Some thought quarterback Chris Simms might have played his last game as a Buccaneer when he ruptured his spleen in Week 3 and was later placed on injured reserve.

That likely isn’t the case. The Bucs and Simms are close to reaching an agreement on a two-year contract extension, PewterReport.com is reporting.

Simms, 26, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2007. He signed a one-year contract worth $2.1 million as a restricted free agent in March.

Sources told Pewter Report that Simms’ two-year contract extension, which would make him a Buccaneer through 2008, would include $5 million in guaranteed money.

Exactly what Simms earns with his new contract will be contingent on how he performs on the football field.

Escalators in Simms’ new deal could make the two-year extension worth as much as $14.5 million. Sources tell Pewter Report that Simms has $11.5 million in escalators tied to playtime/performance incentives.

The two sides are extremely close to getting Simms’ contract extension finalized. While it could be completed by the end of the day on Saturday, Simms may not actually sign the contract extension until next week.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Simms struggled as Tampa Bay’s undisputed starting signal caller in 2006, completing 58-of-106 (54.7 percent) passes for 585 yards while tossing one touchdown and seven interceptions through three games.

His season ended prematurely after Simms suffered a ruptured spleen vs. Carolina, an injury that required emergency surgery following the Bucs’ 26-24 loss to the Panthers on Sept. 24.  

Rookie Bruce Gradkowski and Luke McCown are the only two quarterbacks that are currently under contract with the Buccaneers for the 2007 season. Simms and Tim Rattay are scheduled to become UFAs, which is one of the reasons why the Bucs have been working on getting a deal done with Simms for the past several weeks.

Simms originally entered the NFL in 2003 as a third-round pick out of Texas. He has completed 291-of-492 (59.1 percent) of his passes for 3,087 yards and tossed 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while starting 16 games, including one playoff contest.

Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2007 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.


 
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