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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Big Gaines



Biggaines Gaines Adams is officially a Buc.

Adams, the team's first round pick, just strolled into the Celebration Hotel alongside his agent, Fletcher Smith, just after signing his contract. And what a contract it is. We've learned Adams signed a six-year deal worth $46-million, $18.56-million of it guaranteed. Those numbers represent a 14.4 percent increase over the value of last year's No. 4 pick, the Jets' D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

It was feared Adams' negotiations would extend into Friday, when the first training camp practice is scheduled to be held. But Adams held true to his word and reported to Celebration before even most of his teammates.

He became the highest-drafted player to sign thus far from the 2007 draft class. Others, such as Cleveland's Joe Thomas, the No. 3 pick, might have protracted negotiations that extend well into camp. Smith said he and Adams were happy to finalize the deal if the Bucs were willing to offer what Smith projected Adams' market value to be.

His presence in camp is key. The Bucs want to experiment with several different lineups and looks with their defensive front seven, and Adams is liekly to be a major part of those efforts.

He, like the rest of us, doesn't know precisely what the team's plans for him.

"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I'm just coming in and working hard and doing whatever Coach (Jon) Gruden wants me to do."

He's just ready to play.

"I'm very excited," he said. "It's a dream come true."

(Times photo - Brendan Fitterer. Click to enlarge.)

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:46pm]


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