Let the standoff begin
The Bucs got off to an early start in signing their draft picks, inking fourth-round pick Tanard Jackson and seventh-rounder Marcus Hamilton in the past few days.
That's all well and good, but the hardest part is still to come. Negotiating a deal with first-round pick Gaines Adams will be a thorny process given the expected value of his contract. For a little perspective, consider last year's No. 4 pick -- the Jets' D'Brickashaw Ferguson -- signed a six-year contract worth about $37.5-million.
The goal will be to get Adams to camp on time, but don't expect a deal anytime soon. You might remember the Bucs signing Cadillac Williams in the middle of the night on the eve of camp in 2005 and their late-afternoon signing of Davin Joseph last year on the day players reported.
So, the Bucs have historically used every available minute in these negotiations and, likewise, the players' agents also wait until the 11th hour to back down from their demands.
The Bucs may want to wait until some of the other players drafted around Adams are signed to get a sense of what the going rate is this year. Likewise, Adams' agents will want to make sure their client isn't being shortchanged in comparison with players drafted in the same area of the draft. Those facts increase the potential for extended negotiations.
It's still early, but we'll keep you posted when the first shot is fired in this potential standoff. In the meantime, for what it's worth, you can rest on this: shortly after the draft, Adams made a promise to make it to camp on time.
In that case, the clock's ticking.