Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sims Stays Put

Two years after arriving in Tampa via trade, DT Ryan Sims has chosen to eschew free agency and re-sign with the Buccaneers in order to continue his promising career under new Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates

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DT Ryan Sims has been a valuable part of the Bucs' D-line rotation over the past two seasons

With the start of free agency looming, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gotten busy.

Less than a day after placing a franchise tag on wide receiver Antonio Bryant, the Buccaneers crossed another item off their free agency to-do list by re-signing defensive tackle Ryan Sims. Sims could have become an unrestricted free agent on February 27.

Sims has played the last two years in Tampa after opening his NFL career with five seasons in Kansas City. He was the sixth player drafted overall in 2002, thanks to an impressive combination of size and quickness that made him a force at the University of North Carolina.

The 6-4, 315-pound Sims was one of the larger men in the Bucs' D-line corps over the past two seasons, and he might be an even more valuable asset in 2009 under new Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates. Bates' defensive schemes have frequently made good use of larger inside linemen, and he insisted during a meeting with the media on Wednesday that he planned to rotate his pass-rushers liberally.

The affable Sims has already been a significant part of that rotation, appearing in 24 games over the past two seasons with two starts. During that time, he has recorded 50 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two passes defensed.

Last season, injuries to starting defensive tackles Chris Hovan and Jovan Haye pushed Sims into the starting lineup during the team's stretch drive. Sims appeared in 15 games and started two, notching 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

During five seasons in Kansas City, Sims registered 149 tackles and five sacks. He put together his top season in 2003, posting 83 tackles and three sacks, as well as his lone career interception.

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