Tampa Bay quarterback Brian Griese’ agent, Ralph Cindrich, is awaiting word from Bucs general manager Bruce Allen, who is in the process of trying to figure out a way to keep the veteran signal caller on the team’s roster at a reduced salary in 2006.
“I called Bruce and I’m waiting for word back,” Cindrich told PewterReport.com on Thursday afternoon. “My understanding is Bruce is in evaluation of the new rules right now, so they might be doing that. I get that indication, but I can’t tell you that specifically.”
Griese, who turns 31 this month, is scheduled to receive a $2.6 million roster bonus on the first day of the new league year, which is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday. That bonus would cause Griese’s salary cap value to escalate to $7.083 million in 2006, which is a number the team can’t afford.
“There’s little doubt that there would be a restructure involved,” said Cindrich. “Certainly, there could be a lot done in a short time frame that would accomplish everything. But for this to work they’ll probably have to release him and then start the process all over.”
Between Griese, Chris Simms, who recently signed a one-year, $2.1 million contract with Tampa Bay, Tim Rattay and Luke McCown, the Buccaneers currently have approximately $10.8 million dedicated to their quarterback position. Releasing Griese would create approximately $4.5 million in cap room for the Bucs.
Griese has started 72 of the 75 games he’s played in the NFL since entering the league with the Denver Broncos in 1998. He’s completed 63.1 percent of his career passes and thrown for 16,344 yards and tossed 103 touchdowns and 78 interceptions.
During his two seasons with the Bucs, Griese has completed 67 percent of his passes and thrown for 3,768 yards while tossing 27 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Griese helped get the Bucs off to a 5-1 start in 2005 by completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 1,136 yards and tossing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, Griese’s 2005 campaign was cut short when he tore ligaments in his left knee in a Week 6 game vs. the Miami Dolphins.
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