The Buccaneers weren’t at any risk of losing running back Bobby Rainey because he was set to be an exclusive rights free agent. So they’ve worked out a contract now, even though he could have (in theory) waited for a while before committing.
Rainey joined the Buccaneers in midseason after being released by the Browns and took on a prominent role in the offense when Doug Martin was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. He had a couple of big games — 163 rushing yards and three scores in Week 11, 127 yards and an 80-yard scoring run in Week 14 — and finished the year with 566 yards on 150 carries.
If Martin’s healthy, Rainey will likely be battling Mike James for snaps as the No. 2 back in Tampa.
UPDATE 9:22 p.m. ET: The Buccaneers initially announced the contract as a two-year deal. They have issued a clarification. Rainey is signed through 2014. Next year, he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency.