Tampa Bay has contracts for four of its seven 2008 draft picks completed, which means the Bucs have three days to finalize deals for their three unsigned draft selections, including first-round selection Aqib Talib, second-round pick Dexter Jackson and fifth-round selection Josh Johnson.
The Bucs have had serious dialogue and negotiations with the agents for Talib and Johnson, and deals for both players likely will be completed before Tampa Bay reports to Celebration Hotel for the start of training camp on July 25.
However, sources close to contract negotiations for Jackson tell Pewter Report that little progress has been made on a deal for the speedy wide receiver and return specialist.
It appears as though the Bucs might be attempting to finalize the contracts for Talib and Johnson before putting a full court press on getting Jackson's deal done. However, the Bucs insist they're working on all three deals simaltaneously and that Jackson's contract won't necessarily be the last one done before check-in day begins on Friday.
Bucs general manager Bruce Allen has never had a rookie hold out of training camp as a result of not getting a contract completed in time. He hopes to keep that streak intact for at least another year.
"We're hopeful that occurs," Allen said of getting the rest of Tampa Bay's draft picks signed before the start of training camp. "I know [the agents] have been working at it and I know [Bucs senior assistant] Kevin [Demoff] has been burning some midnight oil. Until everyone signs, I can't really comment further."
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