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Shortly after tight end Anthony Becht’s visit to One Buccaneer Place, his agent, Cliff Brady, explained how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed a full court press on his client.
“I don’t know what kind of recruiter Jon Gruden is, but Anthony absolutely fell in love with him,” Brady said. “I mean, the entire coaching staff was great to him. It’s the perfect situation for him because they need a starting tight end, and the Bucs let him know how badly they want him.”
To answer Brady’s question, Gruden is apparently one helluva recruiter, and general manager Bruce Allen has been quite effective in terms of executing and structuring the five-year contracts for Becht, defensive end Greg Spires and wide receiver Joey Galloway, as evidenced by those deal’s details, which are outlined below.
It was no secret that Becht accepted less money to play in Tampa Bay, but one might be surprised by how much less he took to leave the Jets and become a Buccaneer.
Try $260,000. That’s how much Becht’s signing bonus was. Just to put that number in perspective, Detroit Lions free agent TE Stephen Alexander, 29, recently signed a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos that included a $1 million signing bonus.
Not only is Becht’s signing bonus extremely cap friendly, so are his base salaries for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. This year, Becht’s base salary is just $540,000, and his cap value is $592,000.
In ’06, Becht is due a $500,000 roster bonus, but his base salary is just $700,000, bringing his cap value to $1.252 million.
The three remaining years on the former first-round draft pick’s contract with the Bucs are a bit more expensive, but they’re also voidable. Becht’s base salaries for the 2007, ’08 and ’09 seasons are $1.5 million, $1.8 million and $2.1 million, respectively.
The 6-foot-5, 272-pounder’s cap values for those three seasons are $1.6 million, $1.9 million and $2.2 million, respectively.
Needless to say, the Bucs practically stole Becht from the Jets, who were offering a signing bonus in the $1 million range.
Although Spires received a $2.335 million signing bonus, his deal appears to be structured in a way that helps the cap-strapped Bucs as well.
Spires has base salaries of $665,000 (2005), $1 million (’06), $2 million (’07), $3.9 million (’08) and $4.2 million in ’09, which is a voidable year on the deal.
The 30-year-old Spires has salary cap values of $1.132 million (’05), $3.467 million (in ’06 and ’07), $4.367 million (’08) and $4.667 million (’09).
Spires is also scheduled to receive a $2 million roster bonus in ’06 and a $1 million roster bonus in ’07.
Like Spires, Galloway’s five-year deal included a lucrative signing bonus — $2.925 million to be exact.
The 33-year-old Galloway is scheduled to have base salaries of $665,000 (’05), $1.66 million (’06), $1.283 million (’07), $1.767 million (’08) and $2 million (’09).
His cap values are $1.250 million (’05), $2.595 million (’06), $3.168 million (’07), $2.702 million (’08) and $2.935 million (’09).
Galloway is scheduled to receive several roster bonuses, including $250,000 in ’06, $1.2 million in ’07 and $250,000 in both ’08 and ’09.
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