Smith Minny-bound; Bennett in, Brackins out
The Bucs will have to look elsewhere to solidify their safety lineup. Dwight Smith confirmed to Bucs Beat tonight that he has agreed to terms on a three-year, $6.5-million contract with the Vikings.
With the Bucs offering a mere one-year deal, who could blame the guy?
Smith arrived in Minneapolis Monday for a visit, and was swayed not only by the lucrative offer but by the chance to reunite with former position coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin coached the Tampa Bay secondary until last season and was Smith’s coach during the player’s stint with the Bucs.
“I just felt like it would be a good fit,” Smith said. “The chance to be with Mike again and everything, it just felt right. Now I've just got to get in there and earn some playing time. It's a pretty good secondary and I think we have a chance to be a pretty good defense. I'm ready to get started.”
The Bucs’ inability to land Smith leaves them with a likely starting lineup of Jermaine Phillips, left, and Will Allen. Phillips has missed 12 games in three seasons and Allen has never been a full-time starter despite showing promise last season.
The flurry of pre-camp moves continues at One Buc Place. The latest: Tampa Bay has agreed to contract terms with seventh-round pick Charles Bennett, a Clemson product. Also, as expected, they brought back exclusive-rights free agent Earnest Graham.
But the additions meant other Bucs had to go. In this case, one of those was former fifth-round pick Larry Brackins, a project out of Pearl River (
Also waived Tuesday was offensive tackle Todd Williams, an offseason signing and former Florida State standout.
But the day is still young. It's officially football season, so the days of general managers usually run well into the night. That's why Bucs GM Bruce Allen, left with Jon Gruden, is meeting as of this writing with the agents for first-round pick Davin Joseph and second-round pick Jeremy Trueblood in an effort to hammer out those two deals. Lots of big numbers being discussed there.
This could take a while. Looks like it'll be a long night on the Bucs beat.
Photos: Times files