The past few years reporting day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Celebration Hotel is usually pretty hum-drum. Not so this year.
The Brett Favre drama notwithstanding, there were plenty of other issues to examine as players filtered in on Friday. At least one starting-caliber player did not report. One rookie was released. And three players reportedly failed physicals. How will all of this impact the roster? Here's Bucsblitz.com's examination.
Greg White: White did not report to camp on Friday. The exclusive rights free agent has received an offer of about $370,000, but wants something in line with a second-round pick, which would be a four-year deal that would include a bonus of $1 million or slightly less (think Sabby Piscitelli's contract from a year ago). The Bucs can't fine White because of his ERFA status. This seems almost ridiculous to me, quibbling over what would be about $1 million in guaranteed money (read signing bonus) for last year's sack leader when the Bucs have plenty of cap space. Why the Bucs simply won't give him a more secure deal, some up-front money and some incentives is puzzling. What's particularly insulting is that the Bucs gave long-snapper Andrew Economos a five-year deal that could pay him $4 million, reportedly. For a long snapper?! And they won't pay White?
The only thing White risks is falling behind in the defensive end race, and frankly, I don't see him falling that far behind given that Gaines Adams is the only pure pass rusher.
Still, it sounds like White is going to sign the tender on Saturday and play on that insulting deal in 2008. He deserves just a little better.
Carnell Williams: He'll was placed on the active PUP list, which means he can practice when he's ready — if he's ready. It also means he likely failed his physical. The Bucs won't rush him. The Bucs needed to put him on active PUP to pave the way to put him on the reserve PUP at the start of the season. If that happens, he won't be available until after Week 6.
Luke Petitgout: This may be more troubling. Petitgout is also on the active PUP. What happened to him being ready for camp? This is a bit of a blindside, as all indications were that he would be ready.
This could allow Donald Penn to solidify his hold on the starting job at left tackle. He'll get all the first-team reps and get a real chance to impress coaches with his progress. Depending on the severity of this, it could even cost Petitgout his roster spot. This situation certainly bears watching.
Cory Boyd: The seventh-round pick was released on Friday, according to reports. The Bucs said it was due to injury, which means that if no one claims Boyd off waivers the Bucs can put him on their injured reserve list, which would end his season. But Boyd was also involved in a scuffle with first-round pick Aqib Talib at the rookie symposium (and teams just don't release first-round picks on a whim). Given all the backs the Bucs have, losing Boyd is no big loss.
Chris Simms: He arrived at camp on time, even though he doesn't want to be there and the Bucs will likely release him or trade him at some point. You have to tip your hat to him. His situation is far worse than White's and he still shows up. The best thing Simms can do is play his butt off every day, prove he's healthy and get a team interested in him so he can get out of here.
Aqib Talib, Dexter Jackson, Josh Johnson: Give GM Bruce Allen credit for something — he can get draft choices signed. All three signed and reported on Friday, meaning they won't fall behind their more accomplished veterans. That's key for any rookie hoping for playing time in their first season.
Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of bucsblitz.com.