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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Next up for Bucs' McCoy: A huge contract



The Bucs are elated to have defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on board after drafting him third overall last week.

Soon, they'll have to pay him accordingly.

McCoy stands to earn an enormous amount of money in his first deal, as has become customary for top-10 picks in the draft.

The negotiating typically starts at the same level as the player picked in the same spot last year. In this case, that's the Chiefs' Tyson Jackson, who was the third overall pick in 2009 out of LSU. He eventually signed a five-year, $57 million contract with $31 million in guarantees. The previous year, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, also a No. 3 pick, signed a $72 million with $34 million guaranteed. His deal, however, covered six years -- not five.

The negotiations will likely go down to the wire just before training camp -- as usual with draft picks -- as agents wait for other top picks to sign before locking themselves into deals. But there are exceptions. Ryan, who expressed an interest to get his contract negotiations behind him, signed his deal in May 2008.

McCoy and Ryan are represented by the same agency, and McCoy's individual agent, Ben Dogra, has multiple clients on the Buccaneers, including Davin Joseph and Cadillac Williams. All of this should greatly minimize the chance of a holdout of ugly negotiations.

What remains to be seen is whether this is the last year first-round picks are paid this handsomely. With negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement ongoing, it's very possible a rookie wage scale will be introduced once a new labor agreement is in place. Owners are pushing for it and there are a number of veteran players who likely would be willing to concede on this issue.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 4:00pm]


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