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Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign draft picks Najee Goode, Keith Tandy

TAMPA — The Bucs were busy on the eve of their first team workouts.

Tampa Bay signed its two draft picks from West Virginia — linebacker Najee Goode and cornerback Keith Tandy — to four-year contracts Monday.

Meanwhile, kicker Connor Barth was Tampa-bound and said he was ''excited'' to see his teammates, an indication a deal may be near.

The Bucs' franchise designee has not signed his $2.645 million tender nor reached an agreement on a long-term deal. But based on his tweet Monday night, could one be close at hand?

"Headin back down to Tampa today. … excited to see all my teammates again!" Barth posted on Twitter.

Barth set a franchise record by hitting 26 of 28 field goals last season (92.9 percent). He is believed to seek a long-term deal in excess of $3 million per year. He did not participate in voluntary veteran minicamp before the draft. The NFL deadline for teams to reach a long-term deal with franchise players is July 15. If no deal is reached at that point, Barth would play the season under the tag.

Goode, a fifth-round pick, is expected to begin the offseason working at middle or strong side linebacker. Tandy, a sixth-round pick, played cornerback in the recent minicamp but has the ability to move to safety.

Goode, who tied a school record with 52 games played, finished his career with 157 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, 13 passes defensed, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was named first-team All-Big East as a senior.

Tandy, a two-time All-Big East selection, started 40 of the 45 games he played. He recorded 188 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 13 interceptions, 37 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Tandy is versatile enough in coverage to play safety.

"Some guys are just man-to-man guys," Schiano said. "They're like, 'I got that guy,' and other than that they struggle. Keith's not like that. He's a complete defensive back.

"He has zone skills, man skills, press skills, off skills, so we just need to see where he fits best right now. He does have the kind of versatility that's going to (allow us) to mix and match where he's needed."

Around the league

BEARS: Quarterback Jay Cutler said his right thumb is fine after offseason surgery to repair a fracture.

EAGLES: Left tackle Jason Peters, who had Achilles surgery six weeks ago, injured it again in a fall at his home and needs surgery again. first reported the second injury.

GIANTS: The team waived safety Chad Jones, a third-round draft pick in 2010 who was seriously injured in an auto accident two months after being drafted.

SAINTS: The players union's grievance against the league in the team's bounty scandal will be heard Wednesday in New York.

TITANS: Free agent Javarris James, a former college running back at Miami, signed.

VIKINGS: The Vikings stadium deal that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law Monday involves public participation, but it also prevents the public from getting a look at the team's finances during the partnership to build the $975 million facility.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign draft picks Najee Goode, Keith Tandy 05/14/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 14, 2012 10:55pm]
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