GM Allen addresses Garcia, Graham
General manager Bruce Allen took a few minutes following Wednesday's workout to address talks regarding the contracts of quarterback Jeff Garcia, running back Earnest Graham and others.
Garcia has been outspoken about the lack of progress on talks for a contract extension and even hinted Tuesday he could miss some off-season practices. He has one year left on his contract that includes a $2-million base salary.
Allen said he wasn't concerned that Garcia has vented his frustrations in public.
"Each player has to handle his business how he sees fit,'' Allen said. "I've had plenty of dialogue with all of the representatives of our players and (with) our players and I know what their feelings are.'
""Jeff, for the last five years -- it's been well-documented -- he's been with five teams. I know he enjoyed the great success with coach Gruden and wants that to continue. That's not bad news, that's good news. We've got seven months to free agency and we've got plenty of time. But our focus is we have 70 days to training camp and we want to get our best 80 players ready.''
One player who is staying away from the Bucs' off-season workout program is running back Earnest Graham, who rushed for 898 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 starts last season. Graham is in the final year of his contract and apparently not satisfied with negotiations.
"Earnest performed well for us last year and he wasn't at most of the off-season program last year,'' Allen said. ""He's a young man that takes care of himself and I'm sure he'll be prepared.'
Garcia has suggested that the slow pace of talks may begin to wear on him mentally. Allen said that can be a concern.
""All the players, their state of mind is a concern,' Allen said. ""What we're trying to do is get ready to win some football games. We're focused on the upcoming season and we're hoping all the players are focused on that.'