Bucs Sign K Gramatica to Seven-Year Contract

January 22 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have signed K Martin Gramatica to a seven-year contract. Gramatica was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on Mar. 1, 2002, but renegotiated his contract on Jan. 5.

There's still a lot of uncertainty in Tampa Bay in terms of who the Buccaneers' new head coach will be, but the Pewter Pirates know who their kicker will be for the next seven years. The Buccaneers announced on Tuesday afternoon that they had signed K Martin Gramatica to a seven-year contract.

"I'm just real excited to be a Buccaneer," said Gramatica. "It's a great organization to be a part of. I was drafted here, my family lives here, my brother goes to USF and it just worked out perfectly. And the way it is structured (my contract), it's a seven-year deal, so I'm real happy that I'll be here for a while.

"I'm happy that we could work this out and both sides are very happy. I am also really happy to be back in this locker room with all of my great teammates."

Gramatica, who will enter his fourth-season in the NFL out of Kansas State, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on Mar. 1, but Tampa Bay decided to lock their 1999 third-round draft selection up for the long haul.

Gramatica received a $1.5 million renegotiation signing bonus on Jan. 5. While Gramtica could be a Buccaneer for seven years, Tampa Bay has the option of exercising the 2004-2008 part of his contract. If Tampa Bay does decide to commit to Gramatica after the 2003 season, he will receive another $1.1 million bonus. Gramatica will average $1.86 million per season

While Tampa Bay is continuing their search for a new head coach, all of their free agents-to-be will not be clear on their future with the team until the search for a new head coach concludes. But no matter who Tampa Bay hires as their new head coach, Tampa Bay ownership was certain they wanted Gramatica to be part of their organization's plans now and in the future.

"Martin fits within our approach of trying to draft players, develop the player and sign the player for the long term," said Bucs general manager Rich McKay. "We are extremely happy to get this done at this time and make this a portion we will not have to address in the near future."

Gramatica ranks third in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history with 78 field goals made. Gramatica was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2000, and has converted on a club-record 95 consecutive PATs and he owns several single-season marks, including 28 field goals made in 2000 and 126 points scored in 2000.

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