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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Here's how Plummer payback could help cap

I figured this might happen.

I had a column in today's newspaper that outlined the grievance that has been filed against Jake Plummer, whose story I am not going to retell in the interest of not boring everyone to death.

Anyway, in that column, I made reference to the fact the Bucs could receive some salary-cap relief if they are successful in recouping money from the player in a hearing to be heard on Wednesday. Some have emailed asking why this is contradictory to much of what has been reported in the past by other outlets.

Let me say this: I got this information from a VERY well-placed NFL source whose identity I am not at liberty to disclose. This individual is in position to know intimate details about this case (I did not state this in the column because it is the policy of the Times to not use anonymous sources).

Furthermore, even without the source, the answer is in the collective bargaining agreement. Buried in Article XXIV of the agreement is the following: "In the event that a team receives a refund from the player of any previously paid portion of a signing bonus . . . such amount as has previously been included in team salary shall be added to the team's salary cap for the next league year."

You could argue that the money was not included on the Bucs' cap but on the Broncos', and that would be absolutely correct. But my understanding is that the Bucs' position is they assumed all of the rights of Plummer's contract when they made the trade with Denver. And there is no language in the CBA that I'm aware of that makes this particular case exempt from the previously noted subsection.

If anyone has questions that are more technical than this, I readily admit that I might not have the answers given the fact I'm not an attorney. But hopefully this clears up most of your questions.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:03pm]


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