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Buccaneers sign second-round pick

 Brian Price (J. Meric/Getty Images)
Brian Price could start next to Gerald McCoy for the Bucs.
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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at FOXSports.com. He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed second-round pick Brian Price (6-1, 303, UCLA) to a four-year deal, the team announced.

There were some personnel evaluators who thought the defensive tackle might go off the board late in the first round based on his potential and quickness. He’ll fit in well for Tampa Bay’s 4-3 defensive scheme, but the one area where scouts feel he has to improve is his strength. It should be noted Price posted 34 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press at the NFL Combine earlier this year. He could start right away next to first-round pick DT Gerald McCoy.

Price is just the second first-day selection to sign a contract. New York Jets second-round pick G Vladimir Ducasse signed a four-year deal a few weeks ago.

The Carolina Panthers have signed third-round pick Brandon LaFell (6-2 ½, 211 pounds, LSU), the team announced. A source said the wide receiver signed a four-year deal worth just over $2.6 million. The deal includes a signing bonus worth just under $818,500.

LaFell is known in scouting circles for his good hands and solid route running. Though he lacks ideal speed to play the “X” receiver role, personnel sources said he fits in better on the other side, or for the “Y” receiver role. Once he’s up to speed on the playbook, LaFell should be able to challenge former second-round pick Dwayne Jarrett for the starting job opposite veteran Steve Smith.

Smith broke his arm playing flag football this offseason, but expects to be ready for Week 1.

The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to contract terms with seventh-round pick Reggie Stephens (6-3, 320, Iowa State), a source confirmed. The guard agreed to a four-year deal worth just over $1.84 million.

Stephens’ versatility (he played both guard spots and center) should give him a realistic shot to compete for a backup job in training camp. A personnel source said Stephens fits in better at guard and his size should fit in well with Cincinnati’s power rushing philosophy.

The Dallas Cowboys waived undrafted free-agent DT Junior Aumavae and LB Donovan Woods, the team announced.

With the team’s selection of DT Joshua Price-Brent in last week’s supplemental draft, Aumavae’s spot on the 80-man roster became expendable. Woods spent time late last season on Dallas’ practice squad. He was signed originally by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2008.

The Green Bay Packers announced third-round pick Morgan Burnett (6-1, 209, Georgia Tech) signed a contract. The safety actually agreed to contract terms last week, sources said. He signed a four-year deal worth roughly $2.67 million. The deal includes a signing bonus worth just over $875,000.

Because of his size and physicality, Burnett is more of an in-the-box safety. Starting SS Atari Bigby still has not signed his one-year restricted free agent tender. Because of that, Burnett was able to get extended practice time during the team’s OTA practices.

The Indianapolis Colts waived WR John Matthews, a source confirmed. Matthews was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009 by the Colts and spent time on their practice squad last season.

The Colts are fairly deep at receiver, so Matthews had little or no chance to seriously challenge for a backup job.

The Jacksonville Jaguars continued to reel in members of their draft class. The latest to agree to a four-year deal is third-round pick D’Anthony Smith (6-2, 304, Louisiana Tech), a source said. The defensive tackle’s four-year deal is worth $2.64 million.

Smith, who is known in scouting circles for playing with good power and leverage, was unable to work out during the NFL Combine because of hamstring and pectoral injuries. Despite that, Jacksonville selected the small school player in the upper half of the draft. Smith’s coaching tape and Senior Bowl week performances were good enough for Jacksonville to not be concerned about the competition he faced in college.

The projected top-three players on the interior of Jacksonville’s defensive line are either in their first or second seasons.

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed fifth-round pick Cameron Sheffield (6-2, 257, Troy State), the team announced. The outside linebacker, who actually agreed last week to a four-year deal worth just over $1.98 million, is known in scouting circles for his high motor and pass rushing skills. He lined up at defensive end in college.

Though he probably needs to get a bit stronger, Sheffield still should be able to seriously compete for a roster spot in training camp based on the lack of quality pass rushers on Kansas City’s 80-man roster.

The Miami Dolphins announced third-round pick John Jerry (6-5, 328, Mississippi) has signed a contract. According to a source, the guard signed a four-year deal worth roughly $2.65 million.

Because Miami is thin at guard, Jerry has a legitimate shot to challenge for a starting job this season. Veteran G Richie Incognito, who is expected to seriously compete for one of the starting guard spots, is signed to only a one-year deal.

The New York Jets signed undrafted free-agent DT Martin Tevaseau (6-1, 310, UNLV), the team announced. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in May and was waived by Cleveland about four weeks later.

He’s probably a long shot to make New York’s 53-man roster this fall, but Tevaseau is a good fit for its 3-4 defense because of his size. He has good enough developmental skills to have a shot to land on the practice squad this fall.

The Philadelphia Eagles had free-agent LB Alvin Bowen in for a workout on Tuesday, league sources said. Bowen, who was originally selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, fits in as a 4-3 weak-side linebacker.

Bowen, who weighed in at the workout at less than 225 pounds, is the kind of undersized but fast linebacker who would fit in well for Philadelphia’s 4-3 scheme. However, Philadelphia is already deep at the position with projected starter Ernie Sims to go along with fourth-year pro Akeem Jordan and rookie Keenan Clayton.

Bowen missed his entire rookie season because of an ACL injury, which he suffered during the first week of training camp practice. He spent several weeks on the practice squad of the Washington Redskins last season. Washington waived him in early June.

As reported earlier by FOXSports.com, the St. Louis Rams agreed to terms on a four-year, $1.92 million deal with sixth-round pick Fendi Onobun (6-6, 252, Houston), a source said.

TE Onobun, who only played one season of football at Houston, played four years of basketball at the University of Arizona. He transferred to Houston last year to work on his master’s degree. He did not play football in high school, but participated in the sport in middle school.

Once word leaked out at his outstanding Pro Day workout, it became evident he would get drafted despite his limited playing experience. He posted a time of 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, unheard of for a player of his size, to go along with a 37.5-inch vertical leap. His standing broad jump was over 11 feet, which typically demonstrates good lower body explosion.

During the team’s OTA practices, observers noted the coaches lined up the rookie in the slot to take advantage of his size and athleticism. The key for Onobun now is to get up to speed on route running and blocking. Once that happens, he could have a significant role in St. Louis’ passing game for years to come.

 


 

Tagged: Bengals, Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, Eagles, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Jaguars, Steve Smith Sr., Anthony Smith, Alvin Bowen, Brian Price, Morgan Burnett, Reggie Stephens, John Jerry, Brandon LaFell, Fendi Onobun

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