Plummer Deal Dead; Petitgout, Harris Next Targets
It's back to the drawing board for the Bucs.
After working feverishly during the past 24 hours to execute a trade that would have netted disgruntled Denver quarterback Jake Plummer, the deal now is reportedly dead because of Plummer's decision to retire.
The news, reported by NFL.com, follows a series of events that began unfolding late Thursday, when the Bucs learned Plummer was less than thrilled with the prospect of coming to Tampa Bay. Plummer has said privately he does not envision himself as a backup and is not interested in competing for a starting job. Meanwhile, the Bucs almost certainly envisioned him going to training camp having to earn the job in a position battle with Chris Simms.
Late Thursday, Bucs coach Jon Gruden was believed to be trying to reach Plummer to smooth things over, but this latest news indicates that effort was unsuccessful. The news isn't a total shock: Plummer had been considering retirement in recent weeks.
Now, the Bucs likely will refocus their efforts to land a veteran quarterback on Eagles free agent Jeff Garcia and Vikings free agent Brad Johnson -- a former Buc.
In other news, the Bucs are nearing an agreement on the terms of a contract with Giants free agent offensive lineman Luke Petitgout, who underwent a physical in Tampa on Wednesday, and Vikings free agent linebacker Napolean Harris. Harris was a first-round pick of Bucs general manager Bruce Allen in Oakland in 2002. Harris was scheduled for a visit and things appear to be heating up.