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Bucs look to former Colt Gosder Cherilus to be their new right tackle

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The Bucs needed a new right tackle. Gosder Cherilus needed a place to start over.

The sides found each other Monday afternoon when Cherilus agreed to a two-year contract to replace the injured DeMar Dotson on the Bucs’ roster.

Just two seasons ago, Cherilus was the highest-paid right tackle in the league, signing a five-year, $34 million contract with Indianapolis. But injuries slowed Cherilus, and last season, he was ranked 70th of 84 eligible tackles by Pro Football Focus. The Colts cut him earlier in camp.

However, there were suggestions that had much to do with his contract, and he’ll get another chance with the Bucs, who are trying to repair their own offensive line. The Bucs hope that Cherilus, at 31, has enough in him to rebound to help protect rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. They signed him to a two-year, $7 million contract. If they had stayed in-house, the likely replacement would have been Kevin Pamphile, who had only two career starts. (Cherilus has 100.)

We needed some offensive line help,” Bucs’ coach Lovie Smith said. “It’s good that a player like that is available. From my time in Chicago, we did a lot of research on him when he came out. Of course, I had a chance to play against him for quite a few years.

(Signing a veteran is) very important. We have a very good tackle that is down – veteran tackle that is down for a while. I feel like we need to replace him. That said, I think yesterday or maybe even today too, it was good for us that there was a player like that (Cherilus) that’s possibly available. Again, I can’t wait to leave you guys go and have a conversation with (Cherilus), but it’s good to have a player like that still available.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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