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Ins and outs of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NFL lockout's aftermath

Kicker Connor Barth was 23-for-28 on field goals and perfect on all 36 PATs in 2010.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Kicker Connor Barth was 23-for-28 on field goals and perfect on all 36 PATs in 2010.

What happens to the Bears-Bucs game, scheduled for London on Oct. 23?

The game remains overseas because the lockout ended prior to the Aug. 1 deadline established by the NFL. Had the lockout lasted longer, that game would have been moved to Tampa.

Which Bucs players are now officially free agents?

Unrestricted free agents (free to sign with any team) are LB Quincy Black, DE Tim Crowder, TE John Gilmore, LB Adam Hayward, G Davin Joseph, LB Niko Koutouvides, LB Barrett Ruud, WR Maurice Stovall, OT Jeremy Trueblood, DE Stylez White, RB Cadillac Williams. Restricted free agents (Bucs have the right to match any competing offer) include K Connor Barth, OT James Lee, S Corey Lynch, CB Elbert Mack, DT Frank Okam and WR Micheal Spurlock.

What players perhaps benefited from the lockout?

CB Aqib Talib was a big beneficiary. Had the league been in business when he was accused in March of shooting at Shannon Billings in Garland, Texas, he could have been released on the spot. But the Bucs' inability to make roster moves gave the situation time to simmer down, with his trial now set for next March. It's unclear if the league or the Bucs will take any action against Talib before the trial, so expect him to show up for training camp on Thursday.

Which injured players should the Bucs be concerned about?

The offseason has provided ample time for most injured players to heal, but DT Brian Price (pelvic fracture) remains a concern and could be headed to the physically-unable-to-perform list. His progress has been particularly slow. A key upcoming revelation will be the status of second-round pick Da'Quan Bowers, who had a much-debated knee surgery before the draft. He vowed to be ready for camp. Players like WR Arrelious Benn (knee), Cody Grimm (broken leg) and DT Gerald McCoy might initially be limited but are in pretty good shape.

What next

TODAY: Teams can reach agreements with rookies and undrafted free agents, and can reach agreements (although not sign contracts) with all free agents. Signed players are allowed to enter team facilities.

WEDNESDAY: Players from teams that have their first preseason games on Thursday, Aug. 11, can report to training camp.

THURSDAY: Players from teams that have their first preseason games on Aug. 12 — including the Buccaneers — can report to training camp. Teams can start cutting players at 4 p.m.

FRIDAY: Teams can begin signing free agents (restricted and unrestricted) at 6 p.m. Teams that have their first preseason games on Aug. 13 can report to training camp.

SUNDAY: Jets and Texans report to training camp.

Aug. 4: Deadline for recertification and ratification of the collective bargaining agreement by the players.

NFL training camp openings

Wednesday: Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Ravens, Seahawks

Thursday: Buccaneers, 49ers, Bengals, Chiefs, Dolphins, Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Saints, Steelers

Friday: Bears, Bills, Browns, Colts, Giants, Packers, Panthers, Rams, Titans, Vikings

Sunday: Jets, Texans

The big winners

NFL owners: Get a larger share of the total revenue (estimated at $9 billion this year).

Veteran players: Get a bigger slice of the payroll, now that there will be a limit to how much teams can spend on rookies. And in the next two years, owners are required to spend at least 99 percent of the $120 million salary cap.

Young players: The minimum salary for a first-year player increases to $375,000, an increase of $55,000. That salary increases to $450,000 in Year 2, $525,000 in Year 3 and $600,000 in Year 4. Almost half the league has minimum salary contracts.

Small-market teams: Will have to spend more to reach the league salary minimum, but thanks to a new revenue sharing plan, will get more financial help from the top-earning teams.

NFL fans: Because we won't have to put up with this again for another 10 years.

The big losers

Top draft picks: Will get much less money because of the rookie salary cap, and their agents (who collect fees based on those salaries).

Fans of an 18-game schedule: The idea was canned for at least the next two years.

Tough-guy coaches: The number of practices in the offseason, as well as during the regular season, have been reduced. Teams can still have two practices a day during training camp, but only one can be in pads.

Quick hits

• Within hours of the end of the lockout, the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets announced they would reimburse all lost wages to business-side employees who took unpaid furloughs during the lockout and coaches who took pay cuts.

• The Baltimore Ravens wasted little time making roster moves, cutting Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg, Willis McGahee and Todd Heap after the lockout ended.

• Buffalo LB Paul Posluszny said he will consider offers from other teams now that the NFL labor dispute has been settled.

• Indianapolis host committee spokeswoman Dianna Boyce said they expect NFL officials to give them the official word soon that they can cancel plans for a Feb. 12 Super Bowl. The game is scheduled for Feb. 5 and the city was holding open both weekends in case the game got postponed.

Stephen Holder, Times Staff Writer

2011 draft picks (round)

• DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa (1)

• DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson (2)

• LB Mason Foster, Washington (3)

• TE Luke Stocker, Tennessee (4)

• S Ahmad Black, Florida (5)

• RB Allen Bradford, Southern Cal (6)

• CB Anthony Gaitor, Florida International (7)

• TE Daniel Hardy, Idaho (7)

Ins and outs of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the NFL lockout's aftermath 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:12pm]
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