Weekly lineup

 Wednesday, March 1
All-Pro guard signs for 3 years, $6 million news services

 TAMPA, Fla. -- All-Pro guard Randall McDaniel was added to Tampa Bay's revamped offensive line Wednesday, signing a three-year contract worth more than $6 million.

Randall McDaniel

ESPN The Magazine's John Clayton first reported last week that McDaniel was closing in on the deal.

McDaniel, released by Minnesota in a salary cap move on Feb. 10, said he was fulfilling a desire to stay with a Super Bowl contender and work under coach Tony Dungy.

The 11-time Pro Bowl selection at left guard received a signing bonus of about $2 million and will be reunited with former Minnesota Vikings teammate Jeff Christy, the two-time Pro Bowl center who signed a five-year, $17.5 million deal with the Buccaneers on Feb. 15.

Both players know Dungy from his days as a Vikings assistant in the early 1990s and cited their familiarity with the coach, as well as a desire to stay in the NFC Central, as factors in their decisions to sign with Tampa Bay.

Improving the offensive line has been general manager Rich McKay's top priority since the start of the free-agent signing period. The addition of McDaniel and Christy assures at least two new starters in 2000, and Jason Odom probably will switch from right to left tackle if 12-year veteran Paul Gruber decides to retire.

Odom, who started the first three games of 1999 before suffering a season-ending back injury that required surgery, was re-signed for three years on Tuesday. The signing likely will end efforts to upgrade the offensive line until the draft in April.

Now the team will turn its attention to signing a backup for quarterback Shaun King.

Neil O'Donnell accepted less money than Tampa Bay was offering to remain with the Tennessee Titans last week. McKay is now concentrating on trying to re-sign free agent Eric Zeier, who started one game for the Bucs in 1999.

McDaniel, 35, has been one of the NFL's most durable players during his career. He started every Vikings regular-season game from 1990-99, as well as a record 11 consecutive Pro Bowls before being released last month for salary-cap reasons.

The Bucs ranked 30th in passing and 28th overall in offense last season. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula was fired after an 11-6 loss to St. Louis in the NFC championship game and replaced by Les Steckel.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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