WR Paris Warren, a seventh-round draft pick in 2005, could make it into his fifth straight training camp with the Buccaneers
For a player taken 11 picks into the seventh round of the draft four years ago, Paris Warren has already had an eventful career as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Warren has experienced some impressive highs and tasted some disappointing lows…and at one key moment they occurred almost simultaneously.
Now the fourth-year receiver will get the opportunity to write another chapter to that career in Tampa. On Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced that they had re-signed Warren for the 2009 season.
Most Buccaneer fans remember Warren for what proved to be his last play during the 2007 preseason. As he crossed the goal line against Houston on August 30 with his fourth touchdown of August, Warren was tackled awkwardly from behind, resulting in a badly fractured ankle. He would go on injured reserve the next day, thus missing out on what might have been his breakout campaign.
Prior to that injury, Warren had led all Buccaneers with 15 receptions for 191 yards during the four games of the 2007 preseason, finishing third among all NFL players in catches. His four touchdowns were also a team-high; no other Buc scored more than once. In revealing the extent of Warren's injury the next day, then-Head Coach Jon Gruden confirmed that the receiver would have had a spot on the 53-man roster had he remained healthy.
It would not have been Warren's first appearance on the regular-season roster. He made the team as a rookie in 2005, though he was inactive for each of the first five weeks. Warren was then released and signed to the practice squad, where he spent the remainder of the season.
The former Utah star made the team again in 2006 and this time got into eight games, catching five passes for 63 yards, with a long of 26. He remained on the 53-man roster for the entire season, though he was deactivated for half of the games.
After recovering from his 2007 injury, Warren again signed with the Bucs a year ago and went to training camp this past summer. He was released on August 26 but later returned to spend one week on the practice squad in October.
A fluid route-runner with good size (6-0, 213) and reliable hands, Warren needed just 23 games at Utah to rack up 156 catches for 1,885 yards and 16 touchdowns. A multi-faceted threat in the Utes' wide-open attack, Warren also ran 48 times for 189 yards and averaged 6.8 yards on 28 punt returns. In Utah's 35-7 drubbing of Pittsburgh in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl, he caught 15 passes for 198 yards and was named one of the game's co-MVPs.
Warren is the 11th signing the Buccaneers have announced since the end of the 2008 season. Teams are allowed to ink players who are not on any roster at the end of the season to contracts that officially take effect at the beginning of the new league year on February 27. The Bucs announced 10 other signings, including that of defensive tackle Dre Moore, on January 8.