Buccaneers sign draft picks Mike James and Steven Means

Al Messerschmidt

The Buccaneers are starting the process of getting their draft picks signed.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced the signings of rookie draft picks Mike James and Steven Means. The two signed four-year deals, as will every Buccaneer rookie this season per NFL CBA rules. First-round picks have an additional fifth-year team option, but the Bucs did not have a first-round draft pick this year.

James was drafted as a running back in the sixth round out of Miami, while Steven Means was a surprise selection at defensive end out of the University of Buffalo in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft. James appears to have the inside track to being Doug Martin's primary backup, while Means is a gifted developmental prospect as a pass rusher who should have tremendous value as a special teamer early in his career.

Under the new CBA, signings are mostly a formality as a very strict salary slotting system effectively predetermines the salary each draft pick will receive. Guaranteed salary is the only thing being negotiated, and even that is basically agreed upon based upon draft position with little leeway.

You can expect Steven Means to sign a $2.35 million contract with approximately a $190,000 signing bonus, while Mike James is likely to get a $2.26 million contract with a signing bonus amount to around $103,000. Both of those numbers per Over The Cap's estimates of rookie contract deals, which appear to be pretty accurate.

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