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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs burn midnight oil, sign Joseph, Trueblood and Koenen



The Bucs continue to lock up their homegrown talent, with free-agent guard Davin Joseph confirming the signing of a massive seven-year, $52.5 million deal, while also reportedly signing tackle Jeremy Trueblood to a two-year deal.

The Bucs also signed punter Michael Koenen to a six-year deal, according to multiple reports.

The signing of both Joseph and Trueblood comes as no surprise. The team said from the outset of the free-agent negotiating period earlier this week that it planned to prioritize its own free agents. Joseph was the first order of business, the aggressive, downhill blocker a central part of the team's long-term offensive line plan. Joseph's new contract comes with $19 million in guaranteed money.

"With God, all dreams can come true!" Joseph wrote via his Twitter account shortly after the deal was done. "Don't stop believing in Him! I'm an example of a truly blessed individual."

The re-signing of Trueblood gives the Bucs depth at tackle, and specifically right tackle, where he'll likely compete with James Lee. The Bucs now have every key member of their offensive line returning and have significant depth with the likes of Jeremy Zuttah, Ted Larsen, Derek Hardman and Will Barker.

The acquisition of Koenen, 29, is the result of a long search for consistency at punter. The Bucs have gone through five punters in the past two seasons alone. In his six seasons with the Falcons, Koenen has been one of the more reliable punters in the NFL, averaging 42 yards per attempt.

The Bucs also have punter Robert Malone on the roster. He finished 2010 for the Bucs after supplanting Chris Bryan earlier in the season.

[Last modified: Friday, July 29, 2011 12:42am]


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