Times links
Devil Rays
Arena football
High school
2006 schedule
home of the infamous Armchair QB board.
Get Bucs, Rays or Lightning news from the Times sent daily via e-mail.
How well do you think you know your favorite team?
Fan info
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Bucs ponder cap casualties

Dwayne Rudd, Kerry Jenkins and Karl Williams may be looking for work.

Published February 22, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS - As the Bucs consider how to reload for the 2004 season, they are preparing to unload several costly reserve players in order to improve their salary-cap situation.

Linebacker Dwayne Rudd, guard Kerry Jenkins and receiver Karl Williams are expected to be released within the next few weeks unless they agree to accept significant pay cuts.

By waiving the three veterans, the Bucs would realize a savings of $2.53-million, putting them more than $2-million below the projected $80.5-million salary cap by the March 2 deadline.

"I don't want to speculate," coach Jon Gruden said. "But the salary cap, if it doesn't resolve itself pretty quick with restructured deals, there's only one thing you can do and that involves terminating players and we don't want to do that."

Rudd, who is scheduled to make $970,000, never won the starting strongside linebacker position as expected when he signed as a free agent last year. Instead, he backed up second-year pro Ryan Nece.

Jenkins is owed a roster bonus of $1-million on March 1, agent Jack Reale said. He has three years remaining on a five-year contract that will pay him base salaries of $900,000 in '04 and $2-million in both '05 and '06.

But last season, he lost his starting left guard job to Cosey Coleman, only to return to the lineup when right guard Jason Whittle was injured.

Williams, who slipped to fifth on the receiving depth chart, is in the final season of a three-year contract that will pay him $660,000.

General manager Bruce Allen is attempting to restructure the contracts of several starters, including linebacker Derrick Brooks, cornerback Ronde Barber and defensive end Simeon Rice.

But he said there are likely to be some players released because of the cap.

"Yeah, as does every team in the league," Allen said. "It's something that we've analyzed, that's why we're seeing what type of room we can create and if we can find some players that would help us or improve us, that's really what we're looking to do."

The Bucs got some help when league and union officials announced Friday they expect the salary cap to be increased from the expected $78.7-million to $80.5-million for 2004.

Allen was scheduled to meet with Brooks' agent, Roosevelt Barnes, during the scouting combine. The seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker will earn $5.5-million in base salary next season. The Bucs are $500,000 over the salary cap.

"It doesn't do anything significantly, really," Allen said of the increase. "We still have the least (uncommitted money to work with) in the conference. I suggested them just giving us the $2-million, but that didn't work. ... I think it actually will have a bit of a ripple affect with some of the players that were projected to be waived by other teams. So there might not be as many guys available. It's obviously $2-million more than we had but we still have to create room to get players."

The Bucs plan to let defensive tackle Warren Sapp and running back Thomas Jones test the market when the signing period begins March 3. But Tampa Bay would like to retain both.

"Obviously, they'll become unrestricted free agents if you can't sign them by that time," Gruden said. "I've got great respect for Warren Sapp as a player and as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, but we've got a lot of issues we've got to work through."

[Last modified February 22, 2004, 01:45:26]

Today's lineup

  • Bucs brass happy with Williams decision
  • Bucs ponder cap casualties
  • Henson simply won't be bargain

  • Rays
  • True Gem
  • Health primary focus for Tatis
  • Canseco waits for elusive call

  • Lightning
  • Lockout would put end to Andreychuk's career
  • Problem? Save it for later

  • Other sports

    Arena league
  • Veteran quarterback takes Texas by storm

  • Baseball
  • Rodriguez a big hit at 1st workout
  • Don't make Yankees World Series plans just yet

  • Black History Month
  • Ricky Thomas

  • College basketball
  • Gators deflect adversity in win
  • Tide wins at Mississippi State
  • USF can't block out blunders
  • Wright, Georgia stay hot
  • FSU can't quite climb back
  • Syracuse wins with 3-pointer at buzzer
  • Last-second tip knocks UCF from tie for first
  • Women: UConn overcomes temporary loss of Taurasi

  • Colleges
  • 4th ACC track title in row for FSU men

  • Golf
  • Trying to be one of the Champions
  • Despite the rain, Weir cruising in the Nissan
  • From contention to discontent
  • St. Petersburg amateur has helper on his side, lead

  • In brief
  • Zvonareva fights off Raymond for 2nd title

  • Motorsports
  • McMurray still solid at The Rock

  • NBA
  • Nets coach ties record
  • Westhead's touch helps Magic

  • NHL
  • Panthers wear a tie on trip to Washington
  • Slapshots

  • Olympics
  • Rings, things

  • Opinion
  • Rant, Rave

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Scout out survival plan first

  • Parimutuels
  • In an upset, Kaufy Mate is over Edge
  • Kitten's Joy victorious in Palm Beach Stakes

  • Preps
  • Wildwood shuts down Hernando
  • Countryside three-peats in region
  • Durant's depth leads to title
  • Durant's title slips away
  • Eagles knock off Panthers
  • Mitchell earns first district championship
  • Osceola boys get to semis
  • Ridgewood secures consecutive titles
  • St. Petersburg sinks Gibbs in OT
  • Tampa Bay Tech rallies to capture 4A-11 title
  • Tarpon takes 4A title in PKs
  • Three Rams advance to state

  • Running
  • Marathon has had better days

  • Sunday extra
  • Chipping in
  • If you go
  • Moneymaker has lived up to his name

  • Sunday Extra
  • Full Houses
  • Letters to the Editor: Hamilton's story is heartbreaking
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111


    On The Wire
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week