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- Tampa Bay Signs QB Jay Fiedler

Chris Pokorny June 29, 2006
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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Cleveland, OH. (PFCritics) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran quarterback Jay Fiedler to a one-year deal on Thursday. The move came after backup quarterback Luke McCown went down with an injury a few weeks ago, and was forced to have surgery.

Fiedler played for the New York Jets last year. He was going to take over for Chad Pennington after his injury, but ironically, Fiedler got injured in the very same game and had to have shoulder surgery. In Tampa Bay, Fiedler will join starter Chris Simms and backups Tim Rattay, Bruce Gradkowski, and Jared Allen.

Fiedler has a fairly solid record during his 12-year career. In 60 NFL starts, he is 37-23 - most of those wins coming when he played for the Miami Dolphins. He has thrown for 69 touchdowns and 66 interceptions though, which is simply average.

The New York Giants were also interested in acquiring Fiedler, but he has some experience with Buccaneers' head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden was Fiedler's offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles back in 1994, over a decade ago. Fiedler's health is not a concern, as he stated that he’d be at full strength by the start of training camp in July 27th.

It is not likely that the Buccaneers will keep four quarterbacks - including the injured McCown - on their roster. Simms will definitely stay, as will Fiedler. The team just drafted Gradkowski, and will probably not let him go. That puts Tim Rattay in an awkward spot, meaning that it's possible he could be released or traded some time in the near future.

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