Tampa Bay signs Darrell Russell

March 30, 2004 at 10:52 PM
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TAMPA, Fla., March 30 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday signed free agent defensive tackle Darrell Russell.

Terms were not disclosed. Russell, who passed a physical on Monday, is the 20th roster addition made this month by new Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen.

A Florida native who has found trouble both in and out of the NFL, Russell, 27, has played just eight games since the 2001 season. He made the Pro Bowl following the 1998 and 1999 seasons.

During those seasons, the 6-5, 325-pound Russell played for the Oakland Raiders and Jon Gruden, now the coach of the Buccaneers. In addition, Bucs defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was Russell's position coach at USC in 1995.

Russell needs something to reverse a career that has been all downhill for over four years. Last year, he was released by the Raiders after being reinstated from a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and sitting out the entire 2002 season.

In 2002, Russell was charged with drugging and raping a woman. Those charges were later dropped.

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