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Dietrich-Smith signs 4-year contract with Bucs

Mar. 14, 2014
 
Evan Dietrich-Smith is leaving the Green Bay Packers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. File/Press-Gazette Media
Evan Dietrich-Smith is leaving the Green Bay Packers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. File/Press-Gazette Media

The Green Bay Packers will have at least one new starter on offense this year, at center.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Packers center Even Dietrich-Smith to a four-year contract. According to multiple reports, Dietrich-Smithís new deal averages $3.6 million a season and includes about $7.25 million guaranteed.

For now, the move leaves second-year pro JC Tretter as the Packersí front-runner to start at center, though they also could sign a bargain free agent to compete for the job, or could draft at the position.

Tretter, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013, missed most of last season because of a broken ankle sustained in May. He came off the physically unable to perform list late in the year to win a spot on the 53-man roster rather than finish on injured reserve. He played tackle in college at Cornell, but the Packers projected him as a potential starting center of the future when they drafted him.

Dietrich-Smith, 27, started all 16 games at center last season and carried a strong endorsement from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But general manager Ted Thompson didnít put as high a value on him as the Bucs did.

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