Just one day after Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen stated that he had not received newly acquired quarterback Jake Plummer’s retirement papers and was hopeful the signal caller would decide to continue to play, the 32-year-old signal caller announced his retirement on his website, JakePlummerFoundation.com.
“First, I want to thank my family and close friends for their loyal support through all these fun-filled times, rollercoaster years,” Plummer said on his website. “Second, I owe all of my greatest achievements in football to the men who stood by my side as my teammates and coaches. Also, a big thank you to all the fans that have rooted for me through me through the ups and downs of my career. Football has been awesome to me in many ways. I leave the game with my health and happiness, and look forward to the future; I’ve got many rivers to cross.”
Plummer, who originally entered the NFL in 1997 with the Arizona Cardinals, completed 57.1 percent of his career passes for 29,253 yards. He tossed 161 touchdowns and 160 interceptions. Plummer had 136 career starts and produced an impressive 40-18 record as Denver's starting signal caller.
There is no official word yet in terms of whether Plummer’s retirement papers have actually been filed with the league office. As of noon on Saturday, Allen said he had not received them.
“We own the rights to Jake Plummer. I talked to Jake yesterday and he feels at this time he is contemplating retirement. We understand that, but he is a member of the Buccaneers right now,” Allen said during a press conference that announced the signing of QB Jeff Garcia. “We have traded for a draft choice in the 2008 draft, which is undisclosed.
“We own the rights to Jake. There are other conditions with it, but the pick [will be sent]. We traded for Jake. We own Jake’s rights.”
Some of those conditions could be which pick the Bucs will eventually send to the Broncos depending on whether Plummer retires or plays. Allen would not elaborate.
If Plummer retires, the Bucs will own his rights through his retirement and there will be no cap hit on Tampa Bay’s salary cap. If Plummer doesn’t retire and decides not to report to camp, the Bucs could place him on the “did not report list,” which would not allow his salary to be on Tampa Bay’s books, or Tampa Bay could release or trade him at that time.
The only way Plummer’s $5.3 million salary affects Tampa Bay’s salary cap during the regular season is if he reports to training camp.
Even with Plummer retiring, Tampa Bay has five quarterbacks – Garcia, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski, Luke McCown and Bruce Eugene – under contract for the 2007 season.
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