The Tampa Bay Buccaneers apparently weren’t satisfied with having five quarterbacks.
The Bucs dealt for Brian Griese on Monday, giving up a reported second-day draft choice to reclaim their starting quarterback from 2004-05.
Ralph Cindrich, Griese’s agent, confirmed the deal. The Bucs have not officially announced the trade. Cindrich told Chicagosports.com that the Bucs have been trying to get Griese back for two years, since he departed as a free agent after the 2005 season.
The deal gives the Buccaneers six quarterbacks — Griese, Jeff Garcia, Bruce Gradkowski, Luke McCown, Jake Plummer and Chris Simms.
Plummer is retired, but had not officially filed his retirement papers. Therefore he remains on the Bucs’ roster and his salary still counts toward the cap.
The Bucs will pick up Griese’s contract, according to Cindrich, which pays Griese roughly $5 million for the next three years. The Bucs will also pay the roster bonus Griese was due on Tuesday, approximately $300,000.
Griese emerged as the starting quarterback for Tampa Bay midway through the 2004 season and had one of his best seasons. He started 11 games, threw for 2,632 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 69.3 percent of his passes. Griese was the starter the following year but blew out his knee in the sixth game of the season after leading the Bucs to a 4-1 start.
Griese was due a large roster bonus after the 2005 season and the delicate negotiations of the collective bargaining agreement — which dragged into March — forced the Bucs to release Griese for salary cap relief. Griese then signed with the Bears.
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Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.