Hard to call Buccaneers "cheap'' now

TAMPA, Fla. – As I said yesterday, Tampa Bay ownership gets criticized quite a bit for being frugal. You guys can hash that one out among yourselves as you talk about the recent past. But I don’t think you can call the Buccaneers cheap after the events of last weekend.

We showed you some details on the massive contract the Bucs gave left tackle Donald Penn previously. Now, I’ve gathered more details on the structure of the deal given to first-round pick Gerald McCoy.

Both deals were completed July 31 and cost the Bucs $5.6 million in cash instantly. That’s the total of the signing bonuses given to Penn and McCoy as soon as they signed their contracts. How many people can say they spent $5.6 million in a single day? And the implications of the deals for Penn and McCoy go deep into the future and potentially involve a ton of money.

McCoy got a $3.6 million signing bonus. At this moment, he’s scheduled to earn a total of $12.4 million in base salaries through 2015, but that’s really just a start. Right now, 2015 is a voidable option year. But the option bonus on that comes due in 2011, and the Bucs will be writing another massive check then. McCoy’s option bonus is for $9.98 million.

There also are performance-based escalators that could raise McCoy’s base salaries significantly starting in 2012.