TAMPA — After only one season at center, Ali Marpet was summoned to One Buc Place last spring and told the team planned to recruit a free agent player at his position.
Marpet could have made a fuss. Instead, he made plans to have a recruiting dinner with Ravens free agent center Ryan Jensen.
"If it helps our team, I'm all for it," Marpet said at the time. "And I think it helps our team."
Jensen would up signing with the Bucs and Marpet moved to left guard, his third position in four years.
But his unselfishness, versatility and dominating play was rewarded Tuesday when Marpet signed a five-year contract extension worth $10.825-million per season. The deal includes $26.8-million in guarantees.
The deal makes Marpet, 25, the seventh-highest paid guard in the NFL in terms of average salary and the third-highest at left guard behind the Jaguars Andrew Norwell ($13.3-million) and the Raiders Kelechi Osemele ($11.7-million).
"I feel incredibly grateful," Marpet said Tuesday. "It's awesome that the Buccaneers wanted me here as much as I wanted to stay here. I love the Tampa Bay community and the organization and I want to thank the Glazer family for making this happen."
Marpet is one of the great finds by the Bucs, a Div. III player from tiny Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y.
He has started 44 games, at three different positions, since being selected in the second round of the 2015 draft.
The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Marpet also has played right guard and center. He was moved to left guard this season with the signing of Jensen.
"In his first four seasons, Ali has developed into one of the league's best offensive guards and we believe he will only continue to improve," general manager Jason Licht said. "His ability to play multiple positions across the line, along with his energy and work ethic and overall leadership abilities, were all important factors in our decision to ensure he remains a Buccaneer for the long term."
The Bucs traded up in the second-round in 2015 to draft Marpet, who was a relative unknown except in some NFL circles until he became the first Div. III player picked to play in the 2015 Senior Bowl.
Athletic. Strong. Consistent. Those were the adjectives used by the Bucs to describe Marpet.
Another one is frugal. It's unclear whether Marpet has any plans for his new wealth. He's an incredibly simple and humble NFL player.
Marpet has been known to wear Hawaiian shirts he gets from Goodwill or to borrow dress shoes from left tackle Donovan Smith to wear on road trips because he hasn't bought a new pair.
Having never missed a start in 52 games, Smith is also in position for a contract extension and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2018.
The Bucs also have met with Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, who is also in line for a new deal.