Something tells me Josh Freeman is sleeping a little easier tonight. While we were pretty sure the deals were in place earlier this evening, we now have official word that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms with three free agents Thursday evening, including re-signing guard Davin Joseph and tackle Jeremy Trueblood, and adding punter Michael Koenen.
Steve Duemig of 620 AM/WDAE first reported the signing on his Twitter account, and it was later confirmed by Adam Schefter and by Joseph himself on his Twitter feed:
@DavinJoseph75: It's official!! I'm a Buccaneer!!!
Joseph was rumored to be a big target in free agency, and Bucs GM Mark Dominik had made resigning the Oklahoma standout his #1 offseason priority. Duemig reports that the deal is for seven years and $53 million, with up to $19 million of it guaranteed. That number that will go a long way towards helping the Bucs reach a salary floor that they are still well short of.
Earlier this week, second-year defensive tackle Gerald McCoy told Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune how important resigning Joseph is in his mind.
"I personally mention Davin because that's my guy,'' second-year defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "First off, he went to Oklahoma (McCoy's alma mater), and so I watched tape on him there. Then I went against him all last year (in practice) and going against him every day is what made me get better throughout the year. So, if I'm trying to have a big comeback year, I'm going to need him out there.''
Trueblood also has reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year deal and will most likely compete with James Lee for the starting job, a position that Trueblood lost to Lee last year while he was injured. Trueblood has spent four years as a starter on the Bucs offensive line, but has often drawn the ire of fans and coaches because of untimely penalties and sloppy play in pass protection. Despite his recent struggles, his signing along with Joseph's will ensure that the Buccaneers will field a formidable offensive line for years to come.
Koenen is a six-year veteran punter, having spent his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons. The Buccaneers struggled last season to get consistency from their punters and hope that Koenen, who is known for his big leg, will stabilize the position for a long time. He was given a six year deal, terms unknown.