Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Boyd Inks Deal, First Bucs Draftee Under Contract

The Bucs are off to a slightly quicker start than usual in their efforts to get the 2008 draft class under contract, signing seventh-round RB Cory Boyd of South Carolina on Friday…C John Rochford is released to make room

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RB Cory Boyd, a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina, is the first of the Bucs' 2008 draft class to sign a contract

The last player the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked in the 2008 NFL draft six weeks ago is the first of his class to reach contract agreement.

Running back Cory Boyd, a seventh-round pick out of South Carolina, has inked his first NFL deal, the team announced on Friday. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, as is team policy.

Now that he is officially under contract, Boyd counts against the team's 80-man offseason roster limit. Thus, the team had to make another move to create space on the roster for the rookie back, and they did so by releasing center John Rochford. A former starter at the University of Miami, Rochford signed with the team on May 6 after participating in the team's rookie mini-camp on a tryout contract.

Though he's been working with the team at One Buccaneer Place since mid-May, Boyd's signing comes fairly early on the pre-training camp roster. The Buccaneers have commonly waited until July to sign all of their draft picks, though it is usually the later-round selections who reach agreement first.

The 6-1, 213-pound Boyd was the 238th player selected overall in April's draft. Though his running style favors the physical, between-the-tackles game, he did join Stanley Pritchett as the only two players in South Carolina history to reach at least 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards as his career. In 46 collegiate games he carried 464 times for 2,267 yards (4.9 avg.) and 23 touchdowns while also catching 117 passes for 1,303 yards and five scores.

Boyd sustained a minor knee injury early in the Bucs' rookie mini-camp in May and has been limited in practice since then. However, he has remain involved in the team's offseason program, working to improve his grasp on Jon Gruden's offense.

A native of Orange, New Jersey, Boyd grew up a fan of the Buccaneers' previous orange-and-red uniform combination. The 22-year-old back was a star runner and cornerback at Orange High School.

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