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Simms sits out Bucs' workouts

The Bucs’ Chris Simms, whom the Bucs might try to trade, has not taken a regular-season snap since the third game of 2006.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times (2007)

The Bucs’ Chris Simms, whom the Bucs might try to trade, has not taken a regular-season snap since the third game of 2006.

TAMPA — Quarterback Chris Simms has decided not to partici­pate in the Bucs' offseason workouts, an indication he no longer fits into next season's plans and could be traded.

Although the workouts are voluntary, Simms also skipped last week's quarterback orientation for the first time in his career.

"I just think … it's in my best interest to continue my own workouts and to just wait and see what happens with the team," Simms said. "I don't really know what's going to happen. As far as the Bucs and the quarterback position goes, it's always an adventure."

Simms, who has not taken a regular-season snap since rupturing his spleen in September 2006, said he is completely recovered from the surgery, which forced him to sit out all of last season.

"I'm back to 100 percent and just excited about getting back on the field again," he said.

But Simms' chances of returning to the field in a Bucs uniform diminished March 3, when they acquired Brian Griese from the Bears for a 2009 sixth-round pick.

The most likely scenario is the Bucs, who own just five picks this year, will try to trade Simms before the draft on April 26-27.

Talks could begin this weekend at the owners' meetings in Palm Beach. The Packers and Vikings are among the teams seeking a veteran quarterback.

Bucs general manager Bruce Allen could not be reached for comment.

The Bucs have six quarterbacks under contract: Jeff Garcia, Griese, Simms, Luke McCown, Bruce Gradkowski and the retired Jake Plummer.

Simms said he has split time between working out on his own in Tampa and traveling to New Jersey, where he has thrown with friends and his father, former Giants Super Bowl quarterback Phil Simms.

Griese, 33, appears to be the Bucs' choice to back up Garcia, leaving McCown and Gradkowski to fight it out for No. 3.

But the Bucs believe they have value in Simms, who has earned $7.1-million in the past two seasons despite playing just three games. Simms is entering the final season of his contract and is scheduled to earn a $2-million base salary.

Coincidentally, it was Simms' performance in 2005 that prompted Griese's departure from Tampa Bay.

Griese went 5-1 as the starter before tearing his ACL. Simms entered and went 6-5 in leading the Bucs to the playoffs.

During the ensuing offseason, the Bucs balked at paying Griese a $2.6-million roster bonus and released him. He later signed with the Bears.

Simms went 0-3 (with one touchdown and seven interceptions) to start 2006 and ruptured the spleen against Carolina. After surgery, he said the muscles in his abdomen were slow to recover, affecting his throwing ability and body coordination. But his condition improved after seeing Anthony Galea, the team physician of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.

NFL to discuss hair

The owners' meetings will include discussion on banning players from having hair flow below the names on the back of their jerseys.

The rule, proposed by the Chiefs, does not require players to get haircuts, instead "to tuck it up inside their helmets," said Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the league's competition committee.

season opener: The Giants will host the Redskins on Sept. 4, the Thursday before Week 1, the Washington Post and Associated Press reported. But the league is considering starting the game at 7 instead of 8:30 to avoid clashing with the final night of the Republican national convention. A decision and official announcement of the Giants' opponent is expected Monday.

Colts: President Bill Polian signed an extension through 2011. In his 10 seasons, the Colts have gone 105-55, reached the playoffs eight times and won one Super Bowl.

Packers: Long snapper Rob Davis, the last active player from the most recent Super Bowl, retired. Davis played 167 games over 12 seasons, including the loss to the Broncos in January 1998.

Seahawks: Pro Bowl corner and franchise player Marcus Trufant agreed to a six-year, $50.2-million deal ($20-million guaranteed). He has 16 interceptions in five seasons, seven in 2007.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Simms sits out Bucs' workouts 03/26/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 3:08pm]
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