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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Answers Elusive

5

March

We know what you're thinking: "Huh?"

Same  here.

But today's goal is to get some clarity on the Jake Plummer situation. To recap: the Bucs signed Eagles free agent Jeff Garcia to a two-year contract on Saturday. That certainly made sense. But minutes after announcing that deal, they revealed they also had completed a trade for Denver quarterback Jake Plummer, giving up an undisclosed draft pick in exchange.

One problem: Plummer has announced his retirement, and he told the Bucs of those plans BEFORE the deal was completed. So, now the Bucs have a quarterback on their roster who doesn't want to be there, they've given up a draft pick for him even though he may never don a Bucs uniform, and what the heck does Chris Simms, the incumbent, think of all this madness?

A key here is Plummer's actual status. Is he officially retired? It doesn't appear so considering there hasn't been any mention of him on the NFL's transactions lists in recent days. But did he file the paperwork necessary to begin the retirement process, as we at the Times were told? And if so, did he do so before or after the trade became official? (Still with us?) Don't be surprised to see the players' union get involved in this one if it's determined the trade might have been improper (you can't trade a retired player). And what do the Bucs intend to do with Plummer now? Might they attempt to trade him to a team he's willing to play for?

As for the draft pick, Bucs general manager Bruce Allen spoke in cryptic terms when grilled about the subject. We're still unclear whether the Bucs must yield the pick if Plummer never plays for them. The conversation with Allen on Saturday went something like this...

Reporter: "Is this a conditional draft pick?" (The Broncos press release says it is)

Allen: "No. There's other conditions with the pick we sent. . . They're undisclosed."

Reporter: "So, it IS a conditional pick?"

Allen: "No."

The other interesting question is where is Chris Simms? He hasn't spoken about the moves made over the weekend, but it's got to be at least a little worrisome for him. That said, signing Garcia wasn't a shocker, and Simms said back in January he fully expected the Bucs to sign another quarterback to compete with him in training camp. But we're guessing Simms never expected the Bucs to sign TWO quarterbacks.

Stay tuned. This story is far from over.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:44pm]

    

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