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Bucs, Broncos both seek grievance against Plummer

By STEPHEN F. HOLDER, Times Staff Writer
Published August 8, 2007


LAKE BUENA VISTA -- Looks like the Jake Plummer experiment is over.

The Bucs, in tandem with the Broncos, have filed a grievance against the quarterback for the return of a prorated portion of his signing bonus based on a breach of contract. The move effectively ends any chance Plummer will play for the Bucs.

Plummer, 32, was traded from Denver to Tampa Bay in March but said at the time he planned to retire from the NFL. However, the Bucs own his rights and contract and believe they have the right to recoup money paid to Plummer in a lump sum after he signed his contract because he did not fulfill the five-year commitment.

The Bucs continued to hold out hope Plummer would report, with coach Jon Gruden traveling to the player's native Idaho to make a face-to-face appeal over the summer. But once the start of training camp came, the Bucs indicated they intended to take advantage of any remedies available to them.

The teams are seeking a sum of about $7-million, but the matter will have to go through arbitration to be settled. That likely will take several months.

The Broncos are believed to have joined forces with the Bucs to avoid questions as to whether the Bucs have a legal right to money originally paid by the Broncos. It's possible the teams have an agreement under which the Broncos would send their portion of any recouped money to Tampa Bay.