Plummer, who hasn't filed his retirement papers with the NFL, hastily called a press conference at an athletic club in downtown Denver. Even though he made a statement on his foundation's Web site, speculation persisted that he wanted to come back and play for a team other than Tampa Bay. The Broncos traded Plummer to Tampa Bay for a conditional pick, even after Plummer said he was retiring.
Plummer wanted the speculation to end.
"You can know by looking at my face and hearing my words, I am retiring from the NFL," Plummer said.
Plummer didn't answer questions from the media, claiming he didn't have time because he was playing in a handball doubles match with his brother Eric. He said he simply thought it was time to retire after 10 years.
"At 32 years old I'm running away from the game," Plummer said. "Not in fear or fright, but meaning health-wise. I'm healthy, I'm happy and I have a lot to look forward to in my life."
Many found it odd that Plummer would walk away from the game when he could probably still start in the NFL and he had a $5.3 million base salary due in 2007. But he said it was his own decision.
Those close to Plummer said he had been traveling all off-season and has many interests outside of football that he wanted to pursue.
"I'll be at a mountain, either at the bottom or the top of a mountain somewhere, really enjoying myself," Plummer said. "Don't worry about Jake because he'll be fine."
--The Broncos re-signed receiver Quincy Morgan. Morgan was a priority because of how well he returned kickoffs late in the season. He got a chance late in the year after rookie Brian Clark struggled, and had a 64-yard return against Arizona.
With a full off-season to learn the offense, Morgan could also be a factor on offense.
--Receiver Rod Smith's hip surgery could affect the Broncos' draft plans. Smith might not be ready for the start of training camp, and he will be 37 years old this off-season. The Broncos like second-year player Brandon Marshall, but depth is a bit of a concern.
--The Broncos introduced tight end Daniel Graham and running back Travis Henry, their biggest additions in free agency, at a press conference. Denver has been lacking playmakers on offense for a couple of seasons, and Graham and Henry both fit the offense very well.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm ready to move on with my life and try some other challenges." -- Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
MEDICAL WATCH: WR Rod Smith had hip surgery in late February to clean out some tissue. The timetable for his recovery is four months, but there is a chance he won't be ready for the start of training camp in late July.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--LB Keith Burns will probably be back. He is a good leader and a special-teams fixture.
--OG Cooper Carlisle will likely test the open market. The Broncos want the versatile Carlisle back, but they have solid depth if he leaves.
--DT Michael Myers is a solid, steady performer in the middle. Quality defensive linemen usually get attention in free agency, so the Broncos will wait to see if it is prudent to re-sign him.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--FB Cecil Sapp (tendered at $1.3M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) is a talented player who fills many roles. Even though he's coming off an injury, he should be back.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: Not available.
--LB Louis Green: Potential RFA; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--WR Quincy Morgan: UFA; terms unknown.
--DT Kenny Peterson: UFA; terms unknown.
--CB Dre' Bly (trade Lions).
--TE Daniel Graham: UFA Patriots; $30M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--RB Travis Henry: FA Titans; 5 yrs, $12M guaranteed; other terms unknown.
--OG Montrae Holland: UFA Saints; $1M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--QB Patrick Ramsey: FA Jets; $4.5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--FB Paul Smith: UFA Rams; $2.55M/3 yrs, $300,000 SB.
--DT Dan Wilkinson (trade Dolphins).
--RB Tatum Bell (traded Lions).
--DE Patrick Chukwurah: UFA Buccaneers; $5.5M/5 yrs, SB unknown.
--OT George Foster (traded Lions).
--RB Damien Nash (deceased).
--QB Jake Plummer (traded Buccaneers).
--CB Darrent Williams (deceased).
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