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Allen: Simms remains in Bucs' plans

PALM BEACH — If Chris Simms believes boycotting offseason workouts will be his ticket out of Tampa Bay, he might want to reconsider.

General manager Bruce Allen indicated he has not talked to any teams about trading Simms at the NFL owners meeting, nor given Simms' agent permission to begin that dialogue.

Simply put, he expects Simms to stay put.

"I think the good news on Chris is that he's 100 percent healthy," Allen said. "It's been some time since he's felt that way, and I think that bodes well for him. & We have a long way to go until training camp and we obviously have a long season in front of us. That position does take a pounding."

As for Simms' decision not to participate in voluntary workouts? Allen has no problem with that, either.

"You know, the offseason is voluntary and whatever he feels he needs to do to get ready for the season, that's what he should do," Allen said.

Simms, 27, said last week he had no plans to attend workouts at One Buc Place, and he missed quarterback orientation for the first time in his five-year career. It was the first indication that he doesn't believe he fits into the Bucs' plans for 2008. Tampa Bay traded for Bears quarterback Brian Griese, 33, on March 2.

"I just think at this time it's in my best interest to continue my own workouts and to just wait and see what happens with the team," Simms said at the time.

The Bucs, who have paid Simms $7.1-million over the past two seasons, believe he has value. But several general managers indicated that because Simms hasn't played a regular-season game in 17 months since a splenectomy, he has no trade value.

Allen said there has been talk about possible trades during the owners meeting at the Breakers Hotel and Resort. But none has involved Simms.

"There's dialogue. I think the best part of these meetings is you get different stimulus for creative thought," Allen said. "You become a little more creative.

"Somebody offered me (a quarterback) in a trade today. They were asking for too much."

The Bucs have six quarterbacks under contract, starter Jeff Garcia, Griese, Simms, Luke McCown, Bruce Gradkowski and Jake Plummer. The Bucs and Broncos have filed a grievance against Plummer, hoping to recoup more than $7-million in signing bonus money.

Simms struggled as the Bucs' starter in '06, going 0-3 and completing 54.7 percent of his passes with one touchdown and seven interceptions for a rating of 46.3. After a loss to Carolina, doctors discovered Simms had ruptured his spleen during the game and he had emergency surgery.

The Bucs have 77 players on their roster, three short of the NFL limit. Allen said the team will turn its attention from free agency to the April 26-27 draft next week.

"When we get back, we're a week from starting the draft meetings. That is the focus unless someone makes an offer on a player that we'd be interested in," he said.

Those meetings will include discussions about potentially drafting a quarterback.

"We are looking at that position," Allen said. "There's some prospects. It's an intriguing draft in many ways."

Allen: Simms remains in Bucs' plans 04/01/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 8:31am]
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