It looks like the chances of retired quaterback Jake Plummer playing again for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is slim and none, with slim leaving a long time ago. Stephen F. Holder of the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the Bucs, in tandem with the Denver Broncos, have filed a grievance against Plummer for the return of a prorated portion of his signing bonus based on a breach of contract. Both teams are seeking a total of around $7 million; however, the matter more than likely will go through arbitration to get settled once and for all.
The Bucs held out hope that Plummer would report to the team but even face-to-face visits to Plummer’s home in Idaho by Bucs head coach Jon Gruden were futile. Since the team’s training camp began, the Bucs have indicated they planned on using any legal remedy available to them to recover their share of that signing bonus. It is also believed that the Broncos, along with the Buccaneers, are remaining silent about whether the Bucs have any right to monies originally paid by the Broncos.
This appears to me at first glance to be cut and dried. While Plummer has every right to retire, he should’ve thought about the signing bonus money he pocketed while still in the league. I expect an arbitration date to be set for this grievance to be aired, and Plummer will in fact have to pay a portion of the signing bonus back to both teams. Only sticking point I see is the fact that Plummer has not filed any retirement papers with the NFL as of yet. But I’d say that will not be much, if any, of a factor in the arbitrator’s final decision.