In this most unprecedented of summers, six of the seven players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted in April hit a long-delayed milestone on Monday: They stepped inside the AdventHealth Training Center for the first time. And their presence at team headquarters allowed those new Buccaneers to hit an even bigger career milestone by the next day: All seven officially signed their first NFL contracts, including third-round running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and has thus not yet entered team headquarters.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers announced the signings of Vaughn, first-round tackle Tristan Wirfs, second-round safety Antoine Winfield Jr., fifth-round wide receiver Tyler Johnson, sixth-round defensive tackle Khalil Davis, seventh-round linebacker Chapelle Russell and seventh-round running back Raymond Calais.
Obviously, the Buccaneers and their 2020 draftees had been able to work out contract terms remotely, which led to the quick signings this week. Though the practice schedule for the team's upcoming training camp has yet to be announced, all players have to be under contract in order to take part in those workouts.
View photos of Bucs quarterbacks and rookies reporting to training camp.
Even without the benefit of an offseason program, the Buccaneers may expect significant contributions from their rookie class in 2020. Wirfs will get every opportunity to win the starting right tackle job that had belonged to Demar Dotson for most of the past decade. Winfield is part of a crowded battle for two starting safety spots but the Buccaneers likely want to get his playmaking abilities on the field as soon as possible. Vaughn figures to have a substantial role in the offensive backfield alongside Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale.
In addition, Johnson could emerge as a strong candidate for the open third-receiver job, which was occupied last year by the since-departed Breshad Perriman. Davis will work to earn a spot in the interior line rotation along with Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea and several others. Russell could make his initial mark on special teams while providing depth at linebacker and Calais may find work both as an offensive option and a kick returner.
Wirfs was the 13th player selected in the opening round of the 2020 draft after the Buccaneers traded up one spot to make sure another team didn't jump over them to land the coveted Iowa blocker. His signing prior to the start of camp practices means the team has not had a notable rookie holdout since quarterback Trent Dilfer in 1994. The structured rookie salary cap first introduced by the 2011 collective bargaining agreement has made draft-pick holdouts rare for the last decade.
All first-round draft picks receive four-year contracts with a team option for a fifth season. That option must be exercised between the player's third and fourth-seasons. All draftees in subsequent rounds receive four-year contracts.