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Bucs, Simms Close to Extension


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms' future did not look bright when his season ended with a serious spleen injury in Week 3, and many speculated it could end his career as the Bucs quarterback.





Instead, the Bucs are close to a two-year agreement with Simms that will virtually guarantee him $5 million in 2007 with a chance to earn another $1.5 million in playtime incentives, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.


Counting all incentives and an escalator clause, Simms could earn about $10 million during the two years, with $7 million of that in base salary and a signing bonus.


The Bucs and Simms were hoping to finalize the deal on Saturday, Mortensen reported. That would take the quarterback off the free agent market next March.



Simms has been sidelined since having his spleen removed after taking several hard hits during a loss to Carolina on Sept. 24. He was hopeful of playing again this season until doctors told him that the earliest he might be able to return would be late December.



Rookie Bruce Gradkowski replaced Simms but struggled midseason and was replaced by seven-year veteran Tim Rattay.



Tampa Bay is 3-11 going into Week 16 with no chance of making a playoff appearance. They face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.


That is fantastic news. He struggled early this year, but he was on of the best options we had for next year. Especially for only a 2 year deal, it's a good signing.

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