With an injury to one of their key players, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to sign tackle Gosder Cherilus to a two-year contract worth around $7 million.
According to ESPN, the veteran right tackle will receive a $500,00 roster bonus and can earn an extra half-a-million if he plays the first 12 games of the regular season for the Buccaneers, who lost tackle Demar Dotson to a knee injury. The team also confirmed the Cherilus deal on Twitter:
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) August 18, 2015
Although Dotson’s injury is not serious, the 29-year-old tackle is expected to miss at least six weeks of action. Cherilus, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts after two years with the team, is expected to assume Dotson’s role with the team.
"[The move was] very important," Bucks head coach Lovie Smith said in the team’s official website. "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. It was good for us that there was a player like [Cherilus] … available."
Dotson suffered the injury in the team’s recent preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Bucs will complete their preseason schedule against the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins before opening the new season against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 14.
Cherilus, who was a first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft or the 17th overall pick, played for the Detroit Lions from 2008 to 2012 and the Colts in 2013 and 2014. He has missed just four games in six years in the NFL and has started 100 of 104 games played in the league.
In 2013, he signed a five-year $35 million contract with the Colts, but struggled with injuries in the latter part of the 2014 season. He was placed on the injured-reserve in December last year and missed the final two weeks of the regular season before he was released by the team last July.