The Tampa Bay Buccaneers regime continued their bush league way of dealing with veteran players on Thursday by cutting Simeon Rice for "failing a physical." This is the third defensive veteran player that has "failed a physical" since this Buccaneers regime has taken over.
While Bruce Allen said that this decision was made because Simeon failed a physical, it is pretty obvious it is about money. Simeon, who is coming off of shoulder surgery, is owed 7.5 million this season and when asked to take a pay cut he told the team no. It is no secret that Simeon did not get along with Jon Gruden and he echoed that during an interview after being cut in which he said that Gruden is the phoniest f-bomb ever.
While Simeon is coming off of a shoulder surgery and did not have a great year last year, this move comes as a huge surprise to everyone and is bad for the team. The Buccaneers need to win this year for Gruden to keep his job and now they are going to start a rookie defensive end in place of Simeon Rice. Gaines Adams is a great talent and will be a great player for the Bucs in the future, but rookies rarely come in and are effective. Last season the Texans took Mario Williams number 1 overall last year and he managed 4.5 sacks and 47 tackles. Adams will need time to get accustomed to the NFL and they could have used Simeon in the mean time.
It is pretty easy to see that Simeon did not fit into the Bucs plans and they were looking for an excuse to cut him, much like they did with John Lynch. The situation was handled very poorly by the regime and once again they have shown that they will do what they want when they want to do it without regard for the players. Why did they wait to cut Simeon until the first day of training camp? They knew that he was not apart of the plans, but they let him come to Orlando and waited until the start of training camp to cut him. This regime once again went out of their way to show just how little they care about their players.
This move will have more of a negative effect than the Bucs are thinking. The mood around training camp has been lowered and many of the veterans are not happy. Derrick Brooks was very upset by the move and was seen with Simeon in the parking lot after the move was made visually upset. Gruden needs to hope that the Bucs do not start off slow, because if they do he is going to lose the locker room very quickly and not be able to get it back. The veterans on this team have been around with Gruden long enough to stop believing anything he says and have stopped listening to his rants. This move is just another example of how Gruden deals with players and what he does to people that do not listen to him anymore.
Simeon said he is fine and will be back with another team. He would be a perfect fit for Detroit and could reunite with Rod Marinelli. Simeon respects Marinelli and Marinelli got the most out of Simeon and really turned his career around when he came to Tampa. I for one hope that Simeon goes to Detroit and has a great season to show people that this move was just another lie by this regime.