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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign Guard Carl Nicks

One day after signing free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson the Tampa Bay Buccaneers land guard Carl Nicks on a five-year, $47.5 million deal, with $31 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid guard in the NFL, according to sources.

This signing means the Buccaneers have made the biggest splash thus far in an already busy free agency, which has not even been available for 24 hours yet. Along with Jackson’s five-year, $55.55 million agreement, Tampa Bay also signed cornerback Eric Wright early Wednesday morning to a five-year deal. How much Wright will be paid is currently unknown.

Nicks’ $9.5 million per year average is $1 million more than Logan Mankins who held the previously highest contract for a guard in the league.

The former New Orleans Saints guard was a first-team All-Pro last season and a two-time Pro Bowler.

The Buccaneers had a rough season in 2011 finishing with a 4-12 record. They ranked third to last in the league in rushing yards and last in stopping the run.

Quarterback Josh Freeman is looking to use last year as a learning curve and build off his impressive 2010 season. Adding a high-powered offensive weapon in Jackson and excellent guard in Nicks will definitely help.