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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

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.




[Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2016 7:27pm]


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