Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Bucs paid extra for undrafted rookies
By Pat Yasinskas
If I had to pick one undrafted rookie to make an NFC South roster right now, it would be Tampa Bay offensive lineman Desmond Wynn.
That’s because the Bucs obviously thought very highly of Wynn when they signed him. I just got a look at the contract details for all the NFC South undrafted rookie free agents and Wynn’s $15,000 signing bonus was easily the highest. That might have something to do with the fact Wynn played for coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers.
A lot of undrafted rookies got a signing bonus of $1,000 or $2,000 and a fair amount got no signing bonus at all. But, as he’s been known to do at times in the past, Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik handed out several signing bonuses that were well above the league average. Offensive lineman Bradley Sowell got $10,000, offensive lineman Mike VanDerMeulen got $8,000, cornerback Leonard Johnson got $7,500, safety Tramain Thomas got $7,000 and fullback Cody Johnson got $5,000.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the division and see which other undrafted rookies got at least $5,000 to sign.
The Falcons gave out only one signing bonus of $5,000 and that went to defensive end Louis Nzegwu.
The Saints gave running back Travaris Cadet, offensive lineman Brian Folkerts, offensive lineman Aderious Simmons and safety Johnny Thomas each a $5,000 signing bonus.
The Panthers gave receivers Jared Green and Rico Wallace each $7,500. Defensive tackle Nate Chandler got $6,000. Offensive linemen Will Blackwell and Matt Reynolds each signed for $5,000.