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.
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.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org