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July 27, 2012 @ 2:33 pm
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PR Analysis: Inside The Price Trade

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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What led the Buccaneers to trade DT Brian Price to Chicago? PewterReport.com has uncovered some of the details and the reasoning that went behind parting ways with Tampa Bay's 2010 second-round pick.
The Buccaneers’ trade of Brian Price to the Chicago Bears on Friday didn’t come as a surprise to the talented by often-injured defensive tackle.

“It was something we were preparing for,” Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said. “Chuck Price (Brian Price’s agent) wasn’t shocked. We’ve been in constant contact. We’ve talked the entire offseason.”

The Price trade shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise to PewterReport.com readers either as it first reported that he wasn’t a lock to make the team this year in a Pewter Pulse column on June 15.

Since Thursday night Dominik has been getting blasted by some fans for giving up on Price too early and trading him to Chicago for an undisclosed draft pick. Some are looking at the recent death of Price’s sister and all of the tragedy he has faced personally and professionally with his serious injuries and the fact that Price was involved in a fight with first-round draft pick Mark Barron and have some sympathetic feelings over the 2010 second-round pick. They view the move as a heartless one by the Bucs organization.

If anything, fans should be upset with Dominik for even drafting Price, who has seen his NFL career interrupted by a series of personal and physical setbacks related to his injured hamstring and pelvis, which have been repaired through a radical surgical procedure during his rookie season, which ended prematurely on injured reserve. In retrospect, not enough homework was done on Price’s physical condition and his character by the Tampa Bay organization, and that in part played a role in the dismissal of Buccaneers West Coast college scout Jim Abrams during this past offseason.

There is no doubt that Price, who hails from the inner city in Crenshaw, Calif., had a rough upbringing. Both of Price’s brothers were tragically gunned down in drive-bys years ago while he was growing up.

The Bucs loved Price’s talent. They just didn’t get to see it enough. They had him as a top 15 prospect on their draft boards in the 2010 draft and were ecstatic to get him in the second round, but in two injury-marred seasons, Price tallied just 34 tackles and three sacks with all of his quarterback captures happening in 2011.

When Price, who has struggled with his weight and conditioning since his hamstring and pelvic surgery in 2010, failed his conditioning test miserably on Thursday, which is the day the Bucs players reported to training camp. The conditioning test was a timed test 16 110-yard sprints with 45-second breaks in between runs.

But as Dominik said on Friday that was just but one chapter in a bad novel of Price’s time in Tampa Bay.

“It is disappointing to us as an organization and I know Brian Price is disappointed it worked out the way it did,” Dominik said. “But at the same point we have to move and do what we feel as an organization – and me specifically – that are in the best interest of this football team. 

“I have a lot of respect for Brian. He has been through a lot of personal drama, and he got a lot of physical drama he has been though, too. He got to get everything put together.”

Dominik’s use of the term “drama” reveals just how tired and frustrated the organization was becoming with Price. During his rookie season, Price contemplated quitting football when he was on injured reserve. Having grown up his entire life in the Los Angeles area, Price attended nearby UCLA and had only traveled outside the state of California for road games while playing for the Bruins.

Moving across the country to Florida made Price homesick in 2010 and it wasn’t until his girlfriend, U.S. track star Candice Davis, moved in with him and married him did the team feel that Price might get used to living on the East Coast. It helped, but there was a time when the organization felt that Price might actually leave the Bucs and give up his football career.

After his surgery, Price’s weight ballooned up to close to 350 pounds in the 2011 offseason. The fact that the NFL was going through a lockout situation last offseason certainly didn’t help Price’s conditioning and his rehab process. To his credit, Price was able to drop over 20 pounds in training camp and the preseason and won a starting spot at nose tackle over Roy Miller and Frank Okam – the two players aside from newcomer Gary Gibson that will be vying for the starting job in Price’s absence.

Keep in mind that former head coach Raheem Morris sent Price home at halftime after swinging at a Carolina player during the throwback game and drawing a 15-yard personal foul penalty on third down that gave the Panthers a first down. Morris had just emphasized penalties during the week prior to the Carolina game and was fed up with his players not listening.

Some were surprised that Morris singled out Price at the time, but many within the organization knew that Price was no angel and that there was a hard-edged persona behind-the-scenes to go along with the teddy bear persona that he flashed before the cameras. Barron saw Price’s hard-edged persona first-hand when Price lost his temper in a team meeting because the rookie was apparently in his seat.

An initial report suggested that Price “pummeled” Barron, but PewterReport.com has learned that some elements of that report were exaggerated and that Barron more than held his own in the confrontation. The Bucs were not happy with Price losing his temper and picking on a new teammate, nor did they like that the story got out to the media and the way it portrayed Price as some sort of martyr and that Barron was somehow a jerk for simply sitting in the wrong spot.

Price was sent home from One Buccaneer Place after that incident and was told that he could skip the rest of the OTAs and the mandatory mini-camp. The next time the Bucs saw Price he was out of shape and failed the conditioning test.

Dominik attempted to talk up Miller, who is the current starting nose tackle, on Friday, but he had a chance to start last year and the fact is that he was beaten out by a less-than-100 percent Price. Miller, who started in 2010, is in a contract year and that could motivate him to play better than he did a year ago.

“I’m excited to see Roy Miller and Gerald McCoy, Wallace Gilberry and the guys that are here competing for a roster spot – Gary Gibson and Amobi Okoye,” Dominik said. “Those are the players that we are going to talk about going forward.”

“[Price] has had an unfortunate career and an unfortunate personal life. A really tragic personal life. So it’s very difficult to think about all the things he’s gone through, from losing his sister, to the injuries he’s dealt with and the surgeries he’s dealt with. But at some point we have to go out there and win some football games, and part of the plan for us was to be involved in free agency and find guys like Amobi Okoye and Wallace Gilberry who can help out, so it’s a position that we have focused on, knowing this day could come.”

Miller, Okam and Gibson each bring a physical presence to the nose tackle position and should be able to anchor well against the run. But when healthy, Price had uncanny quickness off the ball, and there isn't any nose tackle on the Bucs' roster that can replicate his explosiveness.

“We'll be alright,” McCoy said. “You know, they had to make decisions and they made them. But it's just a hurdle, we jumped over it, and we're moving on. We can't look back, we just got to look towards the future and you know, do what we've got to do.”

Price joins free safety Tanard Jackson and tight end Kellen Winslow as the third starter Dominik and new head coach Greg Schiano have released this offseason.

“I look at everybody’s body of work and are they a fit for the Buccaneers, what we’re trying to be, who we’re trying to be?” Schiano said. “Just because you’re not a fit for us, doesn’t mean you’re not a fit for somebody else. Mark and I feel like the best thing for him and the best thing for us was to find a new place and it worked out well.”
Last modified on Friday, 27 July 2012 14:52

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  • avatar

    Whats the prolem, it's just another bad pick by Dominik and his friend Hickey. The next guy to go will be McCoy after he gets hurt again. To talk up Roy Miller is a joke. I thought thats why we double dipped on DT's in the draft because they were not happy with Miller. Now, all of a sudden he is O.K.? We cannot continue to miss on first and second round picks. Promote Butch Davis now!!
  • avatar

    Finnally, I've said this over and over again, now th world knows. Mark Dominot is incompetent and way overrated. Firstly, if Raheem Morris and staff were fired, then Dominot should have fallen on the sword as well. He is solely responsible for a bad 2010 draft of bust. Remember, Myron Lewis, Brent Bowden, A.Benn???, B. Price???, Cody Grimm???, Lorig a DE turned Fullback, and others. This is not to mention our one and only 2010 free agent signing of the former Eagle DB signing that couldn't tackle, and the trade for the Eagle receiver that did not make the team-(wasted 6th round pick). You guys remember! Let's also not to mention the brilliant move to give up a 4th round pick for Luke Stocker. These recent moves, throwing away money on Eric Wright, overpaying for the Falcolns punter. A punter!!! Please, stop hyping up an incompetent GM. Just like Otis Smith destroyed the Orlando Magic and Isiah Thomas destroyed the Knicks. The "bucs" will surely be the next in line. PS: I hope I was right for leaving McCoy and Q. Black off the list.
  • avatar

    So price and briscoe are the reason we lost 10 straight? And I don't get it? Gibson and underwood? Maybe you don't get it. Coach effectively eliminated competition for his Rutgers guys.
  • avatar

    You guys don't get it. Schiano has a clear vision of what he wants in a player, something we've lacked in the past. Trust was one of the first things he talked about when he took over. Briscoe, Price missed all the OTA's, then show up for camp and can't pass a test. Enough is enough, you can't trust these guys.We only won four games with these so called ballers, time to move on.
  • avatar

    Price is a baller and nasty competitor on the field. This team can use his ability and demeanor on defense. I cannot understand not letting this guy compete for his roster spot when none of the so called depth behind him would have beaten him out in competition this camp. Seems the Schiano way is to make competition easier for his Rutgers guys Gibson and underwood by tossing the better players in briscoe and price. Forget Winslow, but tossing Jackson, briscoe and price from this football team will not make us better. Funny how Carl nicks was given the opportunity to pass his conditioning test. At least price has a legit reason for not passing his test when he pulled something. What's Nick's excuse? Oh right, he doesn't need one.
  • avatar

    Scott, I understand why you are defending your actions and thank you for responding. I just do not understand for a 7th round draft pick why the Bucs couldn't wait a few weeks to see if Price could get in shape. Everytime I saw him play, he did it with high energy. Even the game that Morris tossed him out he was one of the few that hadn't given up even though we were getting our butts kicked. I believe he deserved at least a chance during the pre season. I would have been okay with it if we had cut him at the end of pre season. I sure hope your verification of some things that haven't come out yet does. Right now I have lost some respect for Schiano and Dominik keeps going down further on my list as someone who knows what they are doing in their job. We still have hugh concerns with our defensive unit. Anyway, I will be in the VIP area and I hope to introduce myself and tell you and PR the great job everyone is doing..
  • avatar

    The guy's gone, move on. What's done is done, I"m looking at it like B.S., before Schiano. I trust this guy going forward.
  • avatar

    Scott, who was the scout on Brian Price? Who were the scouts on all the recent busts?
  • avatar

    Joe Adams or something like that was the scout on Price - he's been fired.
  • avatar

    To be honest guys, this piece doesn't sound to me like the author had his toes on the Bucs corporate line. However I will say that what this most recent chain of events should have made it obvious even to the most light hearted football fan that Mark Dominik has had no clue of how to scout,draft, plan or do anything competent that being the GM of an NFL franchise is supposed to know how to do...Maybe thats not all his fault...being that the Glazers went bottom bucket cheap for the past three years concerning all the important aspects of the team they "want to be successful," but still...Dominik is incompetent at best and completely clueless at worst...either way..if the Glazers had not just paid him a new deal....he would have been included in the "housecleaning" earlier this year...and REALLY REALLY should have been...Best of luck to you Mr. Price. GO BUCS!!!!!
  • avatar

    Excellant article SR... I was a "cheerleader" but not a huge football fan of Price. Sad life - I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Clearwater Buc 21: Dominik drafted Price on the advise of his westcoast scout, who has since been let go. As the CEO (Dominik) of a company you are only as good as those you depend on...those that are hired to be detailed. Apparently significant things with regards to Mr. Price's physical and mental health were missed by....I'm guessing - those who are paid a great deal more than you and I to be detailed. IF what SR has heard is true about Mr. Price then it is a "VERY good thing he's gone from that locker room". Kudo's to Dominik for getting a late round pick for damaged goods. Winslow was not a potential star - he ship had already sailed with regards to stardom. For that matter so too (maybe) has Dallas Clarks. But I bet Clarks numbers rival Winslows but his professionalism and accountability will far exceed Winslows. As for Derrick Brooks, Galloway, Dunn, and June - 31 other teams passed...does that make you sentimental - nostalgic - smarter than 32 NFL GM's. Yes - yes and Nope. Besides - it's Michael Clayton..not Mark..he played with Marino and the Dolphins. BTW Atlanta Buc- well written.
  • avatar

    I posted this earlier today Hate this move. He is/was the most talented DT we had since Sapp and with all he has had againsthim i admire him for still being on his feet. Dont care what happened with Barron and i dont give anything for him being out of shape. With the freak injury and the death of his brithers and sisters i believe that this organisation should have stood by his side and helped im through. No matter if it would take him a season more to get into shape and figure his life out. Im his biggest supporter and wish him all the luck n the future. God nows this man needs a brake and no one deserves a ood future like him. And know when i has sunk in it hit me: i really like the way Schiano is moving this franchise but this just looks like he wants to set an example without thinking of the consequenses. stil think its a dumb move from a talent standpoint and i know he failed a conditionings test, but for cryingot loud he just lost his sister on top of a freak injury - give him a break.
  • avatar

    bucjoe - I did read the Times' report, but I haven't been able to confirm it. Regardless of what Brian Price weighed, it doesn't mean that he was necessarily in shape. I guarantee you that Dezmon Briscoe looks like he's in shape, but he failed his conditioning test miserably on Thursday.
  • avatar

    Horse - There is no toeing the company line here. I'm pretty sure Mark Dominik is not thrilled with me writing "If anything, fans should be upset with Dominik for even drafting Price ..." because it definitely implies the guy has been a bust. I also pointed out that Dominik said that he's "excited to see Roy Miller play", yet I point out that we've seen Miller play and he couldn't be out a less-than-100-percent Price last year for the starting job. As for some of this stuff coming out now after the fact that he's gone ... we have written about some of Price's issues over the past year or so, most recently in a couple of summer Pewter Pulse's - one of which was linked in the story. We also received some new information that suggests that Price has a harder edged side than some may realize. Not trying to bury the guy at all. Just providing some more reasoning from the team as to why he was traded away. I understand that it doesn't mean Bucs fans necessarily have to agree with it or like it. I also heard some real damaging allegations about Price last week before he was traded. Can't confirm them yet, but if they are true ... it's a VERY good thing he's gone from that locker room.
  • avatar

    great story! How many premium picks are we going to miss on??? A few picks later... rob grankoski. Missing on 1st and 2nd rounders is killing us!!! Please step up mccoy, barron, and freeman!!!!
  • avatar

    Clearwater Buc 21......Mark Clayton.....really? Did you guys ever think that maybe our Dr's said the surgery would not hold so we unloaded him for something now rather than be stuck with it later?
  • avatar

    All I know is that this turned into yet another wasted draft pick and I blame Dominick. He better find a way to fix it as the depth we have at that position is not all that good based on past performance. It is not looking like the Dline will be any better this year than last year at this point!
  • avatar

    No guesses on what the pick is... ?
  • avatar

    Wow Scott! I didn't expect this from you. I guess you have to toe the line for the Bucs in order to win them over so you can get on the good side of the GM and Coach? So you think those minor things that Price did were just awful and thus the Bucs give up on him. Hmm...? I Let me defend Price in another way since he is not here to defend himself? Was it his fault that the Bucs drafted him at No. 2 and declared that he was the steal of the draft? All the press including you and PR sold us this package. Many of us fans were concerned about Price's injury and questioned in 2010 and 2011 as to why they were pushing him so hard with that kind of injury. Just maybe Brian Price was one frustrated person and couldn't handle the injury especially as part of his life was crumbling. Where is the compassion and understanding? All of a sudden it's the take no prisoner syndrome. This was the perfect time for Schiano to set the example and of course Dominik goes along with it because he actually is the one to blame in the first place. Price was drafted on his watch with his Scouts, Coaches, Trainers. I hope that Price is given a better chance than what he got here. He never got the chance to properly heal from his unusual surgery for a football player. So what's the real story on Penn? I would like to hear you defend Penn since it seems to be okay that he can conviently pull a calf muscle just before camp starts.
  • avatar

    Sounds like a "whitewash" job to me Scott! You mentioned his character and implied it was bad when that has been mentioned NOWHERE else, EVER! He's not a "fit" for the Bucs? In what way? He doesn't play through injury? He took a swing at another player in a game? Was he the only one? NO! Then you try to say his failure in the 110 yard run was because he came in "out of shape". Not what has been reported elsewhere! He came in at 303 lbs, his college playing weight. He failed the run because of a sudden pop of both sound and feeling. The TRAINERS reportedly said it was tearing of scar tissue, which YOU KNOW, has to occur and is NO INDICATION of being out of shape. I am disappointed in you for this article Scott.
  • avatar

    Agree, FACT The BUCs have lost (2) potential starters penciled in for 2012. So now we go to plan B? Why not bring someone like Aaron Kampman?
  • avatar

    Scott, totally agree with your article, GM and Coach on this one. It is time to close the book on an unfortunate mistake for the Bucs and let the young man move on and try to make it in a fresh environment with less pressure for performance than his current 2nd round draft expectations and contract. NFL is a marathon not a sprint and I don't believe given the latest results of Brian's physical performance that the odds were very good he could survive the entire 16 weeks or more of a rugged NFL season in the trenches. Some on the website have said the Bucs are heartless and they should have given the young man another chance; but the facts are, sometimes letting someone go early so they can have a chance to catch on in another place to be more successful is the most unselfish thing you can do for a player. I believe the selfish and easy decision for the Bucs and the fans would have been to let him stay on the team through camp and Preseason to see if we could still get our 2nd round value out of him. If Brian gets cut at the end of preseason then he has very little chance to impress other teams once the season starts, especially if he is hurt again. I think the much harder and unselfish decision was to let Brian move on and admit it was not working out for him or the Bucs. I wish the young man well. He has been through a lot. Then again, so has Mr LeGrand. Life is not always fair.
  • avatar

    I guess I understand what Dominik is trying to do. He's valuing the Buccaneer way over talent with the expectation that the team will be better off in the long run. The problem is that Dominik will not be around to see the team reap the fruit of these moves if he doesn't find a way to get more talent on this defense. We no longer have a fearsome foursome to look forward to on the D-line. I expectations for the defense this year are getting lower and lower.
  • avatar

    While it is disappointing that Price didn't pan out, what's even more frustrating are 2 things. One, is that Dominik drafted Price in the 2nd round if there were questions about him, or insufficient scouting on him. But what is even more frustrating is that Dominik trades Price away for an undisclosed draft pick (which I've read is a 7th round pick.) He did this with Winslow- a potential star TE and trading him for a 6th or 7th round pick. Does anyone honestly believe- with Dominik's track record- that we are going to get good talent in the 7th round? Most of those guys either see the bench, practice squad, or get cut. It's obvious I'm no fan of Mark Dominik; I never have been. From the moment he released Derrick Brooks, Galloway, Dunn, and June until now, I've never liked him. But I am really crossing my fingers that this is his last year as GM and we get somebody else who can draft better, make better transactions, etc. Dominik has done well in getting the team back on track from the cap problem we had, but his record on trades (Derrick Ward, 7th rounders in return, etc.), re-signings (Mark Clayton, Quincy Black, and more), and draft picks (the only one's panning out could be Freeman and Clayborn), I would have to give Dominik a grade of a mid "D".
  • avatar

    It kinda stinks that Dominick mentioned players at the DT position twice......and both times made no mention of Frank Okam.
  • avatar

    What's the "NEW" news? Barron held his own? Really just a sad excuse for an article. All you did was quote a bunch of people and told Price's story while painting him in a bad light. Sounds like some of the other guys that have left this off season. Everything is rosy while they're here, but once they leave, they need metal armor to protect themselves from the knives.
  • avatar

    Nice article...FYI: There is not a Crenshaw, CA. Crenshaw is just street name
  • avatar

    Thanks for the article, Scott.
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