Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade Brian Price, release Dezmon Briscoe

TAMPA — The Bucs followed an offseason of change with two moves on the first day of training camp Thursday.

They traded defensive tackle Brian Price to the Bears for a seventh-round pick and released receiver Dezmon Briscoe.

Price's trade to Chicago is contingent on him passing a physical, the Bucs said.

The team did not comment on motives, but both players had off-field issues during the offseason.

Price, a second-round pick in 2010, has struggled during his first two seasons. A rare condition in his hamstring and pelvic areas limited him to five games as a rookie. And he struggled to cope with the recent death of his sister, which left him so physically and emotionally drained, he required hospitalization.

Price, 23, whose three career sacks came over 15 games last season, also was involved in an altercation during offseason workouts with first-round pick Mark Barron, reportedly getting in a fight with him. Afterward, Price and the Bucs agreed he would spend the rest of the offseason at his home in Los Angeles.

"I needed my family," Price said earlier this week. "I was down and out. I never felt like this before. They felt it was right for me to be with my family and that's what I needed the most."

The trade leaves the Bucs even thinner at defensive line. Already missing is end Da'Quan Bowers, perhaps for the season, because of a torn Achilles sustained during the offseason.

Moving Price means tackle Amobi Okoye, signed during the offseason, could play a bigger role. The Bucs also signed tackle Gary Gibson during the offseason. He started 22 games for the Rams over the past three seasons.

The Bears were elated to pick up Price, general manager Phil Emery telling Chicago reporters, "This is a very talented player when he came out of the draft. He fits our system; very explosive player off the ball, very reactive.

"He has struggled some in the last year. He's a player that needs a new home, and we're excited to bring him to Chicago."

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Emery added, "(Price's) agent called us first because of our scheme and our fit. He really knew the player would fit and the player, right off the bat, said, 'I'm so excited.' He started naming the Chicago Bears roster. So he definitely has been studying us also."

That suggests Price's agent, Chuck Price, had a hand in brokering the trade, though the Bucs declined comment on any aspect of the deal.

After appearing in only two games as a rookie in 2010, Briscoe caught a team-high six touchdowns in 2011. He missed some voluntary offseason workouts because of an undisclosed family matter.

The Bucs did not cite that as a reason for his release, Briscoe's agent Erik Burkhardt said. But he and his client said there were blindsided.

"We were definitely surprised. Dez loved it there," Burkhardt said. "He had six touchdowns and led the team in what was basically his rookie year. Very few receivers catch six touchdowns when they're the No. 3 guy on an offense that doesn't score much."

"But I respect it. Greg (Schiano) is the head coach. And Dez is really appreciative of the organization because they gave him a chance to get his career started."

In other moves:

• Linebacker Thomas Williams signed a two-year deal. Last season, his third, he had 13 tackles in seven games (two starts) for the Panthers.

• Safety Devin Holland was waived. He appeared in four games last season, making two tackles.

• Bowers and cornerback Derrick Roberson (undisclosed injury) were placed on the physically unable to perform list. They can be activated at any time during the preseason. If they begin the season on it, they must miss at least six weeks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade Brian Price, release Dezmon Briscoe

07/26/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 27, 2012 12:09am]

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