|Adams reports to Bucs training camp on time; Plummer not joining him|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 26 July 2007 13:10|
CELEBRATION, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay's Gaines Adams became the highest pick in this year's draft to sign a contract when he agreed Thursday to a six-year, $46 million deal that enabled him to report to training camp on time.|
The 6-foot-5, 258-pound defensive end was the fourth pick behind Oakland's JaMarcus Russell, Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Cleveland's Joe Thomas. The Buccaneers are counting on him to help revitalize their pass rush.
One guy the team isn't relying on right now is Jake Plummer, acquired from Denver in an offseason trade even though the quarterback has said he's retired. Coach Jon Gruden met with him in Idaho this summer but was not able to persuade Plummer to change his mind and report to camp.
``It was a 'get to know each other' meeting ... a meeting where we took a particular interest in Jake Plummer, his future and what lies ahead down the road,'' Gruden said.
``We wanted him to know what our feelings were. We wanted to see what his feeling were. Obviously, you see where he's pointed at this time, although men have changed their minds in the past.''
Adams arrived at the team hotel near Walt Disney World about three hours before the deadline for players to report. By dinner, the Bucs also had agreements with their other unsigned rookies, both second-round picks - guard Arron Sears and safety Sabby Piscitelli.
Adams, the Atlantic Coast Conference's defensive player of the year with 12 1/2 sacks last season, said it was important to get into camp on time to earn the respect of coaches and teammates.
``I wanted to come in on the first day, get acclimated and let them know I'm here with them,'' Adams said.
Gruden likes the rookie's attitude.
``He's a guy who told us at the very beginning he wants to play,'' the coach said. ``For him to be at his best, he has to be here.''
Agent Fletcher Smith said Adams had no qualms about negotiating a deal before the draft's first three picks.
``Sometimes waiting can hurt you,'' Smith said, adding he's comfortable the contract will not be surpassed by anyone selected behind Adams. ``You have an idea of where you want to be. If you can't get there, then you wait.''
It's not clear what role Adams will be asked to fill as a rookie.
``I just want to help any way I can,'' he said. ``It starts with getting in here today.''
Meanwhile, Gruden said there was nothing new to report on Tampa Bay's interest in free agent Daunte Culpepper.
The Miami Dolphins released the former Pro Bowl quarterback last week. Two days later, Culpepper was in Tampa with the Bucs, whose roster lists five quarterbacks who have started games in the NFL - Jeff Garcia, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, Luke McCown and Plummer.
``He's a heck of a quarterback. He's thrown a lot of touchdown passes,'' Gruden said of Culpepper. ``I just met him and looked into his situation, as many teams in this league are. Nothing is imminent, nothing is concrete in terms of what he's looking for right now or where he's going to end up.''
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