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Bucs Agree On Deal For Faine, Contact Reeves

Posted Feb 29, 2008 by Roy Cummings

Updated Feb 29, 2008 at 05:23 AM

TAMPA – The Bucs didn’t waste much time filling that donut hole in the middle of their offensive line Friday.

The 2008 free-agency signing period wasn’t even two hours old when the Bucs made their first significant move, agreeing in principle on a multi-year deal with former Saints center Jeff Faine.

The deal is contingent on Faine passing a physical but that technicality is expected to be cleared up possibly as soon as today as Faine is expected to visit the Bucs and sign his new contract.

The 6-foot-3, 291-pound Faine was considered to be one of the best centers available this offseason and his contract could reflect that as it is reportedly one of the richest ever given to a center.

Center became an area of need for the Bucs earlier in the offseason when it became apparent they were not going to ask five-year starter John Wade to return.

Faine was one of at least four players the Bucs contacted during the early hours of free agency. They have also contacted the agents for cornerback Jacques Reeves and linebackers Demorrio Williams and Niko Koutouvides.

Reeves is a three-year veteran who has spent his entire career serving as a backup with the Cowboys. He’s being looked at as a possible replacement for Brian Kelly, who opted out of his contract with the Bucs two weeks ago.

He’s considered a raw talent who is not afraid to play the aggressive style of run defense the Bucs like. He is also a sound special teams contributor and a player many believe could excel with proper coaching.

Williams has spent his entire four-year career in Atlanta, where he started all 16 games at weak-side backer last year. He’s considered a superb coverage linebacker and special teams contributor.

He would greatly improve the Bucs depth at both spots, but he’s proving to be a valuable commodity as he already has visits lined up with the Chiefs and Bears, as well as the Bucs, according to Scout.com.

Koutouvides, 26, played for Seattle last year and is no doubt being considered for the backup middle linebacker spot that opened up when the Bucs decided against re-signing Jeremiah Trotter.

He too is considered to be an outstanding special teams contributor but many scouts believe he can excel as a linebacker because of his athleticism and his ability to play all three spots in a 4-3 scheme.

Faine, meanwhile, checks in a tad smaller than Wade but he is considered to be a better pass protector. Like Wade his strength is diagnosing defenses and making line calls.

He originally entered the league in 2003 as a 21st overall pick of the Cleveland Browns, but missed most of his rookie season with an ankle injury.

Another ankle injury cut short his 2004 season after 13 games and a biceps injury ended his 2005 season after 14 games.

He was eventually traded in 2006 to the Saints, for whom he started 16 games in 2006 and 14 games in 2007.

Reader Comments

Por (mkurbo) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Big time great way to start ! 

Congrats to Allen/Gruden for nailing one of the better centers, while hurting a division rival.  This completes the youngest o-line in the league.  Next; DT or DE before the sun comes up…

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Por (James Anderson) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Good move! Subtract talent within the division. Gotta love it. Faine will help solidify this line for years to come! Now lets get Coleman signed!

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Por (Michael Harris) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

<b>GOOD GET ON FAINE</b>

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Por (Raymond Kerker) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Well Done John and Bruce, great start signing Faine. Now we need a left Defensive End and a left Tackle to go with the new cornerback. Maybe pick the wide receiver at first pick in the draft.

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Por (tbbuc) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Faine is a very nice addition. Williams is a fast dude who fits our D scheme (another LB from a Nebraska).  Lets keep our fingers crossed that he signs

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Por (Patrick Dotson) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

our oline is going to be sick for a long time…i like this coming out of the gate of F.A.,now lets keep it going and get samuels…coleman…and hackett in here and we be looking pretty good…hell why not try to get stallworth to…you can never have enough recievers…go bucs

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Por (Jason Davis) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This is great news. Jeff Faine will be a HUGE upgrade over John Wade, and will help with the development of Jospeh and Sears.

But for the love of God, please DO NOT sign Jaques “I get burned more than toast” Reeves. The dude simply can’t cover.

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Por (jj jackson) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Center is an important position so I applaud this move, however, let’s not give up on our commitment to add offensive playmakers. If we scored in the neighborhood of 24 points per game, we’d win more than we lose. Staunch D, remember?

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Por (Michael Singleton) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Faine is a great signing! I was wondering if anybody heard if the Bucs where bringing in Briggs for a look see. I saw on SI.com he was interested in coming to the bucs.

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Por (Rick Giles) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Living here in Dallas and following the Cowboys as my second favorite team it was frustrating to watch Reeves sometimes. I am not so sure that I would like to see the Bucs use the money on him. Some poeple thought that it might have been lack of coverage on Roy Williams part that made it difficult on Reeves. Maybe Kiffin could help him improve his abilities if they do go after him.

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Por (BW Galle) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Faine is a great addition. He must be at least 5 years younger than Wde. Good build for the future and tohelp out the young lineman!

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Por (Marion Busby) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Great signing Gruden/Allen..  We need WR, DE & CB now.  We’re not going to get Briggs, Samuel, Moss or Smith so everyone can get that out of their system.  Hackett & Stallworth would improve our wr core.  The Freak is available now and he might take a pay cut to sign with a team in Florida.  We should resign Pittman if he is willing to play FB.  AGAIN GREAT OFFSEASON SO FAR, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK BOYS.

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Por (Brooks Morgan) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think we are all in for a pleasant surprise of these names on the roster when training camp opens!

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Por (Chris Gatlin) on February 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

GO BUCS!!! Solid Acquisition!!! Now that basically all my favorite players are just about gone (but not forgotten) I’m starting to believe in Bruce and Jon’s personnel decisions on the new team they are building. Hopefully one day I will be able to afford to go to a game again. Diehard Buc Fans still bleed orange

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