First-round pick DE Gaines Adams won't miss one camp practice, having signed on Thursday
There will be no tense waiting period this year, no all-night negotiations, no valuable preparation time lost.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed first-round pick Gaines Adams, the pass-rushing terror out of Clemson picked fourth overall in the 2007 draft. Even by the team's own sparkling standard of avoiding rookie holdouts, this deal was completed in impressive fashion; Adams, in fact, is the highest-drafted player in the NFL to sign so far.
Adams' deal came on the day Buccaneer players are due to report to training camp in Central Florida, but before the required afternoon check-in time of 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The team now has eight of its 10 2007 draftees under contract, needing only to complete deals for two second-round picks: guard Arron Sears and safety Sabby Piscitelli.
The Buccaneers have not had an extensive rookie holdout since 1994. However, getting the first-round pick signed each year is not necessarily a simple accomplishment. In 2005, for instance, it took overnight work to get running back Cadillac Williams on the field in time for the first practice of camp. As of Thursday morning, only a handful of the league's 32 first-round draft picks had signed this year.
The first defensive player drafted this year, Adams was considered the top pass-rusher available by most analysts. Only the second Clemson player ever to earn first-team All-America honors, Adams had 28 sacks, 44.5 tackles for loss and 66 quarterback pressures in 48 collegiate games. He also blocked two kicks, forced six fumbles, deflected 21 passes and returned his three fumble recoveries for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Last fall, Adams may have been the most feared pass-rusher in the land, capping his career with a 12.5-sack season that earned him ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The prototypical edge rusher in a Cover Two-type scheme, Adams has a very sudden move off the line and can change directions instantly and fluidly. He also uses his height and impressive wingspan to great advantage in knocking down passes and keeping blockers from locking onto his frame.
Adams is due to arrive at the Celebration Hotel in Celebration, Florida before 1:00 p.m. He will conduct a press conference and the video from that event will be posted on Buccaneers.com. Please return to Buccaneers.com for more news regarding the signing of first-round pick Gaines Adams.