(July 26, 2007) -- As every team gears up for the open of camp, no team had a busier day than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
First they signed their first-round draft choice, defensive end Gaines Adams (the No. 4 overall selection) to a six-year, $45.8 million contract that includes $18.5 million worth of guaranteed money.
Simeon Rice was a hero in 2002, but was unproductive in 2006.
Then Tampa Bay signed both its second-round picks, offensive lineman Arron Sears and Sabby Piscitelli.
And then, in the stunner of the day, Tampa Bay cut longtime Pro Bowl defensive end Simeon Rice after he failed his physical. Apparently, Rice still has not recovered from his shoulder problems and Tampa Bay wiped Rice and his $7.2 million base salary off its books.
And there are other intriguing financial developments in Tampa.
When players reported to training camp tonight in Orlando, Jake Plummer was not one of them.
On July 27, the Buccaneers officially will place Plummer on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. By doing so, Plummer will be in violation of his contract, and he will owe the Buccaneers $7 million in bonus money -- money that Tampa Bay intends to pursue. Additionally, the Buccaneers also plan to fine Plummer $14,000 a day for not being in camp, the amount they are allowed to impose under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
But as Tampa Bay has pointed out in the past, a player cannot unilaterally retire. A team first must accept a player's retirement papers, and the Buccaneers have no plans to do for Plummer, meaning he is in default of his contract. He actually was in default when he failed to show up to minicamps, but the Buccaneers opted to leave the issue alone for the time being. No longer.
Plummer might decide to retire, as he has insisted to his friends and family. But the Bucs front office is one tough customer. It's planning to make the decision a costly one for Plummer.
Tampa Bay's moves just might be the start of them this weekend, too.
With an additional $7.2 million in salary-cap space, the Buccaneers have the funds they need to sign free-agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Right now, the Buccaneers are the only team that has showed any type of sincere interest in the former Vikings and Dolphins quarterback.
Culpepper has said he wanted a deal -- preferably a one-year deal -- in place by the start of camp. Tampa Bay clearly would like to have another quarterback in camp, as the Buccaneers feel they never have enough of them.
And now that they have signed their top three picks, cut Rice, and counted out Plummer, Tampa Bay is free to pursue Culpepper ... in what might be the next big headline out of Tampa.
Wow.....busy, busy, busy!
I'm a little surprised we cut Rice, (this year) though a failed physical is a failed physical, (unless your name is John Lynch) having said that, Bruce Allen doesn't think this is the end for Rice, and Rice himself believes he'll be back in 4 weeks!
Rumour has it, the Bucs asked Rice to take a pay cut.....he refused!
If he's not willing this season, he won't be willing next season, so the Bucs management have said, OK, let the future be our present, they obviously have faith in Adams to start this year, so we're moving on.
Just to add, this particular piece of management, doesn't have the feeling of a HC and GM being worried about their job security.
I need a new Sig....lols