Nothing fishy to Gradkowski story, Bucs say
The Bucs say they aren't playing games with Bruce Gradkowski, despite a suggestion making the rounds on the Internet today.
A story posted today by noted NFL reporter Howard Balzer suggests the Bucs might be trying to use a ploy by announcing on Friday that Gradkowski had been waived but not immediately placing him on waivers with the league office. That could perhaps open the door to a last-minute trade possibility. And, sure enough, Gradkowski was not on the daily waiver wire circulated to NFL teams Friday afternoon.
But general manager Bruce Allen, through a team spokesman, explained to us that the Bucs were unable to request waivers on Gradkowski before the end of business on Friday because they wanted to inform him personally before making his release official. By then, Allen said, the league offices were closed. As a result, Allen added, Gradkowski will be on today's waiver wire, which will be released shortly.
It sounds like a reasonable explanation. But there's a reason this whole thing got my antennae up. It was just last week that the Vikings announced the release of defensive end Erasmus James, only to rescind the action over the Memorial Day long weekend, then executing a trade with the Redskins in which the player was exchanged for a draft pick. We all know the Bucs aren't afraid to try to anything when it comes to personnel moves (just ask Jake Plummer). And, if I understand things correctly, a team has the right to rescind a waiver up until the point the player clears waivers. In the end, I think it's unlikely anyone will give up anything of value for Gradkowski, but that doesn't mean the Bucs won't try to trade him anyway.
We'll get into the particulars of the waiver wire another time, but I hope this is an adequate explanation. If you have questions, mention them in the comments section and I'll address them later, as always.