Barber, Gramatica Rework Deals

February 12 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken the first steps toward making another run at the Super Bowl next season. In an effort to get under the salary cap and re-sign some of its free agents, the Buccaneers have reworked cornerback Ronde Barber and kicker Martin Gramatica's contracts.

The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have already taken steps toward defending its title next season.

The Buccaneers have restructured the contracts of cornerback Ronde Barber and kicker Martin Gramatica in order to get under the NFL mandated $74.8-million salary cap.

Barber, who signed a six-year contract in 2001, was scheduled to count $4.170-million towards the Bucs' cap in 2003. According to the St. Pete Times, Barber agreed to have his base salary for ‘03 reduced from $3.25-million to $530,000. The Bucs paid the difference to Barber in the form of a bonus.

Gramatica signed a seven-year contract extension last offseason and he was scheduled to count $2.225-million towards Tampa Bay's '03 salary cap. According to the Times, Gramatica had his base salary of $1.7-million reduced to $530,000.

By reworking both deals, the Bucs are believed to be roughly $2-million under the salary cap. But the Bucs will also focus its efforts on re-signing some of its free agents in the next few weeks.

Four starters – left tackle Roman Oben, free safety Dexter Jackson and linebackers Shelton Quarles and Al Singleton – are scheduled to become free agents on February 28. Although they're under the cap, Tampa Bay will likely attempt to rework one or more player contracts before the start of free agency.

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