The Bucs aren’t going to let Jake Plummer stiff-arm them much longer.According to the St. Petersburg Times, Plummer is subject to being fined for missing the Bucs’ three-day mandatory minicamp that concluded Thursday, and indications are that the team will ask him to repay about $7-million of a prorated signing bonus if he fails to play this season.
Tampa Bay acquired the rights to the quarterback, 32, from the Broncos on March 3, prompting him to announce plans to retire. Bucs general manager Bruce Allen said Thursday he recently spoke to Plummer and the team still hopes he reports to training camp on July 27. “You can’t unilaterally retire as a player in the NFL,” Allen said, “because you have a contract. He is under the same obligations as every player on the team.” Plummer has three years left on his contract and is scheduled to earn $5.3-million in 2007, most among the Bucs’ quarterbacks and which counts against the salary cap. Plummer was the only one of 95 players who did not attend the minicamp.
Plummer has often reiterated his decision to retire since the trade but hasn’t filed papers with the league. If Plummer does elect to play, the Bucs owe Denver a fourth-round pick in 2008. Otherwise, it becomes a seventh-rounder. Allen said the Bucs have not entertained the idea of trading Plummer. “The intent is the absolute same. We want him on our team,” Allen said. Allen wouldn’t specifically address what sanctions they might seek. “Obviously, we haven’t missed a beat with him not here,” Allen said. “We’re preparing for our season. The quarterback competition has been very lively, and we feel good with the players we have here. So we’re not waiting for anybody.”