Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Final cap decisions two weeks away
By RICK STROUD
Published February 13, 2005
TAMPA - Thanks a million.
That's the only thing that needs to be said to players released by general manager Bruce Allen, who has to trim $14-million from the payroll in about 14 days.
Where does he begin?
Like most teams, at quarterback.
Veteran Brad Johnson, who has an $8.55-million salary-cap value in 2005, will move on.
This isn't a situation like the one that developed for Mark Brunell in 2004, when a trade market developed for the former Jaguars quarterback before the start of the free-agent signing period.
When Johnson is released, he will save the Bucs about $4.5-million. Easy enough.
Next up: Brian Griese. The Bucs want him back, but they may not view him as a long-term answer. Allen and agent Ralph Cindrich have swapped several proposals and more talks are planned.
If the Bucs are successful in reworking the deal for Griese, who is owed a $6-million roster bonus in March and a $2-million base salary, they easily could reduce the cap space taken up by their starter. If the whole deal falls through, that's about $7-million erased from the cap and an enormous problem for the Bucs.
Griese likely doesn't want to play for his fourth team in four years, and having crawled from No. 3 to a starter in the league again, he isn't anxious to leave Jon Gruden.
It's inevitable that Allen will release players.
Cornerback Mario Edwards looks like a certain cap casualty. He's owed a $1.6-million roster bonus on March 1, which would increase his value to more than $3.3-million, too much for a player who couldn't secure the nickelback position, having lost it at one point to Torrie Cox.
The player everyone asks about is fullback Mike Alstott. He is owed $2-million, and given his ever-diminishing role, looked like a certain goner.
The Bucs, however, remember the beating they took for cutting safety John Lynch, who made the Pro Bowl as a Bronco. And they don't want to repeat it with Alstott, perhaps the most popular player in team history.
Second, Alstott is willing to take a pay cut to finish his career in Tampa Bay. He likely will get just over the veteran minimum, say $1-million, to stay. If he has a good preseason and makes the team, great. If not, he retires a Buccaneer.
It's hard to see the Bucs keeping linebacker Ian Gold. He fired his agent, Karl Poston. He proved his surgically repaired knee is sound, but he wants to return to weakside linebacker, his natural position. By keeping Gold, a large bonus after the '05 season kicks in.
Eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks will have to restructure his contract eventually because his cap figure exceeds $9.5-million next season. The Bucs can find another strongside linebacker.
Defensive end Greg Spires is on the books for $3-million next season. But he and agent Drew Rosenhaus believe Spires has a verbal agreement with the Bucs that he can become an unrestricted free agent if a restructured deal cannot be worked out. If he hits the market, there's some more room for Allen.
He's going to need to cut a lot of those million-dollar babies.