How did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare on Sunday afternoon at training camp? Find out here. Learn which players skipped part of the workout, which defensive player nearly chased QB Luke McCown down and which rookie made his first big play. Get the scoop right here live from training camp. Get the scoop right here.
LAKE BUENA VISTA — On Sunday morning, Greg White was exactly where he wanted to be, taking first-team reps at left defensive end at Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp.
He had hoped to be doing so with a long-term contract, but he and his agent, Jack Bechta, failed to convince the Bucs that was a good idea — at least for now.
White, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a one-year tender worth $370,000 on Saturday morning and reported to camp.
White had eight sacks last year to lead the Bucs and he’ll have to play his way to a better contract. Perhaps the Bucs want more proof that White is the answer at left end.
“We felt it was in my best interests to sign the tender,” White said. “That was it.”
When asked if he was happy about that, White hesitated and then said, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I’m here to play football. … That’s all I can do.”
As an ERFA, White had little leverage to renegotiate with the Bucs. The 29-year-old, who needed six years to finally make a NFL roster, had accrued only one year of service time, leading to his ERFA status.
Next year White will be a restricted free agent, and while the Bucs can still keep him, the rest of the NFL can make White an offer — if they’re willing to compensate the Bucs in return.
DT Jovan Haye was an example of this. As a RFA this past spring, the Bucs put a first-round tender on Haye, meaning that if a team signed Haye, the Bucs were owed a first-round pick in return. No one made Haye an offer and he signed a 1-year deal worth a little over $2 million.
Another season like 2007 and White may see similar treatment, or even the long-term deal he desires.
For now, his only desire is to play.
“It just didn’t work out for whatever reason,” White said. “I’m just happy to be here now.”
LOVING THE TENT: So far, the Bucs’ 17,000-square foot tent is getting rave reviews from players.
The tent was used again on Sunday for part of the afternoon workout. The Bucs will use the tent several more times during training camp and whenever weather becomes an issue.
Last year rain chased the Bucs several times to a local hotel ballroom.
“The veteran guys got some help last year with just one practice, but to take it off the whole team like that is a step in the right direction,” veteran CB Ronde Barber said. “This heat is oppressive at times.”
INJURIES: WR Joey Galloway (groin) sat out workouts for a second straight day. CB Torrie Cox (knee) sat out as well. Head coach Jon Gruden said the severity of Cox’s injury was unclear. WR Antonio Bryant and S Tanard Jackson suffered from some cramping in the morning workout.
Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of bucsblitz.com.