The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a day off from practice on Friday, but the efforts to get their 2010 draft class under contract continued without pause.
On Friday morning, the team announced that it has signed defensive end Erik Lorig, a seventh-round pick and the 253rd player selected overall, to a four-year contract. Lorig becomes the fourth member of the team's nine-player draft class to reach contract agreement already.
Once a rookie signs his first contract, he counts against the 80-man offseason roster limit, usually requiring his team to make a concurrent move. As such, the Bucs also announced on Friday the releases of safety Emanuel Cook and long-snapper Chris Mauriello.
Fourth-round wide receiver Mike Williams signed a four-year deal on June 4 and third-round cornerback Myron Lewis did the same on June 14. The Bucs continued their fast work on the draft class on Wednesday with the signing of sixth-round punter . At this rate, the team will be close to complete with its contract efforts long before the beginning of training camp in late July.
Originally a tight end at Stanford before a position switch in 2007, Lorig started 25 games over his last three seasons with the Cardinal. He finished his collegiate career with 95 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. He was chosen as a team captain in his 2009 senior season and started the first five games before sustaining a season-ending groin injury. He had started all 12 games the previous season, amassing a career-high three sacks.
The 6-4, 275-pound Lorig was a highly-rated tight end as a prep in Rolling Hills, California who also had 9.5 sacks on defense as a senior. He was also an honor roll student and he earned a bachelor's degree in public policy while at Stanford.
The Buccaneers added Mauriello as an undrafted free agent in May. Cook first joined the team as a member of the practice squad last November, and was later re-signed to the 2010 roster in January.