The Buccaneers and Bears are finalizing a deal that will send Chicago quarterback Brian Griese to Tampa Bay in exchange for what is believed to be an undisclosed draft pick in 2009.
Although the deal is not yet official, the trade could be finalized as early as Monday evening.
Griese spent two seasons (2004-05) with the Buccaneers and led the Bucs to a 5-1 start in 2005 before sustaining a torn ACL vs. the Miami Dolphins, an injury that ended his season. Griese completed 345-of-510 (67.6 percent) of his passes for 3,768 yards and tossed 27 touchdowns and 19 interceptions as a Buccaneer.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Griese joined Chicago as a free agent during the 2006 offseason after he was released in a cap move by the Buccaneers. He completed 179-of-294 (60.8 percent) of his passes for 2,023 yards and tossed 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for the Bears.
Chicago avoids paying Griese, whose contract in Chicago ran through 2010, a $300,000 roster bonus that was due to him this month by trading him to Tampa Bay.
Griese, who turns 33 later this month, has completed 1,642-of-2,612 (62.9 percent) of his passes for 18,367 yards and tossed 114 touchdowns and 92 interceptions since entering the NFL with the Denver Broncos as a second-round draft pick in 1998.
Should the trade be approved by the NFL, which is expected, Tampa Bay will have six quarterbacks – Griese, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski and Jake Plummer – on its offseason roster.
The Bucs signed Garcia and traded for Plummer on the same day last year (Mar. 2, 2007). While Garcia has established himself as Tampa Bay's starting quarterback, Plummer has yet to report to the team.
Tampa Bay and Denver have filed three joint grievances against Plummer in an effort to either get him to play for the Bucs or pay Tampa Bay over $7 million worth of bonuses he received while playing in Denver.
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