NFL class policy has rookie TE absent
New Bucs coach Lovie Smith made a point to fly in his rookies Sunday -- the day after the NFL draft was completed -- to get a head start on their acclimation to pro football, but second-round pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins hasn't arrived yet due to an NFL academic rule.
To encourage more prospects to finish their spring classes, the NFL doesn't allow a rookie to participate in team activities -- except for a team's three-day rookie minicamp, which is this weekend -- until his spring semester's classes and final exams are completed.
That doesn't come into play as often with the NFL drafting in May now, but the University of Washington is on quarters and not traditional semesters, so classes won't be completed until the second week of June. The NFL rule applies whether the draft pick was enrolled for spring classes or not, so there's no incentive for draft hopefuls to drop out of classes.
Seferian-Jenkins, the second tight end taken in the draft, will join the Bucs on Friday for the three-day minicamp.
ONE MORE: The Bucs made another roster addition Tuesday, signing an undrafted rookie free agent in Texas A&M linebacker Steven Jenkins, who led the Aggies in tackles last season. He's the third Texas A&M prospect to join the rookie class, along with first-round pick WR Mike Evans and undrafted free agent LB Nate Askew. Another Aggie, CB Toney Hurd, is expected to attend the minicamp as a tryout player.
The Bucs waived running back Michael Smith, a seventh-round pick in 2012 who only played in one game in his two seasons. He returned three kickoffs for 55 yards in the 2012 opener, then was inactive each week the rest of his rookie season. He spent last year on injured reserve with a foot injury, and when the team held a three-day voluntary minicamp last month, he was still sidelined by the injury.