Griese traded to Bucs
Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Griese has been traded to the Bucs.
Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but it is believed to be for a second-day draft pick in 2009. Griese was owed a $300,000 roster bonus Tuesday, prompting the Bears to part ways with their veteran backup. Rather than risk bidding for him in free agency, the Bucs completed a trade.
It's Griese's second stint with Tampa Bay. He quarterbacked the Bucs to a 5-1 start in 2005 before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Chris Simms went 6-5 down the stretch, leading the Bucs to the playoffs before a loss to Washington in the NFC wildcard game. In two seasons, Griese completed 345-of-510 (67.6 percent) of his passes for 3,768 yards with 27 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Following the '05 season, the Bucs were unable to renegoiate Griese's contract and he became a salary cap casualty, signing with the Bears.
Ironically, the trade for Griese leaves Simms' future with the Bucs in doubt. He has not played a meaningful snap in about 16 months since undergoing a splenectomy and could be traded or released. The Bucs also have Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown. Bruce Gradkowski and Jake Plummer under contract.
The Bucs and Broncos have filed a grievance against Plummer, hoping to recoup more than $7-million in signing bonus.
Simms would appear to be the odd man out. Griese and McCown will battle it out for the No. 2 spot and Gradkowski will have to improve his play to return for a third season.
Griese, who turns 33 this month, started six games last year for the Bears and finished with a 3-3 record. His season ended after he suffered a minor shoulder injury Nov. 11 at Oakland and did not play again.
""He likes (Jon) Gruden and he was obviously very successful there,'' agent Ralph Cindrich said. ""During the course of this deal, they let it be known they had tried to trade for him a couple times over the last few years.''
Griese has three years remaining on his contract and will receive a base salary of $1.4-million in 2008, $1.8-million in 2009 and $2.2-million in 2010. Cindrich said Griese could earn an additional $1.5-million next season if he becomes the starter. The Bucs are on the hook to pay Griese's $300,000 roster bonus Tuesday.