Eric Thomas. Thomas spent two weeks in the preseason with Tampa Bay and, with the exception of a springtime hope over to the NFL Europe League, has paced his entire football path through the state of Florida.

Thomas originally signed with the Buccaneers on August 15 but was waived during the cut down to 65 players on August 27. His first NFL stint was also in Florida, as he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie free agent in 1999. Jags camp was just a short hop for him as he played collegiately at Florida State, starting 11 of 12 games for the national champion Seminoles in 1999. The Miami native started 24 of 45 games played during four years at FSU, playing both guard and center.

Thomas (6-3, 286) spent the past spring and early summer with the Frankfurt Galaxy of the NFL Europe League. Upon arriving back in the states, he immediately went to work for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League team, then signed with the Bucs after the Storm's season ended.

The Buccaneers' first full-scale practice for the regular season opener in Dallas will take place Wednesday afternoon. Practice squad players, as the name would suggest, are eligible to participate in team workouts but cannot play in games unless first signed to the active roster.

Thomas will wear jersey number 73.

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