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    The Raiding and Plundering of Jake Plummer
    Thursday, August 09 2007 @ 03:45 EDT
    Contributed by: TVSD Sports Desk

    Jarrod Leder
    TVSPORTSDAILY.COM

    The Buccaneers are raiding and plundering Jake Plummer.

    This week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers filed a grievance against the now-retired Jake Plummer seeking repayment of about $7 million of a signing bonus he received as part of a contract he signed with the Denver Broncos in 2003. Plummer said in an interview in March that he is retiring for health reasons: the fact that he still has his health after playing an exposed position for 10 seasons in one of the most dangerous sports. Plummer is getting out while his body still allows him to walk.

    USA Today reported that Tampa Bay is treating Plummer as a holdout rather than a retired player. If the public hasn't noticed, a hold out is a person who refuses to play even though that person has every intention to play under different circumstances, usually financial. A person who retires is someone who has no intention of playing under any foreseeable set of circumstances.

    The Bucs have missed out on a key distinction. A player holdout is in breech of contract because the player uses information beyond the boundaries of the contract to be personal judge and jury over what he feels the contract ought to be instead of what it is. In the same way, the Bucs attempt to raid Plummer of this money for not playing football is a ridiculous and false elaboration made on the initial contractual agreement.

    In Plummer's case, a signing bonus was paid as a one-time payment as a bonus for signing the contract, not playing football. The rest of his contract obligates him to play football for the team that owns the rights to the contract as long as he is not retired from playing.

    And let us not allow the Bucs to cry about the old salary cap. Plummer's contract no longer counts against the salary cap except for the supposed $7 million of the signing bonus which only counts for 2007. This is an argument that could justify the Bucs actions.

    However, this columnist has a hard time believing that Tampa Bay didn't see an opportunity to get its hands on some free cash. Tampa Bay has its players signed in 2007 and was in the top 5 this offseason for room under the $109 million cap. Plummer's retirement does not cost the team a single penny. In this age where the NFL is a significant money-making business, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not need Jake Plummer's only form of guaranteed money for salary cap reasons.

    What makes this story worse is that the Buccaneers aren't trying to get back their own money! The Broncos paid that money to Plummer when they signed him. Denver has graciously agreed that Tampa Bay is legally within its rights to recoup the money because they now own the terms of Plummer's contract.

    Jake Plummer isn't holding out for more money. Treating him like a holdout is nothing more than a legal twisting of words designed to plunder $7 million dollars from a player who is now only entitled to a pension that someone on minimum wage would turn down. Perhaps the Bucs have taken lessons from Bill Clinton on the definition of the word "holdout."

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  • #2
    Cry me a river. I couldn't care less if the Bucs get the money from Jake. Let them have it. Jake didn't retire because he wanted to walk away with his health. He quit because he lost his starting job and knew no one else was going to hand him a starting job. Even if he had reported to the Bucs, he still would have had to compete for the starting job. Since he doesn't want to be a back up he decided to not even bother to compete for the job. That's fine. Now pay the money.

    I don't really care if the Bucs get the money either. I just want people to stop lying about why Jake "retired". Has anyone seen him turn in the paperwork by the way?
    Last edited by broncolee; 08-16-2007, 03:06 PM.
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    • #3
      As much as I support Jake, until he signs the retiremnt papers, the Bucs can technically call it whatever they want.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lorcust View Post
        As much as I support Jake, until he signs the retiremnt papers, the Bucs can technically call it whatever they want.
        Pretty much......

        That in itself is the biggest mystery to me, Why hasnt Jake filed for retirement yet?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chidoze View Post
          Pretty much......

          That in itself is the biggest mystery to me, Why hasnt Jake filed for retirement yet?
          I think I had heard it had something to do with the players union, but I'm not 100% there.
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          • #6
            I think it's silly that the Bucs would get the money since they didn't pay it but I do think a team is within its right to recoup bonus money if a player doesn't fulfill his contract.

            Teams usually let players retire and keep their bonus money (with notable exceptions like Barry Sanders, Ricky Williams, etc.) because they were kind of expected to retire before it was fulfilled. John Elway, Terrell Davis, Ed McCaffrey are all Broncos that I'm pretty sure were not asked to refund prorated bonus money. But I believe the Broncos could have demanded repayment had they felt so inclined. But I believe a big consideration is what kind of bonus money was involved. Any lawyer types out there familiar with NFL contracts care to comment?

            "In Plummer's case, a signing bonus was paid as a one-time payment as a bonus for signing the contract, not playing football."

            Without having access to the actual contract, I seem to remember he received a decent signing bonus but then received a large option bonus in year 3 of the contract, and there might have been some other such bonuses. Those bonuses weren't for signing the bonus, they were for the right to keep the contract going to its full conclusion.

            Outside of that, I'm not even sure how the "signing" bonus is written into the contracts. Do all contracts explicitly state that the player gets to keep the full amount should he decide to retire? I wonder if the article's author actually saw the terms of Jake's contract or if he's just making assumptions.


            Regardless, I hate to see Jake having this issue mar his attempt to quietly fade away. I think he was a good guy overall and I wish the matter would just be put to rest, for his sake as well as all of ours.
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            • #7
              i could care less what the bucs do with plummer

              imo, the bucs have every right to try and recoop the money even if they didnt spent it directly to him. they did in fact indirectly spend it by trading for him.

              let them try and get the money, without seeing the contract and knowing what was in it we have no evidence otherwise what was in it.

              it will be fine if he plays and fine if he doesnt.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Chidoze View Post
                Pretty much......

                That in itself is the biggest mystery to me, Why hasnt Jake filed for retirement yet?

                He's waiting for a QB to go down this year and he thinks he would ride into town and pull a team out of the fire. He retired because he figured he didn't need to compete to be a 1st teamer.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                  Cry me a river. I couldn't care less if the Bucs get the money from Jake. Let them have it. Jake didn't retire because he wanted to walk away with his health. He quit because he lost his starting job and new no one else was going to hand him a starting job. Even if he had reported to the Bucs, he still would have had to compete for the starting job. Since he doesn't want to be a back up he decided to not even bother to compete for the job. That's fine. Now pay the money.
                  Actually you couldn't be more wrong.

                  Jake retired because he's getting married, having a kid, wants to start a family and move on from the NFL.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by silkamilkamonic View Post
                    Actually you couldn't be more wrong.

                    Jake retired because he's getting married, having a kid, wants to start a family and move on from the NFL.
                    Believe what you want. It's not true. He can get married and have kids without retiring. Players do it all the time. If he hadn't been replaced as the starter he would still be a Bronco. If he wanted to retire, then why didn't he tell the front office and make an announcement soon after the last game? Why did he wait until after a was trade was negotiated before letting the front office know that he wanted to retire? Where's the paperwork? Telling a few teammates that he's considering retiring isn't the same thing as telling the front office that it's pointless to trade him because he's retiring. Until Shanahan comes out and says he put Cutler in as the starter because Plummer told him of his intentions to retire, there's no reason to believe that Jake "retired" because he wanted to get married, have kids, and roam the woods of Idaho. When he didn't get traded to a team that was automatically going to make him the starter, he decided that he was going to quit. That's the only thing that explains his actions, unless the aforementioned admission from Shanahan is forthcoming. If he had already made the decision to retire before the season had ended, why not just go directly to Sundquist and Shanahan and tell them that he was retiring after the last game of the season? Given the death of Darrent Williams, the team could have withheld Jake's decision from the media for a while and then made it public. I don't think he made a decision until he realized he was never going to be a starter in the NFL again, or that at least there was a real chance that he wouldn't. Personally, I think he could have beaten out Garcia if he had bothered to try.
                    Last edited by broncolee; 08-16-2007, 05:41 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                      Believe what you want. It's not true. He an get married and have kids without retiring. Players do it all the time. If he hadn't been replaced as the starter he would still be a Bronco. If he wanted to retire, then why didn't he tell the front office and make an announcement soon after the last game? Why did he wait until after a was trade was negotiated before letting the front office know that he wanted to retire? Where's the paperwork? Telling a few teammates that he's considering retiring isn't the same thing as telling the front office that it's pointless to trade him because he's retiring. Until Shanahan comes out and says he put Cutler in as the starter because Plummer told him of his intentions to retire, there's no reason to believe that Jake "retired" because he wanted to get married, have kids, and roam the woods of Idaho. When he didn't get traded to a team that was automatically going to make him the starter, he decided that he was going to quit. That's the only thing that explains his actions, unless the aforementioned admission from Shanahan is forthcoming. If he had already made the decision to retire before the season had ended, why not just go directly to Sundquist and Shanahan and tell them that he was retiring after the last game of the season? Given the death of Darrent Williams, the team could have withheld Jake's decision from the media for a while and then made it public. I don't think he made a decision until he realized he was never going to be a starter in the NFL again, or that at least there was a real chance that he wouldn't. Personally, I think he could have beaten out Garcia if he had bothered to try.

                      i don't agree w/ the the author of the article. they do have a right to the money. this issue involves more than, i file the papers, here is my money, goodbye.

                      btw, the team that the player is under contract w/ has a say in whether or not he could retire. as i will say again, there is that little problem w/ how the bucs have to accept his retirement papers and they refuse to do so. bruce allen: "you cannnot unilaterally retire from the nfl". they kept pestering him to come to camp, refusing to let him retire. now they realize he is serious. one of denvers problems was that they didn't really believe he was serious about retirement. they were worried he'd unretire and then they would be forced to release him w/o getting any compensation. later on, the broncos realized he was serious.

                      i don't believe hes looking for a starters job. some of the more intelligent commentators and analysts have stated that it is obvious that he's not coming back b/c he's divorced himself of any football activity. don't you think it would be well known if his agent was sniffing around teams.

                      all this, well, he retired b/c he wants to be a starter or he's looking for a starters role now is just speculation. here's a tip about the sports media 1)most of what they say is speculation 2) they like to strech the truth 3) they make up things 4)and once in awhile they write the truth. you know what, maybe what his bro said was right. he didn't want to move all the way to florida, start all over, learn a new offense, new teammates etc and get stuck in another qb controversy. football just wasn't his entire life, as jake said. of course then there is the possibility of sitting on the bench all season thinking he could be doing something better w/ his life.

                      maybe he viewed it as the perfect exit time. ten years of playing in the nfl, and not wanting to be a journeyman. who knows, maybe he just felt worn about it and thought his skills were diminishing. cutler said jake loved football but didn't like some things about the nfl (which i'm sure include having no private life). imo, he strikes me as the type of old school guy who just wanted to play football and not get wrapped up in this image cr*p.

                      of course, mere speculation. hey, but guess what, when it comes down to it, he has a right. or did i miss out on something and forced labor is legal now? he'll retire and probably wind up paying up.
                      imo, if the passion for the game is gone...don't occupy a roster spot!

                      i think its time to drop the subject and move onto something else.

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                      • #12
                        Wow, I'm seriously surprised at the anti-Jake sentiment here.

                        If the guy wants to retire, for whatever reasons, let the man retire, no need to like kill the guy. Maybe he wanted to settle down. Maybe he didn't want to compete for a starting job. Either way, he wants to retire, and if what this columnist says is true, then the Bucs are just trying to get extra money for no reason and they probably shouldn't get it then. Treating him as a holdout is wrong because he's not. I think he hasn't filed his papers becuase of somethin with the union.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                          Believe what you want. It's not true. He can get married and have kids without retiring. Players do it all the time. If he hadn't been replaced as the starter he would still be a Bronco. If he wanted to retire, then why didn't he tell the front office and make an announcement soon after the last game? Why did he wait until after a was trade was negotiated before letting the front office know that he wanted to retire? Where's the paperwork? Telling a few teammates that he's considering retiring isn't the same thing as telling the front office that it's pointless to trade him because he's retiring. Until Shanahan comes out and says he put Cutler in as the starter because Plummer told him of his intentions to retire, there's no reason to believe that Jake "retired" because he wanted to get married, have kids, and roam the woods of Idaho. When he didn't get traded to a team that was automatically going to make him the starter, he decided that he was going to quit. That's the only thing that explains his actions, unless the aforementioned admission from Shanahan is forthcoming. If he had already made the decision to retire before the season had ended, why not just go directly to Sundquist and Shanahan and tell them that he was retiring after the last game of the season? Given the death of Darrent Williams, the team could have withheld Jake's decision from the media for a while and then made it public. I don't think he made a decision until he realized he was never going to be a starter in the NFL again, or that at least there was a real chance that he wouldn't. Personally, I think he could have beaten out Garcia if he had bothered to try.
                          Looks like somebody lost some money on a Jake-led game.....

                          ...waaaaaaaaaaaa!

                          Ever think about what you just said?

                          If that had been the case, and Shanny still traded him, Shanny/Broncos would have been in major legal trouble.

                          How about dropping the HATE JAKE diatribe and move on.

                          He was the best QB in the last 30+yrs, less Elway.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by silkamilkamonic View Post
                            Actually you couldn't be more wrong.

                            Jake retired because he's getting married, having a kid, wants to start a family and move on from the NFL.
                            NO.. YOU couldn't be more wrong. If Jake was still in Denver, and we didn't draft Cutler.. Jake would NOT have retired from football. The reasons you typed out are NOT reasons to retire. He retired because he lost the drive to compete for another starting role.. again.. in a new location.. again. He Retired because Cutler took his job.

                            Nontheless. The Bucs can call it whatever they want, and by the rules governed by Players Union and the NFL, the Buccaneers will have the right to recoup the money that Jake received as a signing bonus. Its been done before, the precedent is set, and Jake most probably doesn't have a leg to stand on about it.

                            But oh well. Not my problem.
                            Last edited by Ravage!!!; 08-16-2007, 08:07 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Jake tried to play it both ways, and it's biting him in the butt.

                              If he was really "retiring," filing the papers isn't rocket science.

                              If he was trying to keep his options open (which is what I think he was doing), then he would do what he did. However, doing so opened him up to what the Bucs are doing now.

                              Jake didn't want to compete for a job, so he "retired," thinking he would get an opportunity sometime during the preseason to get a job where he wouldn't have to earn it.

                              I would expect Jake to file his paperwork sometime shortly after the season starts, and he learns that his little ploy didn't work.

                              JMO
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