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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Veterans Eye Potential Replacements

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IMay 14, 2010

Ah, the boys are back in town.

So are the men that they want to replace.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their push towards training camp in July with the first of a series of those wonderful OTAs, that's NFL language for practice sessions, when the team gathers on Monday.

The three-day sweat fest (May 17-19) brings in the heralded draft class, and the just-out-of-college boys who will now eyeball the existing veteran players during this full-team work session.

Things will get faster and more demanding.

After this week's get-cozy love-fest with the always-optimistic Raheem Morris, three more OTAs will be held June 1-3, 7-10, and 14-17 at the expansive, royally-decked out One Buccaneer Place.

A mini-camp on June 21-23 will then be the final warmup—make that "sweatup"—before camp opens in late July.

One veteran fans won't see is Donald Penn. He is among the disturbed Buc veterans who cannot secure a contract extension.

Penn was arguably the best-performing player for the team last season. His offensive tackle position is a highly-paid slot. His current market value would be well over $40 million for five years.

But being the lucky misers they are, the Bucs have giggled all over themselves as they've been able to pay Penn around $2.792 million last season, and will throw him out there this year for a shade over $3 million.

So it's one of those "get 50 percent off" deals for the smiling Buccaneer front office.

They're smiling. Penn isn't.

And he won't be around to sneer at any of those rookie hotshots.

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