With five days before the start of training camp, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have wrapped up one important round of business.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers signed offensive lineman Robert Hainsey, a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, to a four-year contract. Hainsey is the last of the team's seven 2021 draft picks to ink his first NFL deal.
With deals previously in place for first-round outside linebacker Joe Tryon, second-round quarterback Kyle Trask, fourth-round wide receiver Jaelon Darden, fifth-round inside linebacker K.J. Britt, seventh-round cornerback Chris Wilcox and seventh-round inside linebacker Grant Stuard, the Buccaneers now have all their players under contract for the start of camp. Players may participate in offseason workouts with a contract but must be signed before reporting to training camp.
Hainsey started at right tackle for three seasons at Notre Dame and was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2020. Overall, he played in 46 games over four seasons, with 34 starts. Though he had not played or practiced at any other positions on the line for Notre Dame, he was asked to work out at all three interior line spots at the Senior Bowl. An impressive performance on that assignment raised his draft stock, and his versatility was one of the main reasons the Buccaneers selected him with the 95th-overall pick.
During the team's abbreviated offseason program, Hainsey began working at center in order to develop that versatility, though he won't be training solely at that spot going forward.
"His position flexibility is amazing," said Head Coach Bruce Arians during the Buccaneers' rookie mini-camp. "He's going to play five spots. Center is a totally different bird. You learn the whole offense when you learn center – snapping the ball, especially when you've got Vita [Vea] and guys like that on you. That's a little different challenge, so we'll train him there. We know he can play tackle, we know he can play guard.
"I don't think there is a position he can't play. Whatever happens – barring injuries – he should be fine at a bunch of spots."
The Buccaneers' first training camp practice will take place on the morning of July 25. Overall, the team will have 16 practices open to select groups of fans.