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Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round draft pick Mark Barron signs four-year deal

Mark Barron, at offseason activities in June, also gets a team option for a fifth season.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Mark Barron, at offseason activities in June, also gets a team option for a fifth season.

TAMPA — Bucs first-round draft pick Mark Barron signed a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth, the team announced Friday.

The deal for the safety from Alabama includes a signing bonus of $8.961 million and base salaries of $390,000 in 2012, $1.047 million in 2013, $1.705 million in 2014, and $2.362 million in 2015, Profootballtalk.com reported.

Barron, 22, has missed team activities at One Buc Place while the sides negotiated. Bucs rookies reported for camp Wednesday and practiced Thursday. Veterans report next week.

The seventh overall pick in April's draft is being counted on to be the Bucs' starting strong safety and to add a physical dimension to a defense that was lacking in 2011.

Negotiations are believed to have been prolonged by a disagreement over the issue of offsets, terms that allow teams to withhold otherwise guaranteed money if a player is cut before completion of the deal. Barron's deal reportedly includes no offsets.

Contracts for the top 16 picks in the draft are fully guaranteed under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement reached last year. But offsets allow a team to avoid paying some of the remaining balance on a deal if a player subsequently signs with another club after his original team releases him.

Until this week, none of the top eight picks in the draft had signed. Barron became the third among that group to agree to terms, following the Nos. 1 and 2 overall picks, quarterbacks Andrew Luck of the Colts and Robert Griffin III of the Redskins.

As for what Barron was missing on the rookies' first two days at One Buc Place, coach Greg Schiano said Thursday, "He's missed some repetitions, especially (important) for a rookie we're counting on."

Barron was a consensus first-team All-America selection for the national champion Crimson Tide this past season. He finished his career with 12 interceptions and 235 tackles.

Bucs to practice with Pats: The Bucs will have two joint practices with the Patriots at One Buc Place before the teams' Aug. 24 preseason game at Raymond James Stadium. The practices are Aug. 22 and 23, and are not open to the public.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round draft pick Mark Barron signs four-year deal 07/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 9:29pm]
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