Bucs sign rookie DT Miller, release QB Griese
The Bucs announced Monday that defensive tackle Roy Miller, a third-round pick from Texas, has signed a four-year contract, leaving first-rounder Josh Freeman as the last unsigned draft pick in this year's class.
The four years is standard for any rookies drafted after the first round, and Miller's deal includes a signing bonus of $770,000. His base salary will be the NFL minimum each season, which works out to $2.52 million over four years.
The team also announced that veteran quarterback Brian Griese, left on the outside looking in at what seems to be a three-way battle for the Bucs' starting job, has been released. The team now has Freeman and veterans Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich, along with second-year pro Josh Johnson.
The Bucs acquired Griese for a second stint in Tampa Bay in March 2008, sending a 2009 sixth-round draft pick to the Bears for him. Griese led the Bucs to three wins in September, but was knocked out of his fourth start at Denver with an elbow injury and made only one start the rest of the season. The Bucs have actively overhauled their quarterback position, dropping the only two quarterbacks (Griese and Jeff Garcia) who completed passes for the team last season.
Here's a story on Roy Miller written by the Times' Stephen Holder back in April, shortly after the draft.
As far as the signing bonus, for comparison, last year's No. 81 pick, LSU receiver Early Doucet, got a reported $600,000 bonus from Arizona, but that was part of a three-year contract, which allows him to potentially leave as a restricted free agent after the third season. The $770,000 signing bonus is larger, but counts less against the salary cap than Doucet's bonus because it is spread over four seasons instead of three.
-- Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden was in attendance at USF's Sling & Shoot football camp this weekend, watching his son Deuce play for Carrollwood Day School's team there. Deuce caught the game-winning two-point conversion in the championships of the small-school division.
"(Coach Gruden) said he was more nervous than he was in the Super Bowl, because then he had some control over what happened," said USF offensive coordinator Mike Canales, who coordinated the camp.
-- Greg Auman, Times staff writer