Gruden giving up on Plummer
While general manager Bruce Allen maintains the Bucs would still welcome estranged quarterback Jake Plummer, coach Jon Gruden this morning effectively waved a white flag on his hopes of seeing Plummer in pewter.
"He's retired," Gruden said on the final day of the NFL's owners meetings in Palm Beach. "They say I collect quarterbacks. One of them hasn't played in two years (Chris Simms) and one of them retired.
"We tried. That's all I can say. I think still he's one of the top quarterbacks on the planet, personally. I think his performance, his won-loss record speaks for itself. We traded a seventh-round draft choice basically for Jake Plummer and unfortunately he's decided to stay retired.
The Bucs are still pursuing a grievance they filed against Plummer through which the team hopes to recover approximately $7-million in previously-paid bonus money that applies to the unfulfilled portion of his contract. Tampa Bay inherited the provisions of his contract when he was traded to the Bucs last year. Plummer has never reported despite several efforts by Gruden and Allen to persuade him. The case is expected to be heard in arbitration later this year.
But as for Plummer lining up for the Bucs, that isn't going to happen, Gruden said. It was the first time the coach took a less-than-optimistic approach when addressing the topic.
"We've got a Pro Bowl quarterback here with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," Gruden said, referring to Jeff Garcia. "I would love to coach Jake Plummer at some point in my life because I think he’s a great competitor. It's disappointing and too bad it didn't work out."