Bucs hope McCargo will help carry the load on defensive line

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with former first-round draft pick John McCargo on Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 307-pound defensive tackle will sign after E.J. Wilson clears waivers and is placed on injured reserve. Wilson ruptured his Achilles' tendon in the first half Thursday night in a 31-14 preseason loss to the New England Patriots.

Having spent most of their premium picks in the last two drafts on defensive linemen, the Bucs still finished last in the NFC in sacks (26) and defensive yards per rush (4.7) in 2010.

Tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price were the top two picks in 2010, but Price played in only five games and is recovering from hamstring surgery. McCoy recovered from a training-camp shoulder injury to start Thursday night.

"McCoy actually was the bright spot for us," coach Raheem Morris said. "He got off the ball great, he was very active with his hands. He missed one big play that could have prevented a big run, but he wasn't the reason.

"(Price) had a pretty good workout week this week. He's getting healthier. I mentioned he's about a month away (from being fully recovered) so we'll see where he is this week."

Frank Okam, the 350-pounder who started the final three games of the 2010 season, also started Thursday night because of a knee injury to Roy Miller, who might be able to play next Saturday night against the Miami Dolphins.

McCargo, the 26th overall pick in 2006, will become the second player drafted by the Buffalo Bills that year to sign with the Bucs within a week. Cornerback Ashton Youboty, Buffalo's third-round pick that year, signed with Tampa Bay last Monday and played against the Patriots.

McCargo played in all 16 games for the Bills in 2007, recording 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He has played in 12 games since then, only one last season.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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