tampabay.com

WR Toliver appears to cut ties with team

The Storm's leading receiver abruptly walks out.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published May 31, 2007


Around noon Wednesday, the Storm's leading receiver walked into a small office in the St. Pete Times Forum, asked for his paycheck then walked out the door.

And with that, T.T. Toliver's season may have come to a close.

According to the Storm, Toliver, whose 99 receptions are tied for fifth in the Arena Football League, informed coach Tim Marcum during a meeting Tuesday that he no longer wanted to be a part of the team.

"He said, 'I don't want to play here anymore, ' " Marcum said.

After giving Toliver a night to rethink his decision, the Storm put him on the "left squad" list Wednesday evening, which means he is ineligible for the next two weeks even if he changes his mind.

The move appears to bring a surprising end to a breakout season for the 30-year-old Toliver. The former Bethune-Cookman basketball player was on pace to shatter his career highs in receptions and receiving yards.

With four games remaining, Toliver leads the Storm with 99 catches, 1, 193 yards and 17 touchdowns. He set career highs in all three categories last season, catching 78 passes for 1, 273 yards and 28 touchdowns while a member of the Nashville Kats.

Messages left for Toliver were not returned.

According to Marcum, Toliver was visibly frustrated after catching nine passes for 84 yards in a 52-38 loss to Georgia on Saturday. He practiced Tuesday but, according to Marcum, said after practice that he wanted to quit.

Toliver showed up Wednesday in Tampa wearing street clothes, asked for his check and left. He is signed through the end of this year at a salary of $65, 000 and may not sign elsewhere until his contract expires.

Toliver and Marcum's relationship has been bumpy. In March 2004, Marcum nearly traded him, citing an attitude problem. When he was traded to Nashville in March 2005 an angry Toliver was vocal in questioning the Storm coaching staff's handling of it.

"I think he didn't understand what 'left squad' means, " Marcum said of Wednesday's move. "He thinks he's just going to go somewhere else to a playoff team. ... He's still our property."

WILLIAMS UPDATE: Lineman Rod Williams, 34, remained in an Atlanta hospital but his wife said he was scheduled to be moved out of intensive care Wednesday night and should be back in Tampa this weekend. Williams suffered a collapsed lung against Georgia that required surgery on Sunday and Monday. Jada Williams said doctors told her husband the injury won't affect his career. He's not expected back this season.

HAMBRICK BACK: Former Pasco High star and Dallas Cowboy Darren Hambrick practiced Wednesday. His status for this week's game against New Orleans is unclear. Hambrick, 31, missed practice Tuesday to appear as a witness in a court case.

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or 352 848-1407.