Smith, Benenoch land deals with Bucs
Bucs rookies began assembling for minicamp on Thursday and two draft picks have already reached deals with the team.
Defensive back Ryan Smith, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina Central, signed a four-year deal with the Bucs worth $2.93-million and includes a $592,000 signing bonus. Caleb Benenoch, a fifth-round choice from UCLA, agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $2.59-million and includes a $253,000 bonus.
There have been very few protracted negotiations wiith rookies since the collective bargaining agreement in 2011 created salary guidelines for first-year players. There also is an incentive for teams to reach agreements since unsigned draft picks now count against the 90-man offseason roster limit.
Still unsigned is first-round cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, second-round defensive end Noah Spence, second-round kicker Roberto Aguayo and the Bucs' two sixth-round picks, linebacker Devante Bond and fullback Danny Vitale.
Smith, who played cornerback at UNCC, is a candidate to be moved to safety by the Bucs. He finished with a school-record 168 career solo tackles and averaged 28.1 yards per kickoff return. Benenoch started 35 games in more than three seasons with UCLA and can play left guard or tackle.