Will Jake Be Back On A Field Near You?
In the article, it is assumed that the Bucs are doing this becuase they have come to the conclusion that Plummer has no intentions of ever playing football again --
And they have been joined in the grievance procedure by the Denver Broncos, his former employer, and the franchise which originally funded the bonus.
Tampa Bay officials, who placed Plummer on the league's "reserve/did not report" list when he failed to show for the start of camp, had hinted at such a maneuver. In a contractual technicality, when the Bucs acquired Plummer from Denver in March for a seventh-round draft pick, which could have escalated to a fourth-rounder if he did not retire, they also gained the right to try to recoup part of his signing bonus money.
It is believed that the teams are seeking $7 million-$7.5 million, essentially for breach of contract, because Plummer failed to fulfill his existing five-year deal. It is also believed that the Bucs are fining Plummer $14,000 per day for not reporting to camp.
The unusual part of the grievance case, which could take several months to resolve, is the inclusion of both franchises in the action.
"There are consequences to not reporting to camp," general manager Bruce Allen noted, somewhat ominously, on the day Plummer failed to report two weeks ago. "We treat him just like any other player who did not come to camp."
"A player [under contract] can't just unilaterally retire," Allen said.
Ok, that seems like it makes sense.
Then, this morning, at the same time this news is breaking, I am listening to Sirius NFL Radio, which is broadcasting live from Bucs' Camp, and they are talking to Allen. When the subject of Plummer comes up, Allen couldn't have been more positive about the situation, even going so far as to say that Allen, among others, had travelled to visit Plummer in Idaho.
The comment that really stuck out to me was when Allen professed that, "Plummer still has alot to offer the NFl and if you are asking me if his career is over I would have to say no..." That differs greatly from the assumption Len Pasquarelli makes in his article. Does Allen know something he's not telling anyone about? Is Plummer planning on reporting at some time in the near future, or next year?
It's all conjecture at this point, but the tone in Allen's voice, which I was listening live to, was not that of a guy who was ready to go after a guy for 7.5 miilion large with guns a-blazin'. It remains a story to keep our eyes and ears on.