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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

With just 60 players under contract, Buccaneers have work to do



If the NFL's lockout indeed ends in the coming days and the league reopens for business, the Bucs have a lot of work to do to ensure they are ready for the season.

For one thing, they need to fill out the roster.

General manager Mark Dominik faces a major challenge as his roster includes roughly 60 players under contract as of today. With preseason roster limits potentially growing to 90 players, that's a third of the roster that remains unsigned at this moment.

Many of those will be accounted for through the signing of restricted free agent tenders for players kicker Connor Barth, offensive tackle James Lee and others. The Bucs also have their entire rookie class to sign, including first-round pick Adrian Clayborn and second-rounder Da'Quan Bowers. That's something the team will be hard-pressed to accomplish before camp begins, presumably in less than two weeks.

And the Bucs have a number of key unrestricted free agents who obviously aren't under contract, guard Davin Joseph and linebacker Barrett Ruud among them. And we haven't even mentioned the possibility of outside free agents joining the roster, which is almost a certainty.

But this should give you a sense of how the Bucs' roster could change both rapidly and dramatically in the coming weeks. The fun/insanity could begin as early as this weekend, so buckle your seat belts.

[Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2011 12:23pm]


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