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Buccaneers, Brian Leonard reach deal

Brian Leonard AP

The Buccaneers and Bengals free-agent running Brian Leonard have come to terms on a one-year deal, agent Mike McCartney said Monday.

Leonard will play again for head coach Greg Schiano, who was his collegiate coach at Rutgers. The 29-year-old back  rushed for 106 yards on 33 carries in 2012 for Cincinnati. He also caught 11 passes for 67 yards.

Leonard gives the Buccaneers another option on passing downs. Starter Doug Martin is a very good pass catcher, but Leonard is capable of spelling him if he needs a rest. Also, Leonard can contribute on special teams. He notched 24 coverage tackles in four seasons with Cincinnati.

The Bengals currently have three running backs under contract: starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis and reserves Cedric Peerman and Dan Herron. Another backup, Bernard Scott, is an unrestricted free agent.

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16 Responses to “Buccaneers, Brian Leonard reach deal”
  1. onebucplace says: Apr 1, 2013 4:09 PM

    Hey Leonard — a white running/fullback wearing 40 in Tampa isn’t going to fly, get a new number.

  2. blacknole08 says: Apr 1, 2013 4:12 PM

    Good, quiet pick up for the Bucs.

    Don’t see why the Bengals didn’t try to keep him. He knew where that first down line was when they needed one.

  3. djigel says: Apr 1, 2013 4:21 PM

    If “grit” was a stat this guy would be a perennial pro bowler – loved the White Tiger in Cinci but not too bummed he left

  4. quizguy66 says: Apr 1, 2013 4:21 PM

    I wish Leonard the best and I enjoyed watching Leonard play for us. It’s true that there always seemed to be one “Leonard play of the game” be it jumping on a fumble or converting a 3rd down by breaking a tackle. One problem is it always seemed to be 1 Leonard play of the game. Given that the Bengals are looking to probably add a complementary back via the draft and given the upside of Peerman and to a lesser extent Herron I understand why they made the move.

    Again, I hope he does well in Tampa.

    -QG

  5. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Apr 1, 2013 4:30 PM

    Gritty player who is a solid receiver, but doesn’t offer much running the ball. He made some clutch plays for us back in 2009 when we won the division. That said, the Bengals are looking for a dynamic playmaker in the backfield, and Leonard doesn’t fit that description. He does like jumping over defenders, so expect to see plenty of that, Bucs fans.

  6. cincinasty87 says: Apr 1, 2013 4:34 PM

    Good luck in Tampa – played with grit here at Cinci exviting with he ball in his hands . Loved the leonard leap

  7. trbowman says: Apr 1, 2013 4:45 PM

    Mind boggling the Bengals ever gave this guy carries, especially at the expense of a much more explosive Ced Peerman.

    Come to think off it it’s shocking the Bengals gave BJGE so much more work than Peerman.

  8. rhinojr says: Apr 1, 2013 4:47 PM

    I am sure that Schiano will always have a guy like Leonard on his team. A leader who is tough, team guy, will do what it takes – good pick up

  9. onebucplace says: Apr 1, 2013 4:51 PM

    “He does like jumping over defenders, so expect to see plenty of that, Bucs fans.”

    We already have a guy that does that a lot better, his name is Blount. But if you want to play for a tough guy like Schiano you can’t be leaping around like a ferry, you need to put your head down and run it up the middle for 2 yards. Tough guys punt buddy.

  10. EJ says: Apr 1, 2013 5:10 PM

    I hope he earns his way to a bigger contract on a long term deal, he deserves it. Leonard plays tough from whistle to whistle with no flak.

  11. bunjy96 says: Apr 1, 2013 5:19 PM

    Looks like a real good move for Tampa.

    Cross back up RB off the needs list.

  12. shaunypoo says: Apr 1, 2013 5:50 PM

    Good glue guy. He will be missed in Cincinnati. Very versatile, made some clutch plays.

  13. modhairken says: Apr 1, 2013 6:14 PM

    Well, just bring the Lombardi Trophy to the Mons Venus! The missing ingredient was a journeyman RB to go with the journeyman LB and DT and WR the Boy Wonder Dominik found. From 7-9 to 8-8! Here we come!

  14. onebucplace says: Apr 1, 2013 7:52 PM

    Another Rutgers guy — Schiano wants to bring his .500 college legacy to the pros. Almost there tough guy.

  15. ddogdaddy says: Apr 1, 2013 8:14 PM

    I see the Colts trading a 6th round pick for Blount.

  16. armersoriginalart says: Apr 2, 2013 2:58 PM

    To onebucplace… Dude, don’t get your panties in a bunch. No one will ever wear # 40 again. Mike Alstott is Tampa‘s all-time touchdown leader with 71 and the franchise’s number two rushing leader behind James Wilder. He was and always will be a fan favorite. Leonard is a good pick up though. He’s a solid running back with good hands. If anything, if it’s available, he’ll probably get # 23. That’s the number he wore in college and with The Rams. If Greg Shiano or Mark Dominik’ tried to give Leonard # 40, both of them would get burned at the stake by fans and media for the disrespect to # 40′s previous owner.

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