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Bucs sign Winslow

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers certainly must believe that tight end Kellen Winslow Jr.’s career is going to be much longer than people think.

Winslow Jr. signed a six-year, $36.1 million contract Monday, including $20.1 million in guaranteed money. That is the most ever in NFL history for a tight end, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. With incentives, the deal could be worth as much at $42.1 million.

The Bucs acquired Winslow from Cleveland in February in exchange for a second-round pick this year and a fifth rounder in 2010. Winslow had worn out his welcome in Cleveland after a confrontation last season over whether the team tried to hide the fact that he had a staph infection for the second time in his career. In addition, new coach Eric Mangini wasn’t interested in dealing with Winslow’s strong personality.

The Bucs seem more than happy to get Winslow Jr., who some people believe will have a hard time playing in the near future because of degeneration of his knee. Winslow Jr. was the No. 6 overall pick in 2004, but broke his leg in the second game that season and then missed the 2005 season after a motorcycle accident which resulted in severe damage to his right knee, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Winslow Jr. also had microfracture surgery on the knee in 2007 and has said he plays in constant pain.

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