INDIANAPOLIS — GM Mark Dominik let some players know this week how much they are valued by the Bucs. Some will be happier than others.
LT Donald Penn was given a first- and third-round tender ($3.168 million). LB Barrett Ruud was given a first- and third-round tender ($3.268 million). But RT Jeremy Trueblood was given a tender for his original second-round draft pick ($1.759 million).
RB Cadillac Williams was technically tendered as a first-round pick, but he will be offered a contract at 110 percent of his 2009 salary. It also means that any bonuses or incentives from last year's contract will carry over to his 2010 contract.
By placing the highest possible tenders on Penn and Ruud, and the second-highest on Williams, it will be virtually impossible for those players to leave as restricted free agents. Not only do the Bucs own the right of first refusal on any offer sheet the players may sign with another team, the Bucs could demand a combination of high draft picks as compensation if they chose not to match.
Penn has been seeking a long-term extension and is dismayed by the tender, according to his agent. "They're basically admitting he is one of the best tackles in the league," agent Rocky Arceneaux said. "I think this is ridiculous."
But Dominik said he believes players such as Penn and Ruud ultimately are satisfied.
"I think at the end of the day, the players that perform get rewarded in this league," Dominik said Friday.
The Bucs did not tender WR Brian Clark, LB Matt McCoy and FB Byron Storer. Dominik said he still has to officially offer tenders to WRs Maurice Stovall and Mark Bradley, and LB Rod Wilson.
The Bucs are expected to release several veterans by March 5, a list that likely will include punters Josh Bidwell and Dirk Johnson. Both finished last season on injured reserve.
The Bucs haven't made a decision on Byron Leftwich, one of four quarterbacks under contract, including Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter.
TEBOW talks: Packers coach Mike McCarthy was answering a question about former Gators QB Tim Tebow's chances of succeeding in the NFL, when an announcement was made: "Some guy named Tebow at podium C." Even as McCarthy finished his thought, half the reporters ran to Tebow, whose media conference by far was the most attended so far at the combine.
Tebow said he has changed his throwing motion recently to show NFL teams what kind of player he is. "I talked to a lot of different quarterbacks coaches and a lot of people who said, 'Wait till after the draft (to change the motion),' " he said. "But I'm not afraid of what anybody thinks. If I need to change it, then I'm going to do it now."
Bench mark: Arkansas lineman Mitch Petrus tied the combine record for bench-press reps with 225 pounds (records kept since 2000) with 45, NFL.com reported. Ohio State DE Mike Kudla (2006) and Texas-El Paso DT Leif Larsen (2000) also share the mark.
Around the league
Chargers: The team decided not to tender a contract to Darren Sproles, allowing the running back to test the free agent market, the Associated Press reported, though the team made no announcement. The news comes four days after the release of RB LaDainian Tomlinson, 30. The team's running game ranked second-to-last in the NFL last season.
Redskins: Coach Mike Shanahan said the team plans to tender QB Jason Campbell before free agency begins. But Shanahan wouldn't commit to Campbell as his starter, and he didn't rule out taking a quarterback with the fourth overall pick.
Giants: Coach Tom Coughlin said he isn't going to hand Osi Umenyiora a starting job to keep the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end happy. Umenyiora said he wants to be traded or will retire if he does not start. "Just like we tell to everybody, 'Go earn it,' " Coughlin said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.