There’s room to criticize some of the moves Mark Dominik has made since he took over as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But don’t ever call the man lazy.
In one of the most impressive displays of administrative speed I’ve seen in the NFL, Dominik got offensive tackle Donald Penn signed to a long-term contract and got a five-year deal finalized for first-round draft pick Gerald McCoy.
Penn signed a six-year deal that could be worth as much as $48 million. The team just made the official announcement that McCoy’s contract has been finalized. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the McCoy deal is for five years and could be worth a little more than $63 million.
Deals like that don’t come together quickly and Dominik and the Bucs certainly had done some groundwork over the past few months. But Dominik and his staff really kicked things into high gear over the last day or so and pulled off a pretty major accomplishment that’s important for a rebuilding team.
They’ve got all their players in camp and they’ve got Penn to protect Josh Freeman’s blind side and McCoy to anchor the defensive line. Suddenly, Tampa Bay’s roster looks a good bit better than it did a day ago. We'll see what Freeman, McCoy and Penn do going forward. But, at least when it comes to contracts and theories, the Bucs have three cornerstones in place for the long term. Linebacker Barrett Ruud, also a candidate for an extension, could give them four possible cornerstones. That's a lot more than this team had a year ago.