Simms second guessing?
Twice in less than one year, quarterback Chris Simms made a contract decision that may come back to haunt him.
In the spring of 2006, he chose not to sign a fairly lucrative contract offer from Tampa Bay (believed to be in the $10-million range) in favor of signing a one-year deal as a restricted free agent, the idea being that a solid season as the starter would allow him to cash in after 2006. Well, we all know what followed: a season-ending injury that involved the removal of his spleen.
Later, in December, Simms decides to re-up with the Bucs for two more years, the idea then being that he could regain the starting job and re-establish himself. Since then, the Bucs landed Jeff Garcia and all indications (including those from head coach Jon Gruden) are that Garcia will start in 2007. It hasn't helped that Simms is struggling mightily with his throwing form after recovering from that invasive surgery.
So, here -- again -- is Simms, searching himself after a pivotal decision. He said he didn't regret the one he made last spring. But he did express a hint of doubt in an interview with the Times' Rick Stroud on Thursday. Asked whether he would have come back to Tampa Bay knowing what he knows now, Simms said the following:
"I don't know. I would've definitely re-evaluated the situation. That's an honest answer."
That's something we've always appreciated about Simms: his honesty. When I approached him last year after learning through sources he had passed up that multi-year deal then gotten hurt, he didn't try to squirrel his way out of it. He was honest and said he'd do it again given the choice. Gotta respect him for that.
Now, here's where you come in: how do you feel about all this? Did Simms make a mistake by re-signing with the Bucs? Will he ever be the answer at quarterback here in Tampa Bay? He's the kind of guy everyone wants to root for, but unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee him a spot in the lineup.
And to Keith, who posted an interesting comment below, I understand why you would be confused. The front office was particularly upset about that story being leaked and made many statements to undermine it. But read our original story on that topic here and it should be clear to you what the truth is. Simms, as I said earlier, didn't dispute anything in that story. I got dragged through the mud a little after that, but we stand by the story firmly even a year later. I still have the interview on tape to this day to boot. If you have further questions, send me an email sometime at email@example.com.