Bucs finally get Plummer relief

Before their dispute went to an arbitrator on Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Jake Plummer agreed to a settlement of the quarterback's contract on Tuesday.

The Jake Plummer saga appears to be over.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced via its Web site that the Bucs and quarterback Jake Plummer have agreed to a settlement of his contract that will net the team significant cap savings, plus compensation if Plummer decides to resume his NFL career.

The club had not sent out an official release regarding the move as of Wednesday afternoon. The team's Web site said the Bucs would retain Plummer's rights if he chooses to return to the NFL.

The team did not report how much it will receive from Plummer. But the Tampa Tribune reported that Plummer would pay the Bucs $3.5 million, half of the bonus paid to him by the Denver Broncos when they extended his contract in 2005. The Bucs will also receive a corresponding salary cap credit in 2009.

"We have entered into an agreement with Jake Plummer stemming from his decision to not play football last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," said Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen. "The agreement includes a repayment to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of a previously-paid signing bonus to Jake Plummer and additional economic consideration to the Buccaneers in the event Jake Plummer decides to resume his professional football career."

The Buccaneers acquired Plummer from the Broncos in early March of last year as part of their plan to shore up the quarterback position. But Plummer never reported to Tampa Bay, saying shortly after the trade that he was retiring. Plummer has steadfastly stayed out of football.

The Buccaneers lost their seventh-round pick in 2008 as a result and filed a grievance with the NFL after Plummer failed to report.

This is just the latest piece of quarterback news for the team, which had seven signal-callers on its roster after the NFL Draft.

The Bucs waived quarterback Bruce Gradkowski two weeks ago. He was later claimed by St. Louis. Chris Simms also made public comments to the Tribune earlier this week, calling his relationship with Bucs head coach Jon Gruden "broken" and said he wanted to make a clean break with the team.

Simms has skipped all voluntary workouts this offseason.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.

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