The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed its 2009 fifth-round pick, Xavier Fulton, to a four-year deal worth just over $1.9 million. Fulton, a left tackle from Illinois, received a signing bonus of $181,000 and will receive a $310,000 base salary in 2009, followed by base salaries of $395,000 in 2010, $480,000 in 2011 and $565,000 in 2012.
Fulton was the first of the Bucs’ six picks to sign a contract. The Buccaneers have a reported $3,359,466 to split among the six draft choices in the NFL-allocated rookie pool for 2009.
Fulton is expected to compete for a backup offensive lineman role in training camp once he fully recovers from offseason shoulder surgery on his right shoulder in Feburary. The 6-foot-4, 302-pound tackle Fulton is a former defensive lineman who started 10 games before switching in his sophomore year to offensive tackle, where he went on to start all 25 games he played in. Fulton also registered 149 knockdowns/blocks and 15 touchdown-resulting blocks.
Despite being hindered by his right shoulder ailment, Fulton started 12 games for Illinois last year and earned the Bruce Capel Award for displaying the most courage, dedication and accomplishment. â€¨
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com