Bucs, CB Smith Set For Negotiations On Tuesday

July 13 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin signing their draft picks next week, and third-round cornerback Dwight Smith might be the first player to come to terms with the team. Smith's agent, Gene Burrough, told Buccaneer Magazine that he will meet with Rich McKay and John Idzik at One Buccaneer Place on Tuesday to hammer out a deal. Eric Hall, the agent for TE Daunte` Finger, expects talks to heat up with his client next week, too.

While other teams around the National Football League are hurrying up their signing of their draft picks this summer, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on their usual slow pace signing their own players. In fact, the Bucs are notorious for delaying the signings of their draft picks until mid- to late July.

Like most teams, the Bucs will sign later-round draft picks before entering into serious negotiations with their top pick, who this year happens to be Florida left tackle Kenyatta Walker.

On Tuesday, negotiations are set to begin between the Bucs and Gene Burrough, the agent for third-round draft pick, cornerback Dwight Smith. Smith could be the first draft pick to sign with the team.

While Burrough wouldn't give specifics on what he's seeking, he does expect Smith and the Bucs will come to terms fairly quickly.

"I don't plan to leave [Tampa] until we finish it," Burrough told Buccaneer Magazine.

Smith will likely sign a three- or four-year deal.

Eric Hall, the agent for seventh-round draft pick, TE Daunte` Finger, also expects to get negotiations going on his client next week.

Once the ball gets rolling, most of the Bucs' nine draft picks should be under contract by the start of training camp, which is on July 29. The lone exception could be Walker, as several first-round picks have held out for the first few days of camp while going through final negotiations with the Bucs.

Running back Warrick Dunn held out in 1997, as did defensive tackle Anthony McFarland in 1999.

For more inside information on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, don't miss our big 48-page Training Camp Issue, which will be published the week of July 23. Call 1-800-881-BUCS(2827) to order your copy or subscribe today!

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