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Rookie Signings Begin with Massaquoi

The Bucs have begun the process of getting their 10-player draft class into training camp on time, reaching contract agreement with seventh-round TE Tim Massaquoi on Wednesday


Rookie TE Tim Massaquoi was a second-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior in 2005

Ten players in eight days – that's the goal.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a little bit closer to that goal, as of Wednesday afternoon.

In order to report to training camp with a full complement of players, the Bucs will need to sign all 10 players selected in the 2006 NFL Draft by next Thursday. That project was officially in full swing as of Wednesday, when the team came to terms with tight end Tim Massaquoi, one of three seventh-round picks.

Before they are officially signed, draft picks do not count against a team's offseason and training camp roster limit of 80 players (plus NFL Europe exemptions). To make room for Massaquoi on the roster, now that he does count, the Bucs released tight end/long-snapper Boone Stutz. Stutz signed with Tampa Bay as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas A&M.

Massaquoi, the 244th player chosen overall in April, is the first of the Bucs' rookies to reach agreement on a contract, but he will likely be joined by his fellow draftees soon. The Bucs haven't had a lengthy rookie holdout since 1994, when it took awhile to get Trent Dilfer into camp, and have had every draft pick signed by the reporting date since Bruce Allen took over as general manager in 2004.

Massaquoi was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at Michigan, complementing his natural receiving skills with a dedicated approach to blocking. He started 29 of his 47 career games played for the Wolverines, recording 46 receptions for 489 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, he was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the both the media and the coaches. Massaquoi played his high school football in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Still unsigned are first-round guard Davin Joseph, second-round tackle Jeremy Trueblood, third-round wide receiver Maurice Stovall, fourth-round cornerback Alan Zemaitis, fifth-round defensive end Julian Jenkins, sixth-round quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, sixth-round tight end T.J. Williams and two additional seventh-round picks, cornerback Justin Phinisee and defensive end Charles Bennett.

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