Buccaneers sign C Faine

TAMPA, FLORIDA (TICKER) —The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent center Jeff Faine on Friday.

Terms were not disclosed, but the Tampa Tribune reported the deal was for six years and $37.5 million and includes $15 million in guaranteed money.

The contract will make Faine the highest-paid center in the history of the game.

The 26-year-old Faine spent the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints, starting all 16 games in 2006 and 14 last season.

“I’m really excited to be part of the Buccaneers franchise and have the opportunity to work with (coach Jon Gruden) and my new teammates,” Faine said. “I’m especially looking forward to working in this offense and helping Tampa Bay defend the NFC South title.”

A first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2003 out of Notre Dame, the 6-3, 291-pound Faine struggled with injuries in his first three seasons.

An ankle injury curtailed most of his rookie season, while his next two seasons were cut short by ailments to his ankle and biceps.

Faine was traded to the Saints prior to the 2006 season.

Tampa Bay on Friday also announced the signing of linebacker Kevin Cash.

Cash has appeared in 19 career games, three with the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 and 16 with the Buccaneers in 2006, totaling 19 special teams tackles. He spent the 2007 season on injured reserve.

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Updated Friday, Feb 29, 2008