The highest signing bonus Tampa Bay doled out in free agency a year ago was $3 million, which was given to both quarterback Jeff Garcia and left tackle Luke Petitgout. In 2008, the Bucs were less conservative with their checkbook when signing center Jeff Faine to a six-year deal worth $37.5 million on Friday, February 29.

PewterReport.com is reporting that Faine’s deal includes a $12 million signing bonus and a roster bonus of $1 million in 2009. The deal is also voidable after 2009 if certain triggers are achieved.

The 26-year old Faine, who will be Tampa Bay’s starting center this year, will play for a $1 million base salary in 2008 and have a cap value of $3 million. In 2009, Faine’s base salary is again $1 million, but his cap value swells to $4 million due to the $1 million roster bonus that year.

In 2010, Faine’s cap value grows to $7 million, which is the first year that his contract becomes voidable.

Newly signed tight end John Gilmore, who is known for his blocking and his ability to play on special teams, received a $1 million signing bonus for his three-year deal. He will be paid a base salary of $750,000 and have a cap value of $1,083,333 in 2008. Gilmore’s base salary climbs to $1 million in 2009 and $1.25 million in 2010.

The two-year deal for defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson, who is expected to compete for playing time primarily at left defensive end due to the release of Greg Spires and Kevin Carter, consists of a $300,000 signing bonus, a $200,000 roster bonus if he makes the team and a $750,000 base salary in 2008. His cap value in 2008 is $1.1 million and climbs to $1.9 million in 2009 due to a $1.75 million base salary.

OTHER BUCS FREE AGENCY NEWS
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Buccaneers traded away a sixth-round pick to the Chicago Bears in 2009 for the rights of quarterback Brian Griese. … PewterReport.com is reporting that the team is still very interested in re-signing cornerback Sammy Davis. Davis, a former first-round draft pick by San Diego, signed a one-year deal with the Buccaneers and is currently an unrestricted free agent. … The Buccaneers are also still interested in re-signing offensive lineman Matt Lehr, defensive end Kevin Carter and tight ends Anthony Becht and Jerramy Stevens. … Tampa Bay has also expressed some interest in former New York Giants and Philadelphia cornerback William James. No visit has been scheduled at this time.

MORE FREE AGENCY VISITS
Keep track of all of the Tampa Bay's visits that PewterReport.com has been able to confirm on the Bucs Free Agency Tracker on the PewterReport.com message boards.

LATEST PEWTERREPORT.COM FREE AGENCY HEADLINES
Dunn Visits With Bucs

Bucs Trade For Griese

Bucs To Visit With S Wilson

Bucs Officially Sign TE Gilmore

Bucs Sign DE Wilkerson

Faine Officially A Buc

Bucs Express Interest In OT Harris

TE Troupe To Visit Bucs On Saturday

Henderson To Visit Bucs

TE Gilmore To Sign With Bucs

Bucs Attempting To Line Up Visits With Douglas, Moore

Bucs Want To Meet With CB Florence On Friday

Bucs To Visit With DE Wilkerson

Bucs Interested In Hackett Among Other FAs

Bucs Close To Signing C Faine

MLB Koutouvides To Visit Bucs Friday

Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.

WATCH Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds and Jim Flynn on select Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. on Sports Zone with Al Keck and Tom Korun on ABC Action News in Tampa Bay for Bucs game highlights and the latest Bucs news. And for the best local coverage of Tampa Bay sports and Tampa Bay news, check out ABCActionNews.com.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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: sr@pewterreport.com
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