Just desserts: Bucs prank rookies with $26K bill

1:29 PM ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued the tradition of their annual rookie dinner Wednesday night in Jacksonville. For the Bucs offensive line, that meant hitting up Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

The tradition calls for the rookies of each position group to foot the bill on the group meal.

As you can imagine, things got a little dicey when a $26,000 bill showed up for the offensive linemen and two rookies — Korren Kirven and Cole Gardner — were told they had to pay for it.

That was until the group revealed that it was a prank.

The bill ended up only costing $3,000.

If you follow any of these guys on social media, you’ll see posts about the bill. Starting left tackle Donovan Smith posted on his Instagram a video showing the bill with the caption, “Rookie dinner. Thanks!”

Kirven has a picture of the bill on his Instagram story with the caption “Rest in Peace.”

But it was all a joke.

“It’s a fake bill,” Smith tweeted. “We tricked the rookies.”

Multiple teammates corroborated Smith’s account to ESPN. A restaurant manager confirmed that they were in on it too, and that no one ordered the “child’s ice cream” served au gratis.

The best part? The veterans told the two rookies — both undrafted free agents — that they would be picking up the tab. Their treat.

“We didn’t have to pay for anything,” Kirven said.

“We were shocked at first when we saw the bill. We thought we weren’t gonna make it. But at the end, knowing they paid it was pretty cool of them.”

Unfortunately, no Hard Knocks cameras were present, a source told ESPN.


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