Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber hasn’t signed a contract extension yet.
FoxSports.com reported late Monday night that the Bucs and Barber had agreed to a five-year, $24 million contract extension.
However, PewterReport.com has learned Bucs general manager Bruce Allen and Barber’s agent, Ethan Lock, still are in negotiations, and Barber confirmed that notion when he answered questions from the media after Tuesday morning’s practice.
“I have no contract paper yet,” said Barber, who is entering the final year of his contract. “I haven’t signed it and I haven’t seen it. Like I said last week, it’s close. When Bruce finishes drafting it and we agree to it, then I’ll sign it.”
Barber, a three-time Pro Bowler, suggested the contract extension could be complete as early as the end of the day Tuesday.
“I hope it happens some time soon,” Barber said. “I can’t tell you when it’s going to be. I really wish I could. I know it got out there, but again Bruce hasn’t given me anything yet. When Ethan Lock gets back to me and lets me know I can go to Bruce’s room in Celebration and sign the papers, then I’ll do it. We’ll let you know it.”
The 31-year-old Barber has recorded 770 career tackles, 28 interceptions, seven forced fumbles and 146 passes defensed during his nine-year career with the Bucs, who selected him in the third round of the 1997 draft.
Barber hopes the contract extension will allow him to finish his career with the Buccaneers.
“It would be an honor to be in this organization for the entirety of my career, and hopefully it gets done,” said Barber. “I think it’s getting there. It would be nice. I’ve put in a lot of good work here. I think they appreciate it and I appreciate this organization and this town. I’d love to stay here.”
Pittman, Others Miss Practice Several players were held out of Tuesday morning’s full padded practice at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Bucs running back Michael Pittman sat out after having a wisdom tooth extracted. The team expects him back on Wednesday.
Wide receiver David Boston was held out of the morning workout but is expected to participate in the afternoon as part of his regimen.
Cornerback Juran Bolden was held out of the Tuesday morning workout for an undisclosed reason.
Rookie defensive end Charles Bennett still is sidelined with a hamstring injury. He’s expected to be out for a significant amount of training camp.
Tampa Bay is scheduled to hold a two-hour practice on Tuesday afternoon.
The Longest Yard The excitement of Tampa Bay’s morning training camp practice, which typically are held in full pads, was taken to another level Tuesday morning when the Bucs held a physical goal line session.
Tampa Bay ran seven plays in the goal line session, and its offense got off to a great start when fullback Mike Alstott plowed his way into the end zone for a score.
Running backs Cadillac Williams and Derek Watson also scored on their respective running plays.
However, Tampa Bay’s defense, which ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL last season, reaped the benefits of a fumbled center/quarterback exchange between C Jonathan Clinkscale and QB Bruce Gradkowski, which allowed safety Jermaine Phillips to scoop up the loose ball and return it to the end zone for a touchdown.
Of the seven plays Tampa Bay ran in the full-team goal line session, the Bucs defense held the offense out of the end zone on four occasions, which gave them the edge.
“It’s only the third day of pads,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said. “We’re on the goal line. We want to get our guys acclimated to pads the first day. The second day, we want to come out a little bit more explosive in our movements. And the third day we’re going to operate live, as we have every year since I’ve been a head coach. The number-two offense stuck it in there on the number-two defense. It took the number-one offense one play for Alstott to score against our number one defense. We got a fumbled exchange with our third group but they managed to push it in on the other couple downs. We got six or seven live snaps at goal line, and sometimes you go through a regular season and don’t get six snaps. But it is an area that we have isolated hard and will continue to do. We’ll see that drill one more time before training camp ends.”
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