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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

How the Bucs' big deals went down



You know by now that the Bucs completed two big, last-minute deals with Donald Penn and Gerald McCoy on Saturday morning.

But here are the sleep-deprived details of the events beginning Friday afternoon and ending just prior to the whistle that kicked off Saturday morning's practice, scenarios that aren't that uncommon in the high-stakes world of pro football.

On Friday, talks between Penn's agent Rocky Arceneaux and general manager Mark Dominik intensified to the point where Arceneaux hopped on a flight to Tampa to hammer out the deal. That flight was delayed and, later, diverted to Orlando, leaving Arceneaux to rent a car and drive to One Buc Place. Meanwhile, Penn was scrambling to catch a redeye flight from his native Los Angeles, hoping to arrive in time to sign his deal and make it to practice.

Arceneaux arrived in Tampa about 2 a.m. Saturday morning, and immediately got down to business with Dominik and director of football administration, Digger Daley. They negotiated until about 5 a.m., at which point Arceneaux said he needed a few winks of sleep.

Once Arceneaux left, Dominik got McCoy's agent, Ben Dogra, on the phone to begin their pre-dawn conversations aimed at wrapping up McCoy's negotiations. Those went on for the next couple of hours until Dominik awoke Arceneaux via phone around 7 a.m. After picking up his client at the airport, Arceneaux and Penn arrived at One Buc Place to put the finishing touches on the $48 million deal. Penn soon signed it and the contract was sent to the league office for approval. In the meantime, Penn got decked out in his practice attire and awaited the green light from Park Avenue, home of NFL headquarters. Thirty minutes into the morning workout, Penn made his debut.

McCoy's deal got done a bit after Penn's, precluding the first-round pick from making it to the morning workout. Once his details were wrapped up, he made it out for the afternoon practice. His signing ended a whirlwind for him, too. He was told at one point by his agents to fly to Tampa only to be told to hold off. Then, on Friday, he got another such call, instructing him to get to town so he'd be ready to go when the deal was completed.

When it was all said and done, the marathon sessions resulted in $110 million in commitments. Meanwhile, Dominik remained in the same place he had been all night -- his office.

How's that for a slice of life in the NFL.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 1, 2010 2:50pm]


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