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Buccaneers sign rookie Akeem Spence

Their fourth draft pick has now been signed.

Al Messerschmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced the signing defensive tackle Akeem Spence. They selected Spence in the fourth-round of the 2013 NFL draft after trading up for him. The rookie is expected to start at nose tackle, replacing Roy Miller who left for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. The Bucs hope Spence can bring a bigger pass-rushing presence while still providing quality run defense from the tilted nose tackle position.

OverTheCap projects Spence's contract to be worth $2.65 million with approximately a $484,000 signing bonus. Spence will sign a four-year deal, as mandated by the NFL CBA. Intriguingly, NFLPA records show that the Bucs' rookies' base salaries so far are much lower than OverTheCap's projection. Those salaries don't include roster bonuses or incentives, though. Never mind that, I misread those projections as salaries as opposed to cap numbers. They're right in line. According to Jenna Laine, every fourth through seventh round pick has the same (apparently minimum) base salaries throughout his rookie contract.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed all but two of their draft picks. Third-round quarterback Mike Glennon and second-round cornerback Johnthan Banks are the only Tampa Bay draftees who have yet to sign, but given the fact that the Bucs have signed their other four draft picks it likely won't take long before all of them are under contract. OTAs start next week, and unsigned rookies may not be able to participate unless they sign injury waivers. Negotiations are essentially a formality under the new CBA, though, so getting them under contract before the offseason program continues should not be a problem.

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